The rules of lacrosse obviously change depending on the age, gender and where it is played. Things can get out of hand pretty quickly if there are no officials or rules.
Rules of Lacrosse – Box Lacrosse
- Five players and a goalie on each side, players may only use a stick that is between 40 and 46 inches.
- 10 seconds to clear the defensive half of the floor
- 30 second shot clock
- For substitutions, players change on the fly. There is usually a box in front of each bench called the substitution box where players change through. A player can’t enter the floor if the teammate is not in the substitution box.
- Minor Penalties (Slashing, illegal cross-check, tripping etc) : The player is given a two minute sit down in the penalty box and is only release when a goal is scored or the penalty time runs out.
- Major Penalties: The player stays in the penalty box for five minutes and is not release for the whole give minutes. If the other team scores two goals then both teams back to even strength. Even after the goals the player must remain in the box for the entire five minutes. If a players gets two majors in a game an automatic game misconduct is given and be asked to go to the dressing room.
- Penalty Shot: A team can’t be less than three players on the floor at once. If there’s a third penalty the opposing team is awarded a penalty shot.
- Slow Whistle (Delayed Penalty): If a team commits a penalty and doesn’t have the ball the play goes on until change of possession or the shot clock expires.
- Coincidental Penalties: When both teams are given the same penalty coming from the same situation. Teams remain even but the two players involved must sit for the entire length of the penalty.
Rules of Lacrosse – Field Lacrosse
- 9 runners on each side and a goalie…so 10.
- During a face-off, only the midfielders can go for the ball. The attack and defensemen must stay behind the restraining line until a possession is called.
- There must always be three players on one side of the field at all time. If not it’s offside and can be a change of possession or a penalty.
- When doing a field lacrosse pick one must keep your feet still and hands in front of the chest.
- If there is a shot that flies out of bound, the closest player to the ball after it goes out of bounds is awarded the ball.
- Personal fouls: slashing, tripping, illegal body checking, cross checking, unsportsmanlike conduct, unnecessary roughness, and equipment violations
- Technical fouls: holding, interference, pushing, screening, “warding off”, stalling, and off-sides.
- Slow Whistle (Delayed Penalty): If a team commits a penalty and doesn’t have the ball the play goes on until ball is dropped.
Rules of Lacrosse – Official Rule books
In order to not get anything mixed up I have found the official rulebooks for each category below.