Rules of the Game
Your daughter wants to play lacrosse...and you have never seen a game before. Either way, you need to brush up on the rules, fast!
Here is a “Crash Course to Lacrosse.” It's divided into 2 parts for your convenience.
Part 1: 10 Girls Youth Lacrosse Rules You Must Know
10. In girls youth lacrosse, both the home and away team must provide a sideline manager. The role of the sideline manager is to regulate and control the actions of the spectators who are not conducting themselves in a proper manner.
9. The equipment for field players includes: a lacrosse stick, protective goggles and a mouth guard (cannot be white or clear). The equipment for goalies includes: helmet, mouth guard, throat protector, chest protector, goalie shorts, goalie gloves, shin guards and a goalie stick.
8. All players must stop when the referee blows the whistle. Unless instructed by the referee, players cannot move again until the next whistle is blown.
7. Substitution is unlimited. Substitutions can happen any time during play, after goals, and at halftime. If the substitution happens during play, the substitute must wait in the substitution box (the area in front of the score keepers table) until the teammate she is replacing has come off the field.
6. Grade 3/4 teams play on a 60-70 yd field in length x 30-40 yds wide with 7 field players and a goalie. Grades 5 - 7 teams play on a 100 yds. x 70 yds field with 11 field players and a goalie.
5. Modified checking at the Grade 7 and above level (below the shoulder).
4. With modified checking, a players is not allowed to hold the ball for more than 3 seconds when closely guarded/marked and the defense has both hands on her stick and is in position to legally check were checking allowed. This is true for all levels and is considered a minor foul. If the player with the ball takes the stick to the other side of her body and thus away from the defender making a legal check impossible, the 3-second count would be over. If the defender adjusts her position to where a legal check could be made, or the stick is brought back to a checkable position, the count starts again. The umpire will give an audible 3-second count.
3. If score is kept, a free position will be taken (instead of a draw) at the center by the team with fewer goals if a four or more goal differential exists. The player taking the free position may run or pass, but may not shoot until another player has played the ball.
2. 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 to the side, 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 critical scoring area, the player with the ball has an indirect free position, in which case the player must pass first. For the Grade 3/4 level, all free positions are indirect, meaning the player with the ball may never shoot directly from the free position.
1. Girls lacrosse is a non-contact sport.
Part II: Lacrosse Terms
Catching: The act of receiving a passed ball with the crosse.
Checking: The act of using a controlled tap with a crosse on an opponent's crosse in an attempt to dislodge the ball.
Clearing: Any action taken by a player within the goal circle to pass or carry the ball out of the goal circle
Closely Guarded: player with the ball has an opponent within a sticks length.
Cradling: The act of moving the stick from side to side causing the ball to remain in the upper part of the pocket webbing.
Critical Scoring Area: An area 15 meters in front of and to each side of the goal and nine meters behind the goal. An eight-meter arc and 12 meter fan are marked in the area.
Crosse (Stick): The equipment used to throw, catch, check and carry the ball.
Cutting: A movement by a player without the ball in anticipation of a pass.
Draw: A technique to start or resume play by which a ball is placed in between the sticks of two standing players and drawn up and away.
Dodging: The act of suddenly shifting direction in order to avoid an opponent.
Eight-Meter Arc: A semi-circular area in front of the goal used for the administration of major fouls. A defender may not remain in this area for more than three seconds unless she is within a stick's length of her opponent.
Free Position: An opportunity awarded to the offense when a major or minor foul is committed by the defense. All players must move four meters away from the player with the ball. When the whistle sounds to resume play, the player may run, pass or shoot the ball.
Free Space To Goal: A cone-shaped path extending from each side of the goal circle to the attack player with the ball. A defense player may not, for safety reasons, stand alone in this area without closely marking an opponent.
Goal Circle: The circle around the goal with a radius of 2.6 meters (8.5 feet). No player's stick or body may “break” the cylinder of the goal circle.
Ground Ball: The act of scooping a loose ball with a crosse.
Indirect Free Position: An opportunity awarded to the offense when a minor foul is committed by the defense inside the 12 meter fan. When the whistle sounds to resume play, the player may run or pass, but may not shoot until a defender or one of her teammates has played the ball.
Marking: Being within a stick's length of an opponent.
Passing: The act of throwing the ball to a teammate with the crosse.
Penalty Lane: The path to the goal that is cleared when a free position is awarded to the attacking team.
Shooting: The act of throwing the ball at the goal with the crosse in an attempt to score.
Sphere: An imaginary area, approximately 18 cm (seven inches) which surrounds a player's head. No stick checks toward the head are allowed to break the sphere.
12 Meter Fan: A semi-circle in front of the goal used for the administration of minor fouls.
Warning Cards: A yellow card presented by an umpire to a player is a warning which indicates that she will next receive a red card and be suspended from further participation if she continues to play dangerously and/or conduct herself in an unsportsmanlike manner. A green card is presented by an umpire to the team captain indicating a team caution for delay of game.