Penobscot Bay Lacrosse will hold an open house for interested boys and girls on Monday, April 12 from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Penobscot Bay YMCA.

Youth lacrosse is set to begin its third season in the Midcoast, with registration underway at the YMCA. The season begins Monday, April 26 and will run through June 18.

The open house will begin with a brief overview of the program, a meet-the-coaches session, followed by equipment rental. Penobscot Bay Lacrosse has a limited amount of equipment that will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve rental basis.

All players must provide their own stick and mouth guard.

Penobscot Bay Lacrosse fields teams from third through eighth grade. Games are currently being scheduled with teams throughout the state for the older local squads.

A preseason clinic will be held Wednesday, April 14 at 5 p.m. at the YMCA for those new to the game.

Penobscot Bay Lacrosse was seeded three years ago as a club sport with a regional middle school boys team. Last year, the club collaborated with Penobscot Bay YMCA and the program grew to include a girls team, as well as younger divisions beginning with second-graders. Lacrosse is an fast-moving and strategic game in which children learn quick foot and hand coordination skills.

Players catch and throw a hard rubber ball using a “crosse” (a stick with a meshed pocket attached to the end) with the objective of scoring goals against the opposing team. A standard boys lacrosse game fields 10 players per team on an area about the size of a football field. Each team fields three midfielders, three attackmen, three defensemen and one goalie.

Like hockey or soccer there are goals at either end of the field. Midfielders cover the length of the field and do most of the running, alternating between offense and defense. Attackmen focus on offense, playing around or behind the opposing team’s goal working with the midfielders to try to score goals. The defensemen’s primary job is to stop the attackmen and “clear” the ball toward the opposing team’s goal.

Boys lacrosse is a full-contact sport. The protective gear includes helmets with mouth guard, shoulder pads, elbow pads and gloves. Players may borrow gear on a first-come, first-served basis, but players are encouraged to purchase their own equipment.

Girls lacrosse rules and game play differ from the boys. There is little hitting or checking permitted and because of this they require less protective gear (eye protection and mouth guards are required). The girls stick is strung very tightly so that it’s more challenging for an individual to maintain control of the ball (and because there is no checking).

The practice schedule includes:

Second- through fourth-grade coed — 5 to 6 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Fee: $35. Equipment: mouth guard required.

Fifth- through eighth-grade girls — 4 to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday. Fee: $50. Equipment: mouth guard, stick, protective eye gear.

Fifth- and sixth-grade boys — 5 to 6 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Fee: $50. Equipment: mouth guard, stick, protective pads, helmet and gloves.

Seventh- and eighth-grade boys — 5 to 6 p.m.; Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. Fee: $50. Equipment: mouth guard, stick, protective pads, helmet and gloves.

Volunteer coaches who are able to commit to eight weeks of practice and some games are welcome.

For more information, go online at penbaylax.com; to register, visit Penobscot Bay YMCA; at penbayymca.org or call 236-3375.

VillageSoup sports staff can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at sports@villagesoup.com.