What is it?
A fast-paced ball game with 12 players on each side, played over 60 minutes in two halves. A stick with a net (known as the pocket) is used to catch, pass and shoot the ball. The men's game is a contact sport; the women's non-contact.
What the expert says ...
Lois Richardson is the senior head coach for the women's England lacrosse team and was England captain for 10 years.
Practise your overarm This pass/shot is the most common, as well as the most powerful and accurate. With your top hand, hold the stick where it meets the pocket; with your lower hand, hold the bottom of the stick. Take the stick behind your head, then simultaneously snap the wrist of the top hand forwards and pull with the bottom hand. You should be side on to the direction in which you are throwing and put all your body weight behind the shot by following through (ie, the back shoulder ends up at the front).
Be ambidextrous Being able to play on either side of your body makes it harder for your opponent to mark you.
Keep it up If you're in defence, your stick should be up at all times. This not only prepares you to receive, it also makes the opposition think there's less space to pass.
Dig for victory Learning to scoop the ball off the ground quickly is essential as several players will be diving for it at the same time. It's a shovelling action - your hands should be in the same position as for overarm passing and, with the face of the stick upwards, you simply bend your knees and hook the ball into the top of the pocket.
Vary your pace Changing pace as you run is a good way to throw off an opponent - suddenly slowing down or speeding up puts them off balance and gives you space to pass or shoot.
'Cradle' the ball Small, rapid half-twists of the stick use centrifugal force to stop the ball from falling out of the pocket. This is called cradling. It can also involve bringing the stick in close to the body and moving it from one side to the other, which makes it difficult for the opposition to hit the ball out of your pocket.
Keep your wrists loose The most important thing when catching is to relax your wrists so there is some give - that way, the ball won't bounce out. Watch the ball all the way into your pocket.
Make moving count While running with the ball is effective, movement of the ball is as good as movement of the body. Make any running you do really count. If you can't, pass the ball.
Fake it Faking a pass is an excellent tactic for foxing the opposition. One good fake is to look at one of your team members and call their name, but then pass to an entirely different person.
Be an all-rounder Players often break out of their set positions during a game, so it's vital to know the techniques for both defence and attack.
Work on your ball skills Although you use the stick to catch and pass the ball in a game, it improves your hand-eye coordination to be able to throw and catch it with your hands. People who are used to ball games will pick up lacrosse more quickly.
There are clubs across the UK. Most will welcome beginners, but call beforehand to find out what levels they cater for. Some clubs will have mixed teams that play socially and many also offer pop lacrosse - a mini version of the game with smaller, plastic sticks for children. There is a national league and many clubs will have first and second teams to cater for different abilities.
Membership costs around £100 to £140 a year, depending on the location and size of the club. To find one near you, visit englishlacrosse.co.uk; scottish-lacrosse.org.uk; irishlacrossefoundation.org or lacrossewales.com. For more information on lacrosse, visit insidelacrosse.com.
Sticks vary in length for men and women, and for the position you play - attackers tend to use shorter sticks for mobility and speed; defenders use longer sticks to maximise reach; and midfielders use medium-length sticks, allowing them to switch between attack and defence. Goalies' sticks have a much larger pocket for blocking and defence. They cost from £30 to £100; DeBeer, Brine and STX are popular brands. Wear football or hockey boots for a good grip, with shorts/skirt and a T-shirt. Padded gloves are optional. Women have to wear gumshields, while men wear helmets with visors, and chest and shoulder padding. Goalkeepers in both men's and women's lacrosse wear full body protection, including helmet. Smaller plastic sticks are available for pop lacrosse. For equipment, visit prolaxshop.com, armourfit-online.com or hattersleysonline.co.uk.
Finding a club Lacrosse tends to be concentrated in certain areas of the country - mostly north for men's lacrosse and south for women's. There are some exceptions, but you may have to travel a little way to find a club.
The rain can ruin it Lacrosse is a fast-paced game that requires a lot of running and swift changes of direction - it's usually played on grass and a field ankle-deep in mud means the game can't be played properly.
Risk of injury As with any running game, the most common injuries are strains and sprains. You may also get an occasional bruise from an errant ball. The non-contact nature of the women's game and the body protection of the men's means serious injuries are rare.