Ice Hockey and Lacrosse Both Lacrosse and Ice hockey are two sports that share similar aspects. One example would be that they both require plenty of athletic prowess, as well as countless hours of training and practice to master. The high amount of contact in both sports enables a player to become both physically and mentally "tough." Lacrosse has grown to its highest level of popularity it has ever reached over the last ten years. Ice hockey has seen a steady climb in its popularity over the past 25 years making it one of the most popular sports in not only Long Island, but all across the U. S.

However, there are many differences as well, and we should not overlook the fact that there are plenty of distinctions between the two great sports. Many of which are the main reasons that these are obviously two separate sports. The biggest similarity is the object of both games. To outscore the other team. The score is determined by points called goals.

Ice hockey and lacrosse are contact sports. Opposing teams will try to "check" each other. This means that the teams are trying to literally knock the ball or puck out of possession of the other player. If a check becomes too violent, a penalty, which is another similarity between the two sports, will be called.

Due to the aggressive nature of both sports, helmets and extensive padding are required to play without injury. Another thing they have in common is that the possession of the puck or ball is determined by a face-off. A face-off is when two opposing players battle for the puck or ball. Goalies are an essential part of both sports because the goalies are the last line of defense before the opposing team can score a goal. The goalie crease, in ice hockey as well as lacrosse, cannot be entered by any players because it gives the goalie an interference-free zone. Any goal scored by a team that is made from the goalie crease will not be counted.

A final similarity would be that both sports have professional leagues. Ice hockey's league is bigger than lacrosse, but they are both just as competitive. The biggest difference between ice hockey and lacrosse is the playing field. In hockey its ice, in lacrosse its grass. In addition to this would be the field dimensions. A lacrosse field is rectangular, while a hockey rink is oval.

Another difference would be the number of players present on the field at one time. In lacrosse, 10 players are allowed at one time to work together at scoring a goal. In hockey, only 6 players are allowed to grace the field during each shift. Which brings the topic to another distinction, the length of shifts. In hockey the shifts are only about two to three minutes long, allowing fresh players to take the ice more often than in lacrosse, where the shifts are about every 10 to 12 minutes.

Another major difference is that usually hockey is played during the winter months, lacrosse in the springtime. I use the word "usually" because there are ice rinks that will operate and host leagues during the summer, but its is rare due to the expense of cooling the ice during the hot summer days. Lacrosse players use cleats, which are sneakers equipped with little studs on the bottom to increase traction. Hockey players use skates to glide along the ice.

A last differentiation would be the origin of both sports. Hockey was invented by Canadians, and lacrosse was created by American Indians, who oddly enough, used to use squirrel skulls because an official lacrosse ball had not been invented yet. Ice hockey and lacrosse are two of the best sports out there, they share so much in common. Because the two are so similar, someone who played one sport but not the other, could find it easy to switch over and learn the other sport. However, due to the many differences, it will take a smart player to make the proper adjustment. Another good example would be the fans of both sports.

For example, a fan of ice hockey would probably enjoy a lacrosse game because the action is just as intense. All in all, they both make for two of the best sports today.