Which Are the Best Sports Similar to Lacrosse? (2023 List)

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If you're an avid lacrosse fan, chances are you've thought about the different sports that can offer a similar experience.

In this blog post, we'll be taking a look at some of the best sports similar to lacrosse in terms of their intensity and level of skill required.

From field hockey and ultimate frisbee to box lacrosse and football, there's something for everyone!

So let's dive in and explore what each of these sports has to offer as we take a closer look at which top games make up the list of best sports, like lacrosse in 2023.


Take Away Key Points:

  • Sports similar to fast-paced lacrosse offer a unique blend of physical and strategic skills that are enjoyable and challenging for many lacrosse players of all ages.
  • Lacrosse has features from basketball, soccer, and hockey. It resembles these sports in terms of positions, court layout, scoring system, and team play.
  • Other popular sports similar to lacrosse will require players to master stick skills. The lacrosse game is one of the most popular sports that displays how well a player masters a stick skill!

Field Hockey

Field hockey and lacrosse are two sports with many parallels at first glance.

Both involve using sticks to move and control the ball and using physical contact among many players to prevent opponents from reaching their goals.

Both hockey and lacrosse are high-intensity, fast-paced sports that often draw impressive crowds of dedicated fans.

Both require agility and skill to master, as well as a special kind of courage to take on the potential risks involved in playing such a physically demanding sport.

Players will use a long stick to play lacrosse, while hockey players use a hockey stick.

1. Hockey vs. Lacrosse similarities

Players & ground surface

Both lacrosse and hockey sports involve using sticks to move and control the ball and physical contact among players.

Both games have teams of around 11 lacrosse players and hockey players, and they use specific playing surfaces (turf or grass for field hockey and artificial turf for lacrosse). 

Additionally, lacrosse and hockey players can be substituted during the game.

Is lacrosse harder than football?


Although there are differences in allowable levels of physical contact and rules' complexity, each sport's basic goal is to prevent opponents from reaching their goal.


When it comes to equipment for each sport, the similarities are pretty evident.

Both sports require sticks - although there are differences depending on if you are playing box or field lacrosse - body protection (i.e., shoulder pads, elbow pads) and eye protection (a mask or helmet) to ensure player safety.

The ball used in both sports is also similar in size.

2. Hockey vs. Lacrosse differences

Ball size

The biggest difference is the ball used in each sport.

For example, a field hockey ball has a flat surface making it easier to control when playing on a hard surface. In contrast, a lacrosse ball is much heavier and rounder making it easier to grip but harder to control accurately on a smooth surface.

Physical contact

The rules of playing lacrosse and hockey also differ significantly between the two sports. 

Hockey rules allow for body contact between hockey players, while lacrosse rules restrict contact significantly, with only incidental contact allowed at the referee's discretion.

A women's game is rather different from men's lacrosse. Women's lacrosse requires no physical contact among lacrosse players, but it is pretty intense.


Both lacrosse and basketball are team sports that require agility and quick thinking. Both involve passing the ball to team members, with the goal being to score or hit a target.

Lacrosse and basketball are incredibly popular, especially in high school, as many have both basketball and lacrosse teams.

1. Basketball vs. Lacrosse similarities


Both sports involve two teams competing for points by shooting or throwing a ball into a goal/net.

Both basketball players and lacrosse require many players to be fast and agile on their feet and good at hand-eye coordination to control the ball.

Additionally, both games rely heavily on team tactics and strategies to outsmart their opponents and score more points.


Basketball players that play zone defense try to deny their opponents access to the ball by guarding them closely and using their body position to shield the offensive player.

In playing lacrosse, defenders also try to prevent opposing players from getting close enough to shoot or pass.

Still, they often employ more aggressive tactics like body-checking, stick-checking, or double-teaming one player.

Double mumbo

Another similarity between the two sports is that both involve double-teaming or "double mumbo," as it's known in basketball.

This involves two defenders working together to trap one opposing player and prevent them from moving upfield.

While each sport requires different defending strategies, double-teaming is essential to basketball and lacrosse.

2. Basketball vs. Lacrosse differences

Team size

Lacrosse and basketball are different sports when it comes to team size; in basketball, teams consist of five players on each side, while lacrosse is played, teams have 10 players each.

Playing field

what is rugby vs lacrosse?

The playing field is another major difference between the two sports, as basketball courts are much smaller than a typical lacrosse field.

Since the court is smaller, basketball games tend to be faster-paced and require more agility from players to move with the ball.

Conversely, since lacrosse pitches are bigger, it often emphasizes long passes and shots that rely more on strength than accuracy.


The type of equipment used in each sport also sets them apart.

While both require players to wear protective gear such as helmets and mouth guards, basketball uses a basketball, whereas lacrosse is played with a hard rubber ball and slings or nets attached to long lacrosse sticks called crossovers.

In addition, lacrosse requires additional equipment, such as gloves for protection against being hit by a ball traveling at high speeds.


Men's lacrosse draws a parallel when it comes to extremely popular team sports in North America, attracting players of all ages.

While there is a significant difference between the two games in terms of size, mobility, and equipment requirements, there are several important similarities between these two sports.

1. Soccer vs. Lacrosse similarities


When lacrosse vs. soccer is compared, in both popular sports, teams consist of 11 players on the field simultaneously with an additional 3-5 substitutes on the sideline.

Each team comprises defenders, attackers, midfielders, and goalies who all work together to achieve their goals.

