Right now, there are quite a few reasons how these two sports are different. Among them are a different set of rules, different athletic skills, and completely differently executed sports. One is played on a national level, with multi-million viewers and followers worldwide. The other acts like a pass time for the elitists and rich people.
The Simple Differences between Lacrosse & Baseball
- Lacross is a fast-paced, at points dangerous sport. Which usually is played for fun rather than a career. And exponentially rising fan base.
- Baseball is a strategy-oriented spectacle embedded deep into American culture and people’s hearts. Millions of spectators every year either live or on the broadcast.
But as much as they sound distinct from each other, There are also some similarities, mainly the eye and hand coordination, which is so prominently known to the baseball fan base.
Which makes the same quality important in the Lacrosse as well, combined with the speed and agility of the player. It truly makes the sport a fun time to watch.
Almost every year, the discussion between the fans of Baseball and Lacrosse comes alive. And continues to unwrap as the fan bases of each sport are growing exponentially.
But what are the actual differences and similarities between these two sports?
The reason for competition and rivalry between these sports might surprise you because it comes from quite a silly reason. I’m going to elaborate on that later in the article, so stick around to find out.
The Deep Differences Between Lacrosse & Baseball
What are the key differences when talking about these two sports? I want to get in-depth into where these sports are alike and where they differ. Because when you read articles online detailing key differences, they mostly are emotion-driven comparisons from the point of view of a fan.
The latter is quite understandable considering how heating and tense both sports can get.
But that could stand in a way of objectivity.
Here are the main compared differences in baseball and lacrosse.
- In lacrosse, there are 10 active players on the field: three defenders, three midfielders, three attackers, and one goalkeeper.
- Baseball consists of 9 players in each of the teams: catcher, pitcher, first, second and third baseman, shortstop, and three outfielders at left, center, and right field.
Now it becomes quite obvious how this sport is different. And why it could not be a fair fight between them, because, in essence, they are quite far apart.
Lacrosse positions itself more like hockey, football, or rugby than a direct opponent to baseball. Team members in each of the sports are difficult to compare exactly right. But there are some similarities between catcher and goalie, pitcher, and attacker.
Would be interesting to watch them go against each other on the field!
- The game duration of Lacrosse is split into four quarters, each of 20 minutes.
- And the baseball game usually lasts for 9 innings of which both teams get to bat once that takes an average of 9 hours to complete.
As I mentioned previously, Lacrosse paints itself more like a fast-paced game. The considerably small-time frame forces players to make quick decisions and act on time, as every goal could be the last.
While baseball takes a slower approach but non the less exhilarating, usually, this results in plenty of breathtaking and unexpected moments.
- Infringement by players of lacrosse –like grabbing at a jersey or being offside –result in a sort of ‘time-out’ in the penalty box, where they’re out of the game.
- A batter gets up to three strikes before getting out. A strike is deemed when a batter swings for a ball and misses it.
Lacrosse could become violent with high rates of connection between players. But the penalty system rewards only the most careful and skilled players. The period of time the player usually serves for a penalty is about 30 seconds. Further building on the fast-paced action.
On the other hand, players of baseball are rewarded for their skill and talent. The batter gets only so many chances to prove himself. Because a poor one can make the three-hour game for a team feel like an eternity.
- To score a goal, a lacrosse team must propel the ball from their stick into the goal area. Scoring one point per goal, although some leagues have a two-point system for goal from afar.
- To score, a batter needs to hit the ball into a specific field area and then run across all four bases – before the opposition fielders can get the ball and throw it at the base the hitter is running to.
- There is an option for a home run hit, which usually means the ball has left the playing area, often landing in the crowd.
- A maximum of four points can be scored in one hit.
Baseball does have a much more complex scoring system than lacrosse. But it doesn’t take away any fun and complexity from the latter. Because even if the system is simple, the goals are scored far more frequently than baseball scores.
Again, this doubles the reason why these sports are fairly incomparable.
- The lacrosse has two types of sticks – Long and Short one. They both have a net at the end of the stick to catch the fast-flying ball. The ball used in a game is about eight inches of solid rubber. That’s why it’s required to wear a helmet while mouthpieces, arm pads, and gloves, and shoulder pads are highly recommended.
- The baseball bats are made from either aluminum, wood, and metal materials. The ball is white and stitched red, and about 3 inches in diameter.
