There are three levels of rules for youth girls lacrosse; A, B and C. Level C is the most relaxed allowing for deeper stick pockets, shorter halves, etc. The youth league (fifth and sixth graders) plays with level C rules.
Level A is the most like the game played at by high school and college players. The middle school league (seventh and eighth graders) in WA State adheres to level A rules.
LENGTH OF GAME
Middle and high school games are two 25-minute halves. The only time the clock stops is after every goal and on any whistle within the last two minutes of each half. If a team has a four-goal advantage the clock will run after goals.
PLAYERS AND POSITIONS
There are 11 field players plus a goalie for each team.
The traditional names for these positions appear in the following diagram:
The lines on either side of the centerline are called restraining lines. Only seven field players from each team are allowed into the offensive side of their restraining line. This prevents congestion in front of the goal. First, second, and third home, also known as “line attack”, have roles that are primarily offensive; shooting on goal and feeding cutters. They will typically stay behind their opponents restraining line. The attack wings, center, and defense wings, also known as midfielders, are counted on to play equal parts offense and defense and they run the length of the field. The point, cover point and third man, also called line defense, are defensive specialists. They tend to stay behind the restraining line when the ball is on offense.
The goal cage is 6’ by 6’. The circle around the goal is 8.5’ in diameter and is called the crease. Field players must treat this line as a cylinder and cannot break the plane of this cylinder with their bodies or sticks. The goalie is allowed to cover the ball when the ball is inside the crease. If the goalie leaves the crease with the ball in her stick, she may not step back in while still in possession. If the goalie leaves the crease a field player may go into the crease and take her place if her team is in possession of the ball. This deputy (the unpadded field player’s new name in goal) is not allowed to block shots.
The other lines around the goal are known as the 12-meter fan and the 8-meter arc. Major fouls by the defense occurring within its 8-meter arc result in a free possession for the offense. The player who is fouled moves to her nearest hash mark on the arc. The defensive player who committed the foul must stand on the 12-meter line behind the ball carrier. The arc is cleared of all other players. Any player who is within 4 meters of the player taking the free position must move to be 4 meters away. Upon the ref’s whistle, the player with the ball is allowed to shoot, pass or maintain possession.
The center circle is used for the draw, which happens after every goal and is done in a standing position with the ball placed between the backside of the two players’ sticks.
The draw takes place at midfield to start each half and after every goal. The ball must go higher than the midfielder’s head or else there is a redraw. Besides the players conducting the draw, 4 players from either team may stand on the edge of the circle. The other players must be behind their respective restraining lines. Players may move before the whistle but must remain outside the circle or behind the restraining line. A team with a 4 goal or more deficit is awarded an indirect free position at the center of the field in lieu of a draw. The opposing center must be 4 meters away at a 45° angle. The center with the ball may not score without first passing the ball.
Occasionally you will see a throw. This is used when a draw has not been legal or when there are offsetting fouls (one by each team) on the field.
STAND ON WHISTLE
All players must stop and stand still when the whistle blows to stop play. A player moving after the whistle can be called for a foul and change of possession awarded.
Substitution is unlimited and may occur at any time. Substitutions must check in at the scorer/timer table and enter the field through the team substitution area. The player coming off the field must completely exit the field before her substitute may run onto the field.
There are two types of fouls: Major and Minor. Major fouls usually pertain to offenses that are potentially dangerous. Players may not use their sticks recklessly or impede the progress of an opponent. Attackers may not hold or cradle the ball directly in front of her face. Players may not push, trip or back into an opponent with their bodies or set illegal picks.
Some major fouls occur only within the 8-meter arc. A defender cannot play zone within this arc for more than 3 seconds; they must mark up and get within an extended stick’s length of an offensive player. Likewise a defensive player cannot be within the shooting space of an attacker, (defined as the cone between a ball handler in the act of shooting and the goal), unless they are within a stick’s length of the attacker.
Minor fouls are things like checking an empty stick, covering a ground ball with a stick, (raking), or guarding the ball with ones feet. Players may not ward off with a free arm or play the ball with their hand or body. A minor foul by the defense that occurs within the 12-meter fan results in an indirect free position, which means the player with the ball must pass the ball before a shot can be taken on goal. The player who committed the foul is moved 4 meters away behind the player with the ball. A minor foul occurring with in the 8-meter arc also results in an indirect free position but the defensive player committing the foul is placed on the 8 meter arc directly in front of the player with the ball who is positioned on the 12 meter fan.
When type of foul is committed outside of the arc or fan, (the critical shooting area), change of possession is awarded and the player committing the foul must stand 4 meters behind the player with the ball.
Checking is the striking of an opponent’s stick head in an effort to dislodge the ball. Stick checks should be controlled, short, quick taps. There should not be a backswing. A defender may never check toward the head or body. The modified version of checking is employed at grades 7 and 8 A defender may not check a stick head that is above the opponent’s shoulder. To counter the advantage this gives the player with the ball, a 3-second count is employed when the defender has both hands on her stick and is in good position to check a stick that is above the ball handler’s shoulder. If the player with the ball doesn’t reposition her stick away from the defender or pass the ball by the end of the 3-second count, it is considered a minor foul and possession is awarded to the defender.
