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LAX 101

Lacrosse 101 Basics

A standard lacrosse field is 110 x 60 yards. There is a crease, midfield line, and offensive 'box'.
Field Diagrams

The goal is six feet by six feet. Lacrosse is a high scoring game once fundamental skills are developed. The average score in a lacrosse game can easily reach the mid-teens. The women's game has been evolving from 'natural' boundaries (a more traditional game) to being more structured in recent years.


There are ten players on the field at a time. Three attackmen (attack), three midfielders (middies), three defensemen (long poles), and a goalie. A team usually runs 2-3 lines of middies and has 1-2 extra attack and defensemen ready to substitute in. Three players must remain on the offensive side of the field (may not cross the midfield line) and four players must remain on the defensive side of the field at all times (a goalie and/or defensemen may cross the midfield line if another player stays behind the mid-line).

There are four quarters and overtime is sudden-death. A face-off occurs at the start of every quarter and after every goal. If a goalie gains possession within the crease they have four seconds to either pass or carry the ball out of the crease themselves. The team then has 20 seconds to advance the ball past midfield. Once past midfield the team has ten seconds to get the ball within the attack area ("the box").

If a shot misses the goal the team closest to the end/side line where the ball goes out of bounds obtains possession after a brief stoppage of play. Defensive players (including the goalie) frequently race to the end line against a attackman after a shot misses the goal. Substitutions can take place during play and at certain stoppages of play. U9 and U11 do not allow body checking. U13 and U15 permit body checking. While the ball is on the ground a player may body check an opposing player within three yards of the ball. The body check must be to the front/side and above the waist and below the neck. Body checks are also allowed on any player with possession of the ball in their stick. NFHS (high school) and NCAA (college) allow body checking within five yards. Stick checks can be made as long as the attempt is to try to contact the opponents stick. Gloves are considered part of the stick. There are penalties (technical and personal fouls) that result in "man-ups" (similar to power plays in hockey) that range from 30 seconds to two minutes. Some fouls simply result in a change of possession. Personal fouls include slashing, tripping, cross checking, checking from behind, etc. Technical fouls include offside's, crease violations, pushing from behind, warding, etc.

To be completed at a later time.

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