Team size

The general rules for each position are similar in soccer and lacrosse.

For instance, defenders are responsible for keeping the opposition away from their goal while also organizing attacks, attackers aim to score goals by taking shots or passes from teammates, midfielders play both offense and defense depending on where the ball is located.

Goalies protect their net while trying to foil their opponents' scoring chances.

Playing field

The playing field has some differences between the soccer field and lacrosse.

In contrast, a standard soccer pitch is made up of grass or synthetic turf, and lacrosse fields usually feature artificial turf or sand pits.

Nevertheless, they both require regulation penalty boxes around the goal areas — although they are called creases in lacrosse.

2. Soccer vs. Lacrosse differences


The competitive nature of lacrosse encourages physical contact between players, whereas soccer has more restrictions on body contact.

lacrosse vs football

Goal size

In addition, soccer goals are much bigger than those used in lacrosse — 12 feet by 6 feet as opposed to 6 feet by 6 feet.


Finally, in contrast with soccer players who mainly rely on their feet and use a single ball for the duration of the game, many lacrosse players rely on special equipment such as helmets with face masks and a lacrosse stick with either netted or slung pockets for catching and throwing the ball.

In addition, goalies for lacrosse also have specialized equipment that differs significantly from any protective gear used by soccer goalies.


Football and lacrosse are top-rated sports that differ in terms of equipment, rules, and goal sizes.

However, despite their differences, both sports require players to work together to reach their goals.

1. Football vs. Lacrosse similarities


Intensity is another factor found in both sports, which is necessary for success regardless of level.

Both lacrosse vs. football rely heavily on having players work effectively together towards their goals — whether passing or shooting, respectively — where communication becomes vital if a team intends to outplay their rivals.


Another similarity between football and lacrosse is dodging; this involves a lacrosse player attempting to shift past an opponent without being tackled or blocked effectively.

In both sports, good footwork can be key in allowing players to move past their opponents while maintaining control of the ball — although the actual application of this technique varies between each sport due to differences in rules.


Football and lacrosse have similarities that extend beyond simply having teams of the same numbers battling each other on the pitch. One such similarity comes from the gear and equipment required by both sports.

In football, players typically need to wear cleats, shin guards, and other protective padding to stay safe while playing. In lacrosse, helmets with face masks and lacrosse sticks are also essential pieces of equipment that players regularly use.

2. Football vs. Lacrosse differences

Goal size

Football and lacrosse differ in several ways, including their goals and field dimensions.

For example, football goals are typically 12 feet by 6 feet, while lacrosse goals measure 6 feet by 6 feet. This difference in size means that football players have more space to work with when attempting to score goals and can effectively use every inch of it during play — making it easier to break into the box when looking for an opening quickly.


When it comes to the field itself, football fields tend to be larger than those found in lacrosse games — typically ranging from 100-120 yards compared to 60-70 yards for lacrosse matches which require more running involved.


Rugby is a high-intensity game that originated in the United Kingdom and has since spread to many parts of the world.

It is played between two teams of fifteen players and involves multiple phases of play and strategic tactics.

1. Rugby vs. Lacrosse similarities

Physical contact

Both sports involve tackling and body-checking to gain possession of or score points with the ball.

This means that players must be both strong and agile to play effectively, relying on speed and agility as well as power and strength when running with the ball or taking on opponents.


In addition, both sports feature set pieces in the form of lineouts (rugby) and faceoffs (lacrosse), which serve as platforms for teams to launch attacks or regroup defensively after conceding possession.

2. Rugby vs. Lacrosse differences

Score criteria

The score criteria in lacrosse vs. rugby states points are scored when an attack passes the ball to an on-side teammate who touches down with it on the opponent's goal line for a 'try' or when a player kicks the ball over the crossbar for a drop goal or penalty kick, while in Lacrosse points are won by shooting with either feet or hands into the opposing team's net.

Number of players

Additionally, rugby games can have up to fifteen players per team, while lacrosse teams only have ten on the pitch at any time.


What 3 sports is lacrosse a combination of?

Lacrosse combines three sports - soccer, basketball, and field hockey.

What Irish sport is similar to lacrosse?

A popular Irish sport that is quite similar to lacrosse is hurling.

Is lacrosse harder than football?

The difficulty of lacrosse and football can be difficult to compare because they feature different objectives, skills, and strategies.

What is rugby vs lacrosse?

Rugby and lacrosse are two distinct sports that share some similarities. Both involve teams of players passing and carrying balls up and down the field in an effort to score points.

What sport is most similar to lacrosse?

Field hockey is often considered the sport that is most similar to lacrosse. Both sports involve teams of players competing against one another with sticks to control and pass a ball upfield.

Is lacrosse a masculine sport?

The game of lacrosse is seen as a sport that varies in terms of its level of masculinity. While there are some aspects, such as physicality and contact, that may be associated with greater masculinity.

It is also a sport that many athletes of all genders enjoy. Women's lacrosse is currently getting a lot more popular with the audience!


Sports similar to lacrosse are fast-paced, exciting, and growing in popularity. Whether you're looking for a competitive outlet or want to spend time with friends, lacrosse offers something for everyone. 

With its unique blend of physical skills and strategic thinking, it's no wonder these activities have become so popular.

Freddy Woods

Freddy is the heart and soul of Lacrosse Runner. As a former athlete, Freddy is very passionate about Lacrosse. He keeps up with the sport's changes and innovations and often tests the new equipment released by the leading manufacturers. Read more here