Yes, Lacrosse can get rough. The kids eventually learn to check each other. Some days, I have to admit, I am a little mixed on what I think about it, but my kids enjoy it and it's a fun game to watch. I think I enjoy watching lacrosse more than hockey.
Even the little tiny kids, like my youngest, get to play it. Sometimes they are really amazingly good and seem to know what they are doing and yet, they still have those cute little kid moments like the one above, where Zoe decided to sit on the ball right when everyone was fighting to get it.
(as an aside... Austyn took this picture of her sitting on the ball with my camera)
Learning positions has proven to be tough, but the positions and many of the rules in lacrosse apply to hockey. Many kids who play both increase in ability dramatically. They also aren't afraid to be pushed around when the time comes that they are expected to do so. They gain, stamina. They learn to sweat and work hard. Even watching the older kids play can improve skill, especially when comparing what they learn about the rules and positions to what the players of the more professional teams do.