WOMEN'S LACROSSE RULES:
Girls' lacrosse is a non-contact game played by 12 players: a goalkeeper, five attackers and six defenders. Seven field players may cross the restraining line and four stay behind. The object of the game is to shoot the ball into the opponent's goal. The team scoring the most goals wins.
Girls' and women's lacrosse begins with a draw, which is taken by the center position. The ball is placed between two horizontally held crosses (sticks), placed back-to-back, at the center of the field. At the sound of the whistle, the ball is flung into the air as the crosses are pulled up and away. The sticks must come up over the players' head. A draw is used to start each half and after each goal, and it takes place at the center of the field. Only five players from each team are permitted between restraining lines at the time of the draw. Once the signal for the draw occurs, the players behind each restraining line may cross over.
The collegiate game is 60 minutes long, with each half being 30 minutes. The high school girls game is 50 minutes long, with each half being 25 minutes. In both collegiate and high school play, teams are allowed two timeouts per game, only after a goal. The restraining line, a solid line 30 yards up field from each goal, extends across the width of the field. Solid/hard boundaries were added to the game in 2006. Total length can be from 110 to 140 yards, while total width can be from 60 to 70 yards. There must always be at least 10 yards of space between the goal line and the end line at each end of the field. There is a circle in the center of the field where the draw occurs. Two arcs are marked from the center of the goal line. The eightmeter arc with hash marks four meters away from each other bisect the arc. The 12-meter fan runs out from the goal line extended. Substitution area, used by both teams, is in front of the scorer's table and is indicated by two hash marks placed 5 yards on either side of the midfield line.
Seven attacking players only are allowed over the restraining line in their offensive end and only eight defenders are allowed over the line in their defensive end. The additional defender is the goalkeeper. Players may exchange places during play, but the player should have both feet over the line before the teammate enters.
When a whistle blows, all players must stop in place. Rough checks, and contact to the body with the crosse or body, are not allowed, however, incidental body contact may occur.
Field players may pass, catch or run with the ball in their crosse. A player may gain possession of the ball by dislodging it from an opponent's crosse with a check. A controlled check (crosse to crosse contact) is an attempt to knock the ball free. No player may reach across an opponent's body to check the handle of a crosse when she is even with or behind that opponent. A player may not protect the ball in her crosse by cradling so close to her body or face so as to make a legal, safe check impossible for the opponent.
All legal checks must be directed away from the player with the ball and cannot come withina 7" sphere of the head. No player is allowed to touch the ball with her hands except the goalkeeper when she is within the goal circle. A change of possession may occur if a player gains a distinct advantage by playing the ball off her body.
Fouls are categorized as major or minor, and the penalty for fouls is a "free position." For major fouls, the offending player is placed four meters behind the player taking the free position. For a minor foul, the offending player is placed four meters off, in the direction from which she approached her opponent before committing the foul, and play is resumed.
When a minor foul is committed in the 12-meter fan, the player with the ball has an indirect free position, in which case the player must pass first or be checked by an opponent before the team may shoot.
A slow whistle occurs when the offense has entered the critical scoring area and is on a scoring play and the defense has committed a major foul. A flag is displayed in the air but no whistle is sounded so that the offense has an opportunity to score a goal. If the offense is capable of getting a shot off, the flag is withdrawn. A whistle is blown when a goal is scored or the scoring opportunity is over. An immediate whistle is blown when a major foul, obstruction or shooting space occurs, which jeopardizes the safety of a player.
Girl's Lacrosse Equipment
WOMEN'S MAJOR AND MINOR FOULS:
Blocking: Occurs when contact is initiated by a defender who has moved into the path of an opponent with the ball without giving that player a chance to stop or change direction.
Charging: Occurs when a player charges, barges, shoulders or backs into an opponent, or pushes with the hand or body.
Dangerous Shot: Occurs when a player propels the ball toward the goal without control, or in the direction of a field player or the goalkeeper.
Misconduct: Occurs when a player conducts herself in a rough, dangerous or unsportsmanlike manner, persistently causes infringement of the rules, or deliberately endangers the safety of opposing players.
Slashing: Occurs when a defender swings her crosse at an opponent's crosse or body with deliberate viciousness or recklessness, whether or not the opponent's crosse or body is struck.
Three Seconds: A defender may not stand within the eight meter arc, unless she is closely marking an opponent, for more than three seconds.
Obstruction of Free Space: Occurs when a defender is not closely marking her opponent and is in the free space to goal of the attack player with the ball. The attack player must have the opportunity and be looking to shoot.
Goal Circle Fouls: Occurs when any part of an offensive or defensive player's body or crosse, except that of the goalkeeper or deputy, enters the goal circle.
Warding Off: Occurs when a player guards a ground ball with her crosse or foot, removes one hand from the crosse and uses her free arm to ward off an opponent, or checks an opponent's empty crosse while she is trying to get possession of the ball.
Empty Cross Check: A player may not check an opponent's cross unless the ball is in the opponent's cross.
Body Ball: A ball that hits a field player's body to her distinct advantage.
WHAT IS "SHOOTING SPACE" IN WOMEN'S LACROSSE:
Many fouls during a women’s lacrosse game arguably occurs in front of the goal cage. The critical scoring area is considered as an area of 15 meters to the front and side and nine meters behind the goal circle. An eight meter arc and a 12 meter fan are marked within the critical scoring area. A defender is not allowed in this eight meter arc for more than three seconds unless she is tightly (tightly meaning within a stick’s reach) marking an attacker.
When an attacker looks to shoot within the critical scoring area, no defender, who is not tightly marking another player, may stand in the path between the shooter and the goal cage. However, the defender may put her stick in this shooting space in an attempt to block the shot. If the defender is caught in shooting space, the whistle is immediately blown. The attacker lines up on the closest hash mark on the eight meter arc for a direct free position as the offender goes behind her four meters away (on the 12 meter fan). The attacker may shoot, pass, or run with the ball.
If a defender is caught in shooting space, this still does not permit an attacker to shoot the ball. The attacker may be carded for an uncontrolled or dangerous shot.
It happens in almost every women's lacrosse game.
"What was that call?! Why does she get to shoot from that spot with no defenders near her?!"
Shooting space is widely regarded as one of the most difficult rules in women's lacrosse to understand and officiate. Simply put, the shooting space foul prohibits the defender from running into the path of the shooter. However, it is always the shooter’s responsibility to shoot safely.
Watch the 10-minute video below to gain a better understanding of this commonly misunderstood foul, put in place to preserve the safety of the game. [click on link below]
WOMEN'S PLAYER'S POSITIONS:
The first home's responsibility is to score. Located in front of the goal, the first home must continually cut toward the goal for a shot, or cut away from the goal to make room for another player. She should have excellent stickwork.
The second home is considered the playmaker. She should be able to shoot well from every angle and distance from the goal.
The third home's responsibility is to transition the ball from defense to attack. She should be able to feed the ball to other players and fill in wing areas.
The wings are also responsible for transitioning the ball from defense to attack. Wings should have speed and endurance and be ready to receive the ball from the defense and run or pass the ball.
The point's responsibility is to mark first home. She should be able to stick check and look to intercept passes.
The coverpoint's responsibility is to mark second home. She should be able to receive clears, run fast and have good footwork.
The third man's responsibility is to mark third home. She should be able to intercept passes, clear the ball, run fast and have good footwork.
The center's responsibility is to control the draw and play both defense and attack. She should have speed and endurance.
The wings are responsible for marking the attack wings and bringing the ball into the attack area. Wings should have speed and endurance.
The goalkeeper's responsibility is to protect the goal. She should have good stickwork, courage and confidence.