Sports School: Victor native, Syracuse’s Emily Hawryschuk explains legal defense

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How to play defense in a "non-contact" sport

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — If you’ve ever watched a game of women’s lacrosse, the frequent stoppages and infractions make it seem like it’s impossible to play defense.

It’s not, it’s just tough to do. Victor native and Syracuse attack Emily Hawryschuk breaks down what’s allowed out on the field.

“In women’s lacrosse, traditionally it’s more of a non-contact sport so you really are only supposed to play with your forearm and you make contact with the body with your stick, but there is no extending. So you can’t push-off of people,” says Hawryschuk.

“As far as checking goes, a lot of defenders make contact right there with their forearm and then they use their stick to guide the attackers out towards the sidelines or wherever they’re trying to force them,” she adds.

While there is some checking with the stick allowed, some areas are off-limits.

“As an attacker, I really have a bubble around my face. It’s free reign to check the shoulders, below, everywhere except for right inside this bubble, then it’s a call,” says Hawryschuk.

The consequences of a foul depend on where on the field the foul was made.

“If you check me outside of that 8-meter mark that’s painted on the field then it’s a quick reset. So I can just pick up the ball and go. If you were to check me inside the 8-meter, close to the goal where I’m looking to score then the ball would be taken out and I would get an 8-meter, basically a free shot, me and the goalie,” she says.

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