Sports Similar to Lacrosse: Discover Bandy and Polocrosse Excitement

Ever wondered if there’s more to the world of stick and ball games than lacrosse? You’re in luck because the sports universe is brimming with action-packed alternatives that share a kinship with your favorite game.

Whether you’re a die-hard lacrosse fan looking for off-season thrills or simply curious about similar sports, you’ll find that the adrenaline rush doesn’t have to stop. Let’s dive into a few games that’ll keep your competitive spirit soaring and your heart pumping just as much as a fast-paced lacrosse match.

Field Hockey

Imagine the precision of lacrosse meshed with the grounded nature of soccer, and you’re halfway to grasping the excitement of field hockey. This stick and ball game bears semblance to lacrosse in several core aspects but stands out due to its unique field play and rules. It’s widely recognized internationally, with impressive followings from all over the globe.

You’ll notice in field hockey, players wrangle over a small, hard ball employing flat-sided sticks, seeking to shoot it into the opponent’s goal. The game’s flow, though earthbound, demands agility and sharp tactics much like lacrosse. Here are a few key features:

  • Stick Mastery: The precision needed to control the ball is paramount, mirroring the deft handling skills in lacrosse.
  • Robust Physicality: Just like in lacrosse, expect some body contact but within the confines of stringent rules.
  • Spatial Strategy: Players must have spatial awareness, constantly thinking a step ahead to execute those seamless passes and intercepts.

You’re probably keen on the positions, right? Well, field hockey sets players across forward, midfield, defense, and goalkeeping roles. Each position carries weight, calling for a blend of individual brilliance and team synchronization.

And if you’re itching for statistics that showcase field hockey’s prominence, here they are:

Aspect Statistics
Global Fan Base Over 2 billion viewers
Number of Players 10 outfield players
Olympic Inclusion Since 1908 for men, 1980 for women

Remember, there’s no rule saying you can’t mix your sports; coaching youth teams in field hockey might impart the team ethos and individual finesse that’s equally brilliant in lacrosse. Whether you’re suiting up to play or cheering from the sidelines, the adrenaline rush and competitive spirit remain high-octane. Field hockey offers a familiar yet distinct avenue for stick and ball sport aficionados to explore.


As someone with a fervent passion for sports, you’re always on the lookout for dynamic and thrilling games. Hurling, often termed as the ‘fastest game on grass,’ shares visceral excitement with lacrosse. Originating in Ireland, this ancient sport has been played for over 3,000 years and captures the essence of speed, skill, and sheer physicality, much like your beloved lacrosse.

Picture this: Unarmored warriors darting across a grass field, wooden sticks in hand—called hurleys—swinging with precision to project a small ball—sliotar—at high speeds. The objective? To land the ball in the opposing team’s goalpost for three points or over the crossbar for one point. The pace is so relentless that it holds your attention like the swift innings of baseball, the back-and-forth action of basketball, and the strategic advances you cherish in football.

The playing field resonates with familiarity, not too different in size from a lacrosse pitch, and the team structure is composed of 15 players a side, including the goalkeeper, defense, midfield, and forwards. As a coach, you’d appreciate the importance of each position and the symbiotic relationship between the players.

Hurling is not just a cultural phenomenon in Ireland; it’s a symbol of agility and heritage. It’s deeply ingrained in the community much like the sports you’ve played and coached. You’ll have watched sports grow, fostering a sense of identity and camaraderie among the players. In hurling, those values are amplified in every heart-stopping match.

Let’s take a brief look at the popularity of hurling:

Country Number of Clubs Registered Players
Ireland Over 2,200 Approximately 100,000
Worldwide Hundreds Not specified

While these figures might not match the global scale of field hockey, they point to a passionate following that reverberates through stadiums and fields where hurling is played, echoing the cultural ties and excitement you find so exhilarating in the world of sports.


Ever experienced the thrill of a fast-paced, stick-handling game rooted in rich tradition? That’s shinty for you—a sport that’s soaked in Scottish heritage. Much like hurling, shinty is played with a stick—called a caman—and a small ball, known as a sliotar. If you’re someone who’s been fascinated by the raw energy of lacrosse, you’ll find shinty just as engaging.

Played predominantly in the Scottish Highlands, shinty shares its lineage with the Irish game of hurling. Given your sporting background, you can appreciate the skill it takes to manage the game’s speed. It’s not just about power; it’s about precision, and shinty demands plenty of it. Whether you’re swinging a bat, shooting a basket, or throwing a football, you know the importance of precision. Now, apply that to wielding a caman on the shinty pitch.

Imagine coaching a team where offense and defense switch in a heartbeat. Players strike the sliotar both on the ground and in the air, showcasing a spectacle of athleticism. Your coaching experience tells you the strategic mindset needed for such adaptability. It’s about reading the play before it happens, something you instill in your youth teams. Now visualize instilling this in a game that’s been around for centuries.

Key Aspects of Shinty:

  • Physicality: Like lacrosse, shinty is a contact sport. Players need to be tough and ready to take a hit.
  • Athleticism: Running up and down a field with a caman in hand requires incredible stamina and dexterity, something you’ve always admired in an athlete.
  • Teamwork: With twelve players on each side, the solidarity of a team is what makes or breaks the game. Your knack for building team spirit would be right at home here.

