Basketball players

Does the practice of lacrosse really help the development of basketball players?

Lacrosse has become very popular over the years due to its simple rules and the high level of skill required to play the game.

The sport involves two teams competing against each other using sticks (lacrosse balls) to pass the ball between them. This game requires speed and hand-eye coordination.

There are several benefits associated with playing lacrosse. These include better cardiovascular health, increased muscle strength and better balance.

Additionally, players who regularly participate in lacrosse games tend to perform better academically. But that’s not all. Even those who play other sports, for example, basketball players can also benefit from this game.

In fact, practicing lacrosse is one of the most beneficial ways in which basketball players can improve their prowess. Read this article to find out how!

What is a lacrosse game?

Lacrosse (French: “la crosse”) is a competitive and contemporary variation of the North American Indian game of baggataway, where two teams use rackets with long handles (crosses) to catch, carry or throw the ball through the field or towards the opponent’s goal. Uprights and an unbroken crossbar that frames a net determine the goal.

The main design feature of the game is the lacrosse (lacrosse stick) which is the device players use to carry, catch, and then pass the ball. There are mainly two types of lacrosse games:

  • Lacrosse in the field.
  • Boxed stock.

Field lacrosse is played on the field. And its time, field measurements and rules are different from box lacrosse. So, what exactly is box lacrosse?

Two teams play box lacrosse, known simply as lacrosse in Canada, with six players per team (5 runners and one goaltender). “Boxla” is a handwritten short term coined around 1970 by journalists who covered the game.

Boxla is usually played on ice hockey fields when the ice is cleared or covered. The playing field is known as the box. In the United States, the sport is known as “Box Lacrosse”. It can be played in floor or roller hockey arenas.

What are the differences between playing box lacrosse and field lacrosse?

Let’s take it apart a bit more. First, the box lacrosse box is smaller than the lacrosse field. Additionally, the goals are 4ft by 4ft in the former versus 6×6 in the latter, and there are no D-poles in the field.

All of these factors mean you need to be precise with your footwork and stickhandling. This article will look at how it affects basketball players and what it means for offensive players, defensive players and the whole team.

What is basketball?

Basketball is a sport played between two teams of five players on a rectangular court, usually indoors. Each team tries to score points by throwing the ball over the opposing team’s goal, a raised horizontal hoop and a net called a basket.

Similarities Between Lacrosse and Basketball

If you are a big fan of Basketball and Lacrosse, you will be able to see the patterns and the similarities between them. These similarities go beyond the fact that both sports involve the ball being kicked into the net.


Below are the key similarities between lacrosse and basketball.

  1. Offense

When playing offensively, lacrosse and basketball players move the ball the same way. Additionally, basketball terms such as spacing, moving, passing, and cutting are also used in lacrosse.

  1. Double Mumbo

It is a traditional 1-4-1 formation in which the midfielder stands on the high point, both midfielders are in the crease, two forwards are located on both sides and the third striker is behind the goal.

Basketball fans recognize this formation as The High Stack, which is similar to the double mumbo except there is no attacker in front of the basket.

  1. Pick and roll

This offensive play where a player sets up a screen for another teammate with the ball before heading towards the goal or the basket to catch the pass is an integral part of both sports.

  1. Insulation

In basketball, isolation plays occur when the top player receives the ball while the other players stay behind. These games usually involve the best player picking the ball up the sidelines, dribbling downfield, passing to another teammate, and then shooting.

If multiple defenders are guarding it, it will switch to another teammate before attempting to shoot. Isolation plays allow the better player to get easy shots because if one of the defenders joins the play, the shot will not be contested. This is common in both sports.

  1. Defense

On defense, concepts such as rotations and assist sides are common to both games. Additionally, defensive plays like zonal defense, in which one player is responsible for defending against all players in a particular area, are common in both sports.

How Box Lacrosse Games Help Basketball Athletes

Interior space produces faster footwork among players, makes them more proficient with stick skills, and generally makes them more aware of what is going on during the game.

According to several college basketball coaches who have won championships, they still recommend the next generation of basketball players to play lacrosse indoors. It’s a simple way to become a more skilled and better player.

Below are some examples of how a basketball player can become a more skilled and careful player:

The game of box lacrosse is fast. This alone suggests that a more effective player was born from indoor lacrosse. However, check out the article and you will see more evidence showing that box lacrosse can produce an elite basketball player.

Box lacrosse is so fast because of the small playing field. There are far fewer balls out of bounds, which means the ball stays in play. Box lacrosse is a five-on-five game.

The 30-second shot clock is very effective and the game is extremely fast and bouncy, meaning the pace of play ensures players get more reps and more opportunities to talk to coaches on the sidelines.

This instant feedback lets players know what’s going on during play. It’s similar to basketball. A more physical and faster game of lacrosse can also mean an easier mental game.

There are no long poles that are used in box lacrosse. Therefore, defensive players need to develop their body and feet for defensive moves.

In addition, the ball can move from the defensive position to the attacking position more quickly, which means players learn to change positions with increased speed. Basketball defenders adapt and learn how fast they can throw the ball and provide clearance.

Defenders must stay between the ball carrier and the net because the playing field is tiny. It makes for a smarter, faster, more skilled, and capable basketball defender.

Also, there is a need to always be between the offensive players and the net lacrosse players as better communicators.

Due to the restricted area, an offensive player must always be on the move. Like defensive players, offensive athletes must be excellent instant communicators. Also, when playing in a smaller area, there will be defenders draped over your hands.

Players need to understand how to move their body to avoid sticks being controlled. Additionally, the reduced space and increased game speed means stick handling becomes more efficient and robust.

Additionally, the smaller size of the goal (4 x 4 foot net in Box Lacrosse) means players need to be focused and precise when aiming.

Along with becoming physically faster with tighter situations and excellent handling skills, offensive basketball players begin to play a mentally faster game.

For example, in box lacrosse practice, basketball players can communicate with their teammates and maintain position, game pace, and score on time.

How playing box lacrosse is good for the team

It’s a fact that team members are always in communication with each other, so players will be more observant and more in tune with their teammates as a whole. Therefore, having faster and smarter players will greatly benefit any team.


The popularity of box lacrosse is growing across the United States, with more high school girls and boys and younger players than ever before. It’s a great game in itself!

However, it can help improve the skills of players who play other sports. For example, you just learned how lacrosse, especially box lacrosse, can help basketball players develop their skills.

So if you are a basketball player or engaged in sports, or any other sport for that matter, consider playing lacrosse to take your skills or those of your team to the next level!