The Boys' Game
Some Basic Rules:
Lacrosse is a contact game played by ten players: a goalkeeper, three defensemen, three midfielders and three attackmen. The object of the game is to shoot the ball into the opponent's goal. The team scoring the most goals wins.
(please refer to the Girls Lacrosse link for information on the girls' game).
- The game is usually divided into four 12-minute quarters. Each quarter is started with a face-off between two midfielders. There is also a face-off after every goal.
- Each team must keep at least four players, including the goalie, in its defensive half of the field and three in its offensive half Three players (midfielders) may roam the entire field.
- Lacrosse begins with a face-off. The ball is placed between the sticks of two squatting players at the center of the field. The official blows the whistle to begin play. Each face-off player tries to control the ball. The players in the wing areas can release; the other players must wait until one player has gained possession of the ball or the ball has crossed the goal line.
- Center face-offs are also used after a goal and at the start of each quarter.
- Players may run with the ball in the crosse, pass and catch the ball. Only the goalkeeper may touch the ball with his hands.
- A player may gain possession of the ball by dislodging it from an opponent's crosse with a stick check, which includes the controlled poking and slapping of the stick and gloved hands of the player in possession of the ball.
- Body checking (only at the Senior level) is permitted if the opponent has the ball. However, all contact must occur from the front or side, above the waist and below the shoulders. An opponent's crosse may also be stick checked if it is within five yards of a loose ball or ball in the air.
- If the ball or a player in possession of the ball goes out of bounds, the other team is awarded possession of the ball. If the ball goes out of bounds after an unsuccessful shot on goal, the player nearest to the ball when and where it goes out of bounds is awarded possession.
- An attacking player cannot enter the crease around the goal, but may reach in with his stick to scoop a loose ball.
For more rules, visit either www.uslacrosse.org or www.laxrules.com.
Three players who play on the offense side of the mid-stripe are called attack. They normally are the stronger ball handlers and shooters. Strong attack players can play and shoot with either hand. Attack players are not normally subbed out on the fly, and can usually play a full quarter in that position.
(Midfielders): Middies are normally the best passers and fastest players. Endurance is key, although the three middies normally sub out "on the fly" during play after one to three minutes. Face off specialists are a commodity and we will work on face offs all season long.
Defensive players are key. They are responsible for protecting the goalie, making strong passes up field, and be good communicators. Playing good defense is a learned skill, playing angles, stick checking and being physical are traits of a good defensive player.
The goalie is THE most important position on the field. Top teams at all levels have a goalie that is the quarterback, leader, and motivator. Goalies should have the mental strength to shake off a goal, make a strong outlet pass to start the fast break, and not be afraid of making the big save when needed.
The crosse (lacrosse stick) is made of wood, laminated wood or synthetic material, with a shaped net pocket at the end. The crosse must be an overall length of 40 - 42 inches for attackmen and midfielders, or 52 - 72 inches for defensemen. The head of the crosse must be 6.5 - 10 inches wide, except a goalie’s crosse which may be 10 - 12 inches wide. The pocket of a crosse shall be deemed illegal if the top surface of a lacrosse ball, when placed in the head of the crosse, is below the bottom edge of the side wall.
The ball must be made of solid rubber and can be white, yellow or orange. The ball is 7.75 - 8 inches in circumference and 5 - 5.25 ounces.
A protective helmet, equipped with face mask, chin pad and a cupped four point chin strap fastened to all four hookups, must be worn by all players. All helmets and face masks should be NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) approved.
The mouthpiece must be a highly visible color and is mandatory.
All players are required to wear protective gloves. The cutting or altering of gloves is prohibited.
Other Protective Equipment:
All players, with the exception of the goalkeeper, must wear shoulder pads. Arm pads are required and rib pads are strongly recommended, and often required, as are athletic supporters and protective cups for all players.
The goalkeeper is required to wear a throat protector and chest protector, in addition to a helmet, mouthpiece, gloves and a protective cup.
Attack Goal Area:
The area around the goal defined by the endline, the Goal Area Line and the two broken lines located 20 yards on either side of the goal. Once the offensive team crosses the midfield line, it has 10 seconds to move the ball into its attack goal area.
Contact with an opponent from the front - between the shoulders and waist - when the opponent has the ball or is within five yards of a loose ball. At no time should a player initiate or receive body contact with his head.
An area between the two team benches used to hold players who have been served with penalties, and through which substitutions "on the fly" are permitted directly from the sideline onto the field.
A call given by the goalie to tell each defender to find his man and call out his number.
A face-off maneuver executed by quickly pushing the back of the stick on top of the ball.
Running or passing the ball from the defensive half of the field to the offensive half of the field.
Cradling is one of the most basic lacrosse skills needed to play the game. Done right, cradling gives the player the ball control to move efficiently up the field, find an open space, make a pass and or put it in the net. We teach the youth players the basics and then work with them to learn to "feel" the ball in their pocket. Cradling is a skill that can be practiced almost anywhere and anytime. Check out the link to learn more about mastering the skill of cradling.
A circle around the goal with a radius of nine feet into which only defensive players may enter. Deffensive players may not take the ball into the crease.
The equipment used to throw, catch and carry the ball.
Defensive Clearing Area:
The area defined by a line drawn sideline to sideline 20 yards from the face of the goal. Once the defensive team gains possession of the ball in this area, it has 10 seconds to move the ball beyond the Goal Area Line. Once beyond the Goal Area Line, the defensive team may not pass or run the ball back into the Defensive Clearing Area.
Extra Man Offense (EMO):
A man advantage that results from a timeserving penalty by the other team.
A technique used to put the ball in play at the start of each quarter, or after a goal is scored. The players squat down and the ball is placed between their crosses.
A transition scoring opportunity in which the offense has at least a one-man advantage.
A loose ball on the playing field.
An aluminum, wooden or composite pole connected to the head of the crosse.
The plastic or wood part of the stick connected to the handle used to catch, throw and shoot.
Man Down Defense (MDD):
The situation that results from a timeserving penalty which causes the defense to play with at least a one man disadvantage.
The line which bisects the field of play.
A substitution made during play.
An offensive maneuver in which a stationary player attempts to block the path of a defender guarding another offensive player.
If a player commits a loose-ball technical foul or crease violation and an offended player may be disadvantaged by the immediate suspension of play, the official shall visually and verbally signal ³play on² and withhold the whistle until such time as the situation of advantage, gained or lost, has been completed.
The strung part of the head of the stick which holds the ball.
A face-off move in which a player sweeps the ball to the side.
The act of trying to prevent a team from clearing the ball from the offensive half to defensive half of the field.
The term used by an official to notify a penalized player in the box that he may re-enter the game occurs at the conclusion at a time-serving penalty.
Scooping is a technique used to gain possession of the ball when it is on the ground. The scoop happens as a player moves toward the ball. It is the primary ball recovery technique when a ball is loose and on the ground. We teach the youth players the basics and then work with them to increase the speed of the scoop so it becomes second nature. Scooping with both hands helps during a game to protect the ball and gain possession. This is particularly important for youth teams as the ball tends to be on the ground quite a bit as the players master their passing skills.
Check out the link to learn more about mastering the skill of scooping.
Any situation in which the defense is not positioned correctly, usually due to a loose ball or broken clear.