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Playing the ball Players and officials
Ball rules Equipment
Fouls and misconduct

Lacrosse field

The Lacrosse field (women's game)


Objective: Two teams of twelve 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.

Unlike men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse is a non-contact sport.


A toss decides the direction of play - the winner of the toss decides which goal to aim for. Play is started with a draw. The crosses (sticks) are held back to back in the air, above hip height and parallel to and above the centre line.

The umpire places the ball between the crosses, says 'ready' and then blows the whistle. The players then draw their crosses up and away. The ball must go higher than the heads of those two players. All other players must stay outside the centre circle until the whistle blows.

Playing the ball

Women players may throw, pass, catch or carry the ball in their sticks, and roll it. Kicking the ball is not allowed. A player must be gripping her stick with at least one hand to be involved in the game, or play the ball in any way.

A goalkeeper may catch the ball in her hand, but must put it in the stick immediately and must play it within 10 seconds.

Goal crease

The goal circles are the circles surrounding each goal. The line is the goal crease.

Only the goalkeeper or a replacement may enter the goal crease (on the ground and in the air). The goalkeeper's stick can only be checked if it is outside the crease. The maximum time the ball can be in the crease is 10 seconds.


A goal is scored when the ball passes completely over the goal line. It may be scored by a defender, and would count for the attacking team. It cannot be deflected by the foot or leg of an attacker. A goal cannot be scored:

- After an official has whistled.

- After the period has ended.

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

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

Except after a goal, when the whistle blows all players must 'stand' and stay where they are on the field. This is called the 'stand rule'.

Ball rules

Out of bounds

The out of bounds area will be decided by the umpires and captains before the match. If a ball goes out of bounds it is given to the nearest player to the ball regardless of the last team in possession, except for deliberately putting the ball out of bounds.

In this case, a minor foul would be awarded to the opposing team. The player who gets the ball must be given at least 1 metre (3 feet) of clear space.

Neutral throw

The umpire stands facing away from the centre of the field, 5 to 10 metres (16 to 32 feet) away from the players, and throws the ball with a short high throw so that the players take it as they move in.

A neutral throw would restart play if:

- Two players are the same distance from the ball when it goes out of play, or play is stopped.

- The ball gets stuck in clothing or a stick.

- Two opposing players commit fouls at the same time.

- The ball goes into the net off a non-player.

- An unintentional incident has stopped play.

- Play is stopped for any other reason.

Sticks and bodies must be 1 metre (3 feet) apart for a throw, and play cannot restart within 8 metres (26 feet) of the (goal) crease line, or within 4 metres (13 feet) of the agreed boundaries. Similarly, the throw cannot be taken from within those areas.

Fouls and misconduct

For major fouls such as body contact, dangerous play, severe misconduct, or repeated minor fouls, a 'free position' is given. The player who has been fouled is given the ball, and all other players must be at least 4 metres (13 feet) away. On the whistle, the player may pass, run, or shoot.

For a minor foul, such a tackling a stick when the opponent is about the receive the ball, playing with an illegal stick and kicking the ball, a 'free position' is awarded to the non-offending team.

A player sent off may be replaced by another team member, but only after three minutes has passed. For sending offs, the umpire will show the offending player a yellow card as a warning, or a red card to send them off immediately. Two yellow cards also equal one red.

Players and officials

Three umpires, one at each end, and the third in the centre. There may also be a scorer and a timekeeper.

Four players can be substituted per team in each half, with unlimited changes at half time. Any player substituted off may return to play, as long as they were not sent off by the umpire. If after four substitutions, a team loses a player, they must continue with less players.


The pitch has no set boundaries for the women's game, although an area of 110 metres by 60 metres (120 by 66 yards) is often used. There is a goal circle at each end of the field, with a radius of 2.6 metres (3 yards) and a centre circle with a radius of 3 metres.

The goals have a pyrimadal net behind them, and two posts and a crossbar holding it up. The posts and crossbar are made of wood or metal and painted white. 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 rubber, any single colour, 20 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 from a height of 1.8 metres (6 feet).

Sticks (Crosse)
Made of any material except metal, only head is allowed to made of metal. The sticks are between 90 centimetres and 110 centimetres (35 to 43 inches) long, and between 18 and 23 centimetres (10 to 12 inches) wide at the head (the end with the net). The depth of the pocket must be just enough to catch and hold the ball.

The goalkeeper's crosse is longer than the field player crosses. The goalkeeper crosse may be between 90 centimetres and 110 centimetres (35 to 43 inches) long, and a maximum width at the head of 30 centimetres (12 inches). The depth of the pocket can be unlimited.

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