The iconic ‘mitt’ is part of the fielding team gear arsenal. It’s an oversized glove to help catch the ball. And also used by the catcher – person crouching behind the batter and catching any ball missed. Padding on their body, legs, and the helmet is also required to prevent any injuries.
Of course, adequately to match each sport there is a set of equipment. Which is self-explanatory, bats, sticks, and protective gear, you know the deal by now.
- It is commonly known that lacrosse is often and most played by rich, or finically stable people as a pass time. Because they don’t seek any support from sponsors. the usual payday for a player is $10,000-25,000 a year. Which makes it below the poverty line.
- The baseball, on the other hand, uses its multi-million fan base to gather greater profit to support the sport. In comparison, the salary for a baseball star ranges in 3 million.
Here you go, the numbers don’t lie. And the margin is mostly due to popularity. Lacrosse is coming up on top of charts of rising sports in the US, but it’s still miles behind the baseball.
Maybe one day we get a stadium built for lacrosse as well, one could only dream.
Now that we got the reasons why these sports differ out of the way it’s safe to say that baseball and lacrosse have little in common. They are played differently, have different rules, and different equipment.
No sport is better than other. It’s what you after that matters. If you want fast paced, hockey like game then lacrosse is your choice.
If you need more precision and strategy in your game then the baseball could be a way to go.
Both of them are difficult and easy in different ways and both games for that reason are fun to play.
It begs a question: where does the rivalry come from? Why these sports are so often mixed together?
What About The Fans?
If you ask a baseball fan, he would without a flinch answer that the lacrosse is a woosy sport. The best athletes are in baseball; it is far more demanding and dangerous than lax (Short term for lacrosse). It’s no match for the hand to eye coordination the pro athletes play in.
But then let’s say you ask the lacrosse player or a fan what he thinks about that, and without a doubt, you would get laughed at. They would answer that it is far more physically challenging and if you not ready for it – you will get trampled on. And to call baseball physically demanding would be a long stretch.
And I think this is where the actual similarity between baseball and lacrosse lies. It is the fans whose opinions sound the same when talking about each sport.
It’s the fan bases that started the rivalry some time ago, even though historically lacrosse dates further back than baseball.
Still, baseball positions itself higher than lacrosse, and fans find themselves comparing and getting angry at each other over the games that have so little in common?
To put it simply in senior baseball players Conner Leinbach words: “There’s definitely some player dislike between the sports specifically at Northwood, but I think it’s the fact that we’re in the same season.”
Heritage of Lacrosse
With a vast history known to spans centuries, it easily makes it the longest running sport in North America. Coming from native Americans, lacrosse was a way of settling conflicts, develop strong men, and for many other ritualistic reasons. They still refer to lacrosse as “The Creator’s Game.”
Lacrosse did its purpose as a way of preparing for war. As many as 1,000 players on each side turned games in to violent contests – quite dissimilar to today right? A field for a game was in the range of 1 to 15 miles long, often lasting for days.
Balls were made out of deerskin, stone or even baked clay.
Then with the documentation of the sport in what’s now known as southeast Ontario, Canada by a Jesuit missionary, Jean de Brebeuf in 1636. Began the evolution of the game into modern lacrosse.
The oral history of Baseball
I’m keeping this part brief, not to overshadow the history of lacrosse. And most of you reading this, know the story already.
By now you should have known a man from Cooperstown, New York named Abner Doubleday? If not, then what you been up to all these years? Although, some variation of the game originates in almost every region of the world.
But he was the person that invented the game we know it as baseball in the summer of 1839. The inventor went to become a Civil War hero, while baseball became America’s beloved national pastime, we know it today.
Hopes for the future
The data shows that lacrosse is a sport to watch out for as it is one of the most rapidly spreading sports in America. Every year more and more lacrosse programs are being introduced in colleges and universities.
As the sport is set on a good trajectory, many more people are discovering it. Maybe in some future, it won’t be pass time for the elitist and may become much more mainstream.
Even though it is far more difficult to get into it, the speed of the game’s pace for a newbie could seem too much to handle at first. But the excitement and the spectacle could become a nice reward. More so now, as it comes with the possibility of a career in the forms of college or university tuition.
The same goes for baseball; the roots span deep in American hearts; it’s one sport we will never forget. Even with the rise of lacrosse, the dips in ratings don’t bite the baseball juggernaut.
But for the sake of this argument, which sports, baseball or lacrosse, is better, go out and try both. Maybe you’ll discover something about yourself and meet new people in the process. In the end, the only right choice which sport to support is your choice.