Fouls in Lacrosse

In Men’s Lacrosse there are two types of foul – personal and technical.

The penalty for a personal foul is a one to three minute suspension from the game, as well as possession being given to the opposition. If one player makes five personal fouls then he will be suspended from the match.

Some common personal fouls include:

  • Slashing – When a player’s stick hits an opponent in any area other than their stick or gloved hand.
  • Tripping – When a player blocks an opponent below the waist with his stick, hands, arms, legs or feet.
  • Cross Checking – When a player uses the shaft of his crosse to make contact with the opposition.
  • Illegal Body Checking – When a player checks the body of an opposing player who is not in possession of the ball or within five yards of a loose ball, or when the body is checked from behind or below the waist, or if body checking occurs above the shoulders.

The penalty for a technical foul is a 30 second suspension from the game if the team is in possession of the ball when a player commits the foul, or possession being handed to the opposing team if neither team had possession of the ball when the foul was committed.

Some important technical fouls include:

  • Holding – When a player restricts the movement of an opposing player or his crosse.
  • Interference – When a player interferes in any way with the free movement of an opposing player except when the opposing player has the ball.
  • Off-side – When a team does not have at least four players in their defensive positions or at least three players in their attacking positions.
  • Pushing – When a player pushes an opponent from behind.

For a full list of the official rules of men’s lacrosse, see the English Lacrosse Association website.

Fouls in the women’s game

Similarly to men’s lacrosse, there are two types of fouls in women’s lacrosse also – minor and major.

Minor fouls

  • Goal Circle fouls – When any part of a player’s body or stick enters the goal circle (except for the goal keeper).
  • Warding off – When a player guards the ball when it is on the ground, with he stick or body, removes a hand from her stick to ward off her opponent.
  • Empty stick check – When a player checks an opponent’s stick when the opponent does not have the ball.
  • Body ball – When the ball comes off a player’s body to her advantage.

Major fouls

  • Blocking – When a player has moved into the path of an opponent without giving the opponent chance to change direction or stop, and contact is made.
  • Charging – When a player charges or pushes an opponent.
  • Dangerous shooting – When a player throws the ball in the direction of the goal when another player is close by or in the same direction. Or when a player shoots without control of the ball.
  • Slashing – When a player swings her stick at an opponent’s stick or body with deliberate recklessness.