About the Game: Field & Rules
A basic review of the sport's rules.
General Information for our new fans
Men's lacrosse is a true Native American sport played by 10 players on each team. This includes 1 goalie, 3 defensemen, 3 midfielders, and 3 attackmen. The object of the game is to shoot the ball into the opponent's goal while preventing your opponent from scoring in your goal. The goals are 6 feet by 6 feet and are set 80 yards apart. The team scoring the most goals wins.
Each team much keep at least 4 players, including the goalie, in its defensive half of the field and 3 players in the offensive half at all times. The 3 midfielders may roam the entire field.
High school varsity games are divided into 4 12-minute quarters. Junior varsity quarters are 10 minutes long. (Quarters in college games last for 15 minutes.) Teams change ends at the beginning of each quarter. The teams are permitted 3 regular timeouts and one 20-second timeout per game, they cannot use more than 2 per half.
At the start of each quarter and generally after every goal, players take their positions with 4 players in the defensive clearing area, 1 player at the center, 1 player in each wing area, and 3 players in the attack goal area.
The game begins with a face-off. The ball is placed between the sticks of the 2 face-off men at the center of the field. The official blows the whistle to start play. Each face-off player tries to control the ball. The players in the wing area can move, the other players can maneuver around in their respective areas, but must wait until one player has gained possession of the ball or the ball crosses into either goal area.
Players can run with the ball in their stick for as long as they want or they can pass the ball to a teammate. The ball movement is similar to basketball.
A player may gain possession of the ball by dislodging it from the opponent's stick with a stick check. (A stick check is the controlled poking & slapping of the stick and gloved hands of the player in possession of the ball.)
Body checking is permitted if the opponent has the ball or is within 5 yards of the ball. However, all contact must occur from the front or side, above the waist and below the shoulders. An opponent's stick may also be stick-checked if it is within 5 yards of a loose ball or a ball in the air.
Unlike any other sport, after an unsuccessful shot, if the ball goes out of bounds, the ball is awarded to the player closest to the ball when & where the ball goes out of bounds.
Attacking players may not enter the crease [circle] around the goal, but can reach in with their stick to scoop up a loose ball.
There are personal and technical fouls in lacrosse. The penalty for a personal foul is a one to three minute suspension from play and possession to the team that was fouled. Players with five personal fouls are ejected from the game. The penalty for a technical foul is a thirty-second suspension if the team is in possession of the ball when the foul is committed, or possession of the ball goes to the team that was fouled if there was not possession when the foul was committed.
SLASHING: Occurs when a player's stick contacts an opponent in any area other than the stick or hands.
TRIPPING: Occurs when a player obstructs his opponent below the waist with his cross, feet or legs.
CROSS CHECKING: Occurs when a player uses the handle of his stick to contact an opponent.
UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT: Occurs when any player or coach commits an act which is considered un-sportsmanlike by an official, including taunting, obscene language or gestures, baiting, celebrating and arguing.
UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS: Striking an opponent with his stick or body using excessive force.
ILLEGAL CROSSE EQUIPMENT: Occurs when a player uses a cross that does not con-form to required specifications or any of his other equipment.
ILLEGAL BODY CHECKING: Checking a player not within 5 yards of the ball, a late hit, or contact from behind, above the shoulders or below the waist.
HOLDING: Occurs when a player impedes the movement of an opponent or an opponent's stick.
INTERFERENCE: When a player interferes with the free movement of an opponent.
OFFSIDES: When a team does not have 4 players on the defensive side of the midfield or 3 players on the offensive side of the midfield.
PUSHING: Occurs when a player thrusts or shoves a player from behind.
SCREENING: Occurs when an offensive player moves into and makes contact with a defensive player.
STALLING: Occurs when a team intentionally holds the ball without advancing toward the goal or when a team fails to advance the ball from its defensive zone or into its offensive zone within 10 seconds.
WARDING OFF: Occurs when a player with the ball uses his free hand to direct an opponent.