Lacrosse Rules and Laws

Lacrosse is a contact sport that is played by teams of ten players. There are three attackers, three midfielders, three defensemen and a goalie. Four players including the goalie must always remain in the defensive half of the field and three players are required to always be in the offensive end of the field. Games played at the collegiate level are 60 minutes long and are divided into four 15 minute quarters. At the high school level the game normally has four 12 minute quarters or 48 total minutes. Times for youth games are generally between 32 and 48 minutes depending upon age and skill level. Between quarters there are two minutes of rest and half time is usually ten minutes in length.

Teams change side at each half and there are time outs allotted to both teams. The game is started with a face off with the ball place between two opposing player's sticks that squat down in the center of the field. Once the whistle is blown each of the two players tries to take control of the ball. These center face offs are used at the start of each quarter and after each goal.

Checking is allowed once there is possession of the ball in order to try and take control away from the opponent. Players are allowed to take the ball away by knocking their sticks against those of the opponent including hitting their hands.

There is body checking allowed if the opponent is in possession of the ball or within five yards of a ball that is loose. All checking is from the side and front and no pushing with the stick or body is permitted from behind and only from the shoulders down to the waist.

If the team shots the ball out of bounds or losses possession out of bounds the ball is awarded to the opposing team. There is a crease around the goal that is made to protect the goalie and an opposing player cannot enter the area but can reach his stick into the area to scoop up a loose ball. There are three officials that cover the field of play: umpire, referee and field judge.

There are a number of different personal fouls and technical fouls with personal fouls costing a player to lose one to three minutes of play and losing possession of the ball. If a player receives five personal fouls during the game he is ejected from the game. A technical foul is a thirty second suspension from play or a loss of possession.


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