The first women’s lacrosse game was played in 1890 at the St Leonards School in Scotland, the first women's lacrosse team in the United States was established at Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, Maryland. Men’s and women’s lacrosse were played under virtually the same rules, with no protective equipment, until the mid-1930s. At that time, men’s lacrosse began evolving dramatically.
Women's lacrosse rules are specifically designed to allow less physical contact between players. As a result of the lack of contact, the only protective equipment required is eyewear and a mouthguard. Although these are the only protective equipment, there are still many injuries due to accidental checks to the head and the overall aggressiveness of the sport. The pockets of women's sticks are shallower than those of the men, making the ball harder to catch and more difficult to shoot at high speed. Women play with three attackers (or "homes"), five midfielders (or "middies"), three defenders (starting from the back, called "point", "cover point", and "third man"), and one goalie. Seven players play attack at one time and seven defenders are present. There is a restraining line that keeps the other four players (plus the goalie) from going into the attack. If those players cross the line, they are considered offsides and a penalty is given. In women's lacrosse, players may only check if the check is directed away from the ball carrier's head. Also, players may only check using the side of their stick. If caught by one of the referees using the flat of the head, it will be called as a "held check" and the opposing team will get the ball.
There are two different surroundings around the goal on both sides of the field. The eight meter arc and the 12 meter fan. When committing a major foul inside either of these areas, all players that were previously inside the surrounding must take the most direct route out. The player who was fouled now moves to the nearest hash mark that is located around the edges of the arc or fan and either takes position to shoot or to pass (although, most often to shoot). When the whistle is blown, the player with the ball may move up and try for a goal.
The most important rule in women's lacrosse is shooting space, this is a violation of the rules. It occurs when a defender moves in at a bad angle on the offender while shooting in the 8 meter arc. This is a dangerous play made by the defender.
Women's games are played in two 30-minute halves. These 30 minutes are running time, except for the last two minutes, during which time stops when the whistle is blown (This can differ when playing high school or middle school games). While the whistle is blown, players are not allowed to move. In women's lacrosse, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their body or cover the ball with their stick in order to scoop it into their stick or protect the ball from picked up by an opponent.
At the current time,
I am not seeing a bright future for women's lacrosse in Des Moines. That is not to say that I am against the women's game or women playing lacrosse. I simply do not know much about it and have not seen ANY equipment available in the metro area. Also, local sports leagues indicate that the market for women's sports is significantly smaller than that for men's sports. Still, if the time comes that a group of women want to get their game going, I will be more than happy to help in any way I can.
Supplemental information obtained from: Wikipedia