Men’s lacrosse is a contact game played by ten players: a goalkeeper, three defensemen, three midfielders and three attackers. The object of the game is to shoot the ball into the opponent’s goal. The team scoring the most goals wins.
In vs out
- inside the line – is good
- over the line (hovering) – is still good
- on the line – is out / a turn-over of the ball to the opposing team
On-side vs offside
- 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.
- The crease is the circle around the goal.
- An attacking player cannot enter the crease around the goal he is attacking but may reach in with his stick to scoop a loose ball. The defending players and the goalkeeper may enter the crease around the goal.
- in the case where the attacking player shoots, the ball breaks the vertical plane of the goal first, he enters into the crease afterwards. He is awarded the goal.
- Generally, games are 60-80 minutes long, with 15-20 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 restraining line.
- Center face-offs are also used after a goal and at the start of each quarter.
Checking the stick & body
- 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 or within 2.7 m / 3 yard radius of 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 3 yards (2.7m) of a loose ball or ball in the air.
Technical vs personal fouls
- technical fouls are minor infractions such as stalling, offside, pushing from behind, holding, warding, leaving the penalty box early, etc. technical fouls are 30 seconds long if a penalty is served (and are releasable/ re-enter the game after a goal is scored) If not, it is a simple award of the ball to the opposing team.
- Illegal pick is when an attacking player move into & make contact with a defensive player with the purpose of blocking that defensive player from the man he is marking. For a pick to be legal, the attacking player must set both his feet, still and motionless before making contact with the defensive player.
- a player in possession of the ball may use his hand, arm, and any part of his body to protect the ball when a defender tries to check his crosse. When his hand, arm, or body is used to hold, push, or control the direction of the movement of the checker’s crosse or body, this is a technical foul – a hold or warding off.
- personal fouls are of a more serious kind usually resulting 1 to 3 minutes of penalty of the offending player inside the penalty box. The referee’s diagnosis of the severity will determine the time served. Illegal body-check or a slash is a typical personal foul committed. Personal fouls are non-releasable after goal(s) are made during the time served.
- the referee will determine if a checking with a crosse is legal/illegal by judging by the checking player’s control of the crosse. If little control is demonstrated, this is viewed as reckless resulting in a penalty.
Shot on goal
- 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.
- if a shot on goal and the ball ricochets of another attacking player’s stick and goes out of bounds, if that attacking player is the closest to it, the ball is still awarded to the attacking team.