Shinty isn’t just a sport; it’s a cultural phenomenon in Scotland. While it may not have the international recognition of other stick and ball sports, it holds a dear place in the hearts of those who play it. You’ve watched sports in packed stadiums and you’ve felt the energy; imagine that same fervor in a community deeply connected by a shared love for their traditional game.

For the statisticians out there, here’s a quick snapshot of shinty’s footprints:


Ever heard of bandy? You might be surprised to learn that bandy shares a lineage with both ice hockey and football. That’s right, this winter sport is somewhat of a hybrid, marrying the grace of ice skating with the strategic ball-handling skills reminiscent of soccer, all with an atmosphere that echoes the intensity of hockey.

Played on a large ice rink, typically the size of a football field, bandy involves two teams of eleven players, including the goalkeeper. Your weapon of choice? A curved stick, shorter and action-oriented, designed to command a small ball across the ice with precision. Think of it as ice hockey’s long-lost cousin, but with the elegance and finesse of soccer’s field spread.

Rules and Gameplay

  • Players use sticks to propel a small ball into the opposing team’s goal.
  • The goalie is the only player allowed to touch the ball with the hands.
  • Teams play two 45-minute halves, a test of endurance and skill.
  • Offsides in bandy is similar to soccer, adding a layer of tactical depth to the game.

Donning skates, players glide across the ice implementing team strategies that require solid skating skills, sharp passes, and picture-perfect goals. If you’ve ever fancied the stamina of soccer with the thrill of skating, then bandy is the sport where your passions collide.

A Global Reach

While not as widely recognized as some stick and ball games, bandy’s popularity isn’t to be underestimated. It’s especially big in Sweden and Russia, where leagues attract significant attention, and massive stadiums fill with enthusiastic crowds.

Country Estimated Registered Players
Sweden 25,000+
Russia 30,000+

With the frosty thrill of competition, bandy offers a truly distinctive culture. Whether you’re coaching youth sports or looking to expand your athletic repertoire, exploring bandy can yield new insights into teamwork, strategy, and the sheer joy of winter sports. So strap on a pair of skates and see what the hype is all about. Who knows, you might just add another sport to your already impressive spectating portfolio.


Let’s swing your attention over to polocrosse, an intriguing fusion of polo and lacrosse that’s got enthusiasts like you buzzing. Born in Australia in the late 1930s, polocrosse is a fast-paced sport that maintains the heart-pumping excitement you’ve come to love in the world of stick and ball games.

Imagine saddling up for a wild ride because in polocrosse, you’re on horseback, much like polo. You and your mount become a dynamic duo, working together to maneuver a sponge rubber ball down the field. You’ll use a racquet similar to a lacrosse stick, ensnaring the ball in the net to pass, catch, and shoot at the opponent’s goal. It’s no surprise you might find parallels with the sports you already love; after all, polocrosse demands the sharp hand-eye coordination you honed playing baseball and the strategic maneuvers akin to those on the basketball court.

You’ll find polocrosse to be both approachable and challenging. Here’s why:

  • Teams are mixed-gender, promoting inclusivity
  • Players of all ages and skill levels can participate
  • Riding skills are equally as important as stick work

Important facts for the sports aficionado:

  • A polocrosse team has six players, split into two sections of three
  • Each match consists of four to eight chukkas (periods) lasting six to eight minutes each
  • The field is divided into three zones, and only two players from each team can be in the goal scoring area at a time

This level playing field encourages a fantastic spread of opportunities for involvement, underscoring the value you place on teamwork, inclusivity, and community in sports. With your experience coaching youth sports teams, polocrosse offers another avenue to instill these vital life skills in a new generation.

Enthusiastic about the potential of polocrosse to merge equestrian skill with ballgame thrills, you can easily see how this could be a hit with your teams. The cross-disciplinary skills from other sports could pave the way for a seamless transition onto the polocrosse pitch. Don’t be surprised if you catch yourself scheming drills that could hone your athletes’ abilities in this exciting sport.


You’ve just explored some thrilling sports that share a kinship with lacrosse. Whether you’re intrigued by the icy sweeps of bandy or the galloping excitement of polocrosse, there’s a whole world of stick and ball games waiting for you. Remember, these sports aren’t just about competition; they’re about building community and connecting with others who share your passion. So why not grab a stick, find a team, and dive into the action? Who knows, you might just discover your new favorite pastime.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is polocrosse?

Polocrosse is a combination of polo and lacrosse, played on horseback. It’s a fast-paced game that emphasizes teamwork, hand-eye coordination, and strategy.

Who can play polocrosse?

Polocrosse is inclusive and can be played by individuals of all ages, skill levels, and genders. Both mixed-gender teams and players from youth to adults are welcome.

What are the team compositions in polocrosse?

A polocrosse team is typically made up of six players, with three on the field at any one time. Teams are split into offense and defense, with player positions such as attack, midfield, and defense.

What is the match structure in polocrosse?

Matches consist of periods called chukkas, during which teams aim to score goals by throwing a ball through the opposing team’s goal posts using a stick with a netted pouch.

Why might polocrosse be appealing to youth sports teams?

Polocrosse offers a focus on teamwork, inclusivity, and community. Its approachable nature allows young players to actively participate and develop their skills regardless of gender or experience level.

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