Men’s Lacrosse Field Positions
- ATTACK: The attackman’s responsibility is to score goals. He generally restricts his play to the offensive end.
- MIDFIELD: The midfielder’s responsibility is to cover the entire field playing both offense and defense.
- DEFENSE: The defenseman’s responsibility is to defend the goal. He generally restricts his play to the defensive end of the field.
- GOAL: The goalie’s responsibility is to protect the goal and stop the opposing team from scoring.
Men’s Lacrosse Rules
Men’s 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.
- 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.
- Generally, high school games are 48 minutes long, with 12 minute quarters. Each team is given a two minute break between the first and second quarters, and the third and fourth quarters. Half-time is ten minutes long.
- Teams change sides between periods. Each team is permitted two time-outs each half. The team winning the coin toss chooses the end of the field it wants to defend first.
- Men’s 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 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.
Men’s Lacrosse Personal Fouls
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.
- SLASHING: Occurs when a player’s stick contacts an opponent in any area other than the stick or gloved hand on the stick.
- TRIPPING: Occurs when a player obstructs his opponent at or below the waist with the crosse, hands, arms, feet or legs.
- CROSS CHECKING: Occurs when a player uses the handle of his crosse to make contact with an opponent.
- UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT: Occurs when any player or coach commits an act which is considered unsportsmanlike by an official, including taunting, obscene language or gestures, and arguing.
- UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS: Occurs when a player strikes an opponent with his stick or body using excessive or violent force.
- ILLEGAL CROSSE: Occurs when a player uses a crosse that does not conform to required specifications. A crosse may be found illegal if the pocket is too deep or if the crosse was altered to gain an advantage.
- ILLEGAL BODY CHECKING: Occurs when any of the following actions take place:
- Body checking of an opponent who is not in possession of the ball or within five yards of a loose ball;
- Avoidable body check of an opponent alter he has passed or shot the ball;
- Body checking of an opponent from the rear or at or below the waist;
- Body checking of an opponent by a player in which contact is made above the shoulders of the opponent. A body check must be below the neck, and both hands of the player applying the body check must remain in contact with his crosse.
- ILLEGAL GLOVES: Occurs when a player uses gloves that do not conform to required specifications. A glove will be found illegal if the fingers and palms are cut out of the gloves, or if the glove has been altered in a way that compromises its protective features.
Men’s Lacrosse Technical Fouls
The penalty for a technical foul is a thirty second suspension if a team is in possession of the ball when the foul is committed, or possession of the ball to the team that was fouled if there was no possession when the foul was committed.
- HOLDING: Occurs when a player impedes the movement of an opponent or an opponent’s crosse.
- INTERFERENCE: Occurs when a player interferes in any manner with the free movement of an opponent, except when that opponent has possession of the ball, the ball is in flight and within five yards of the players, or both players are within five yards of a loose ball.
- OFF SIDES: Occurs when a team does not have at least four players on its defensive side of the midfield line or at least three players on its offensive side of the midfield line.
- PUSHING: Occurs when a player thrusts or shoves a player from behind.
- SCREENING: Occurs illegally when an offensive player moves into and makes contact with a defensive player with the purpose of blocking him from the man he is defending.
- STALLING: Occurs when a team intentionally holds the ball. without conducting normal offensive play, with the intent of running times off the clock.
- WARDING OFF: Occurs when a player in possession of the ball uses his free hand or arm to hold, push or control the direction of an opponent’s stick check.
Men’s Lacrosse Referee Calls
Men’s Lacrosse FAQ
- What is the object of lacrosse?
- The object is to put the ball into your opponent’s goal.
- How does the game begin?
- A lacrosse game begins with a face off at the midfield line at the X spot in the center of the field.
- What is a face off?
- A face off consists of the two center players at the mid-field line crouching down and placing their sticks on the ground so that the heads of the sticks have their backs to each other. The official then places the ball on the ground between the heads of the sticks, steps back and blows a whistle which signals to the players they can fight for possession of the ball.
- When are face offs used?
- At the beginning of a game, at the beginning of each quarter and after each goal is scored
- How many men are there on a lacrosse team?
- Squads range from 25 to 30 men normally.
- How many men are there on the field for one team?
- There are ten men consisting of one goaltender, three defense men, three midfielders, and three attack men.
- What are the goaltender’s special privileges?
- He uses the largest stick on the field with a maximum width of 12 inches. He is the only one allowed to use a stick this large. He cannot be checked if he has gained possession of the ball within the crease are nor is an opponent allowed in the crease area.
- What is defined as “in the crease area”?
- A goaltender is considered in the crease as long as he has one foot on or within the 18-foot diameter circle. If he lifts his foot up and puts t back down while in the possession of the ball, it is called “out and in” and he loses possession of the ball.
- How long can a goaltender stay in the crease with the ball?
- A goaltender has four seconds to step out of the crease or throw the ball to a teammate. If he does not do this, he loses possession of the ball.