this sport life


< back to the list of sports


Playing the ball Players and officials
Fouls and misconduct Equipment

Lacrosse field

The Lacrosse field (men's game)


Objective: Two teams of ten players try to get the ball into the opponents goal by carrying, throwing, or batting it with the crosse (the stick with a net on the end).

There are four periods of 20-25 minutes each. At the end of each quarter, the teams change ends. There are intervals of two, ten, and three minutes between the quarters.

Each goal scores one point. The winning team is the team with the most goals.


A toss decides the direction of play - the winner of the toss decides which goal to aim for. Play is started with a face off (or face). The referee places the ball on the ground at the centre of the field and one player from each team stands or crouches facing the other on his own side of the line.

Both players rest their sticks on the centre line, on either side of the ball, and when the referee calls 'set' then blows the whistle, both players attempt to get the ball with their sticks.

No other player may stand within 9.1 metres (10 yards) at this point in the game. The face off can be used to restart play in any part of the field, except within 18.2 metres (20 yards) of the goal line, or 6 metres (6.5 yards) of a boundary. A face off is used at the centre spot at the start of each quarter and after a goal is scored.

Playing the ball

Players may pass, throw, catch, or carry the ball in their sticks, and roll or kick it. A goalkeeper may touch the ball with his hand, but only to deflect a shot within the goal crease. He cannot catch or throw it.

A player must be gripping the stick with at least one hand to be involved in the game or play the ball.

A player can 'take out' an opponent, usually by charging and hitting with the shoulder, as long as the opponent has possession of the ball or is within 2.7 metres (9 feet) of a loose (unpossessed) ball.

The contact must be above the knees and below the neck, and not from behind. A player may also check an opponent's stick with his own if that player has the ball, or is within 2.7 metres of a loose ball.


A goal is scored when the ball completely crosses the goal line. It can be scored by a defender, and will count for the opposing team. A goal can be scored by being kicked into the goal.

A goal cannot be scored:

- After an official has sounded the whistle.

- After the period has ended.

- If offside applies.

- If part of the attacker is inside the goal crease.

- If the attacking team has too many players on the field.

Out of play

The ball is out of play if it, or the player in possession of it, crosses a boundary line (lines around the edge of the field). Possession is given to the team whose player(s) were not the last to touch the ball before it went out of play, except for out of play after a shot at goal. In this case, possession is awarded to the player of either side nearest the ball when it went out.

The game is restarted with a free play. A player from the team that did not touch the ball last stands outside the boundary lines and puts the ball back into play. All other players must be at least 2.74 metres (9 feet) from the player taking the free play.


If the team does not have its players properly distributed throughout the field, it is offside. If a team has four or more players off the field in the penalty box, it will not be penalized for being offside. In this case, the team would have to keep three players in its own half, and the rest in its own.

Goal crease

The goal crease is the circle surrounding each goal area. It has a radius of 2.74 metres (9 feet).

No attacking player is allowed in the goal crease at any time. If he touches the crease with any part of the body, his side loses possession.

Attacking players can reach into the goal crease to catch or play a loose ball. If the goalkeeper gets the ball while in the crease, his stick cannot be checked by any opponent.

Any defending player, including the goalkeeper, can only remain in the crease with the ball for up to four seconds. No defending player can enter the crease with the ball.

Fouls and misconduct

A player may not:

- Charge an opponent in a reckless or dangerous manner.

- Hold or trip an opponent.

- Interfere with an opponent's stick (unless it is a legal check).

- Strike an opponent with the stick.

- Obstruct or impede an opponent (except by a legal body check or hold)
For example, not moving out of an opponents way, moving to obstruct is different.

Throw the stick.

Wave or hold the stick in front of an opponent.


Time penalties are awarded for fouls. For technical (minor) fouls, the ball is either given to the opposing team, or the offending player is suspended for 30 seconds.

For personal fouls, players are suspended for 1 to 3 minutes. For expulsion fouls, serious offences, players may be suspended for the remainder of the game.

Players and officials

One head referee, two additional referees, a chief bench official, a timekeeper, two penalty timekeepers for each team, and a scorer for each team.

Each team will have a goalkeeper, and three players each in attack, midfield, and defence. There may also be up to 13 substitutes.


The pitch is rectangular, 100.58 metres (110 yards) long, 54.86 metres (60 yards) wide, lines marked in white. Soft flexible cones are placed at each corner, at each end of the substitution gate (the two points either side of the centre line), and by the bench area directly opposite.

The goals have a pyrimadal net behind them, and two posts and a crossbar holding it up. The posts are 1.83 metres (6 feet) apart, and the crossbar is the same height from the ground. The net extends to 13.72 metres (15 yards) back at the furthest point of the pyramid shape.

This is made of white, yellow, black, or orange India rubber, 19.69 to 20.32 centimetres (7.75 to 8 inches) in circumference, and 142 to 149 grams (5 to 5.25 ounces) in weight, and should bounce between 1.1 and 1.3 metres (44 to 51 inches) when dropped onto concrete.

All players wear protective gloves and a helmet with a chinstrap and face mask. Jerseys are the same colour for the whole team, and have numbers of the players on the back.

Sticks (Crosse)
The sticks are between 101.6 and 182.8 centimetres (40 to 71 inches) long, and between 10.1 and 25.4 centimetres (4 to 10 inches) wide at the head (the end with the net). A short crosse is between 101.6 and 106.68 centimetres (40 to 42 inches) long. A long crosse is between 132.08 and 182.88 centimetres (52 to 72 inches) long.

There are only four long crosses allowed per team at any one time, not including the goalkeeper's crosse, which may be up to 38.1 centimetres (15 inches) wide, and any length.

- - -

back to list of sports


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Original Source