Rules of the game of Lacrosse

The rules of men’s, women’s, mixed and pop lacrosse all vary incredibly, with different rules and also different equipment used in each version of the game. The official Welsh, Scottish and Irish Lacrosse websites each provide valuable information on how to become involved in the sport in each of the three areas. The English Lacrosse Association Website, however, is by far the most comprehensive, providing the official rules of each of the four versions of the sport.

Useful links

The basic rules of Men’s Lacrosse

  • There are two teams, with ten players on each team.
  • Each team should aim to score by making the ball enter the goal of the opponent.
  • Each team should aim to prevent the other team from securing the ball and scoring.
  • The ball is kept in play by being carried, thrown or batted with the crosse, rolled or kicked in any direction, subject to the restrictions laid down in the official rules.
  • The ball may not be touched by the hand, except by the goalkeeper who is within his goal crease.
  • The playing field shall be, where possible, a rectangular field 100m long and 55m wide.
  • Each goal shall consist of two vertical posts joined by a rigid cross-bar. These posts shall be 6 feet apart and the top cross-bar shall be 6 feet from the ground.
  • Around each goal there shall be plainly marked a circle known as the goal crease. This circle shall be marked using the mid-point of the goal line as the centre and drawing a circle around that point with a radius of 9 feet.
  • No player other than the goal keeper is allowed to be inside the goal crease.

Other rules

  • The team must consist of 10 players – 1 goal keeper, 3 defenders, 3 mid-fielders and 3 attackers.
  • The match will consist of 4 ‘periods’, each lasting 20 minutes.
  • Both body and stick contact is permitted during the game, provided the opponent is in possession of the ball or within 9 feet of the ball and contact is made from the front or side, not below the hip, and below the neck.