WOMEN'S LACROSSE RULES:
Women's lacrosse is a non-contact game played by 12 players: a goalkeeper, five attackers and six defenders. The object of the game is to shoot the ball into the opponent's goal. The team scoring the most goals wins.
Women's lacrosse begins with a draw, which is taken by the center position. The ball is placed between two horizontally held crosses (sticks) at the center of the field. At the sound of the whistle, the ball is flung into the air as the crosses are pulled up and away. A draw is used to start each half and after each goal, and it takes place at the center of the field.
The collegiate game is 60 minutes long, each half being 30 minutes. The high school girl's game is 50 minutes long, each half being 25 minutes. In both collegiate and high school play, teams are allowed two timeouts per game (including overtime).
There are visual guidelines on the side of the field that are in place to provide a consistent indicator to the officials of what is considered the playing field. The minimum dimensions for a field is 120 yards by 70 yards. Additional markings on the field include a restraining line located 30 yards from each goal line, which creates an area where only a maximum of seven offensive players and eight defensive players (including the goalkeeper) are allowed; a 12-meter fan, which officials use to position players after fouls; and an arc in front of each goal, considered the critical scoring area, where defenders must be at least within a stick's-length of their attacker.
The boundaries are determined by the natural restrictions of the field. An area of 120 yards by 70 yards is desirable.
When a whistle blows, all players must stop in place. When a ball is ruled out of play, the player closest to the ball gets possession when play is resumed. Loss of possession may occur if a player deliberately runs or throws the ball out of play.
Rough checks, and contact to the body with the crosse or body, are not allowed.
Field players may pass, catch or run with the ball in their crosse. A player may gain possession of the ball by dislodging it from an opponent's crosse with a check. A check is a controlled tap with a crosse on an opponent's crosse in an attempt to knock the ball free. The player must be one step in front of her opponent in order to check. No player may reach across an opponent's body to check the handle of a crosse when she is even with or behind that opponent. A player may not protect the ball in her crosse by cradling so close to her body or face so as to make a legal, safe check impossible for the opponent.
All legal checks must be directed away from a seven-inch sphere or ""bubble"" around the head of the player. No player is allowed to touch the ball with her hands except the goalkeeper when she is within the goal circle. A change of possession may occur if a player gains a distinct advantage by playing the ball off her body.
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, 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.
A slow whistle occurs when the offense has entered the critical scoring area and the defense has committed a major foul. A flag is thrown but no whistle is sounded so that the offense has an opportunity to score a goal. A whistle is blown when a goal is scored or the scoring opportunity is over. An immediate whistle is blown when a major foul, obstruction or shooting space occurs, which jeopardizes the safety of a player.
Special equipment is required to play the game of lacrosse in a way that protects the player from most injuries. The equipment is mandatory for the players for all practIces or games.
Only equipment DESIGNED for lacrosse and approved by the rules is authorized. Other sports equipment including hockey equipment or football equipment CANNOT BE USED!!! This is for the player's safety.
Both "Sling It! Lacrosse" and "Lacrosse Monkey" offer starter packs of gear at reasonable prices.
The Crosse - The crosse (lacrosse stick) is made of wood, laminated wood, or synthetic material, with a shaped net pocket at the end. Overall length of 35 1/2 - 43 1/4 inches. The head of the crosse must be seven to nine inches wide. The pocket of the stick must be strung traditionally; no mesh is allowed. The top of the ball when dropped in the pocket must remain even with or above the side walls. The goalkeeper's crosse may be 35 1/2 - 48 inches long. The head of the crosse may be mesh and up to 12 inches wide. Click here to view what sticks are legal.
Mouthpiece - must be a professionally manufactured tooth and mouth protector which is to include an "occlusal (protecting and separating the biting surfaces) and a labial (protecting the teeth and supporting structures) portion that covers the posterior teeth with adequate thickness." The mouthpiece must be a highly visible color, NO WHITE OR CLEAR.
Goalies - wear a helmet with throat guard, gloves, and chest protector.
Optional but highly recommended - Girls can wear thin, close-fitting gloves, nose guards, and soft head gear.
GIRLS LACROSSE TERMS
Clear: Any action taken by a player within the goal circle to pass or carry the ball out of the goal circle.
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.
Crosse Checking: Stick to stick contact consisting of a series of controlled taps in an attempt to dislodge the ball from the crosse.
Deputy: A player who enters the goal circle when the goalie is out of the goal circle and her team is in possession of the ball.
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.
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.
Grounded: Refers to any part of the goalkeeper's or deputy's body touching the ground for support outside of the goal circle when she attempts to play the ball from inside the goal circle.
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.
Penalty Lane: The path to the goal that is cleared when a free position is awarded to the attacking team.
Scoring Play: A continuous effort by the attacking team to move the ball toward the goal and to complete a shot on goal.
Stand: All players, except the goalkeeper in her goal circle, must remain stationary following the sound of any whistle.
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.