Like basketball, and
unlike hockey to some degree, the game of Lacrosse involves a
full team offense and a full team defense. There are no
defencemen in Lacrosse!!
The five offensive
players are referred to as left crease (like left wing in
hockey), left corner (like left defense), right crease (like
right wing), right corner (right defense) & point (centre).
Like basketball there
are no off-sides nor icing! This keeps the pace of the
game moving very quickly.
In Lacrosse many
"plays" originate from the corners where players on the
possession team try to "set picks" on opposing players to
hopefully free up a teammate for a possible scoring opportunity.
there is a 30 second shot clock which means a team who gains
possession of the ball has 30 seconds to get a shot on net or
they lose possession.
When the ball goes
out of bounds, the opponent of the team who last touched the
ball gets possession
Players cannot pass
the ball to the goalie in the crease at any time.
cross-check is defined as a) above the shoulders, b) below the
waist, c) when the opponent is not on their feet, d) when a
non-ball carrier is outside the dotted line on the floor.
When a goalkeeper is
hit on the mask, play is stopped. The goalkeeper restarts play
with possession of the ball in their crease.
Slashing is not
allowed at all in minor lacrosse.
If 2 players are
going after a "loose" ball they must play the ball and not check
the other player until he has possession. This again can be a
little misleading especially when each player is battling and
jostling for the ball.
When a penalty is
assessed, the non-offending team restarts play with possession
of the ball near the centre of the floor.
When one team
offends, and no penalty is called, "possession" is awarded to
the other team. The same applies for a player who looses the
ball into the stands - the other team is awarded possession and
the play is started once the whistle is blown by the referee.
Checking from behind
will be dealt with severely as it is one of the leading
potential injury factors and in some cases a penalty shot can be
awarded. Checking is an important part of the game but checking
from behind and violent checks into the boards will not be
tolerated and will be enforced. Many of these infractions can be
a "judgment" call by the referee.
Lacrosse, is both legal and a very important and proper method
High sticking is
another area of confusion for parents!! In some cases
"Incidental" contact with the helmet by an opponent's stick is
not automatically a penalty!! It is again a referee's judgment
Players or goalies,
out of their crease, will be penalized if they catch the ball in
the hand. If they just contact it with the hand, it is a foul
with possession awarded to the other team.
Face-offs are taken
with the open face of the stick facing your own net. The ball
must come out of the 2' small face-off circle before other
players can cross the restraining lines. An offense results in
immediate possession to the other team.
A player with the
ball cannot push off with his free hand or arm! If he does
possession is awarded to the other team. This rule is very
misunderstood by new parents. Many times spectators will not
notice freehand or arm pushing (by the way, as long as the
player with the ball keeps both hands on his stick he can
usually push, or shoulder or resist his checker) and often miss
the checking by offensive players especially action away from
The ball can be
kicked but not for a goal. Also if the ball becomes stuck in a
stick the referee will free it and play shall continue.
When a team is
shorthanded, they have 10 seconds in which to get the ball over
centre and once over cannot go back, or a change of possession
call is made with possession awarded to the opposing team. When
a player is awarded possession by the referee, he must be given
at least 3 metres of room by the defending players until the
whistle signifies restarting of play.
Once possession of
the ball changes the team gaining possession has 30 seconds to
get a shot on net or score a goal.
difference between hockey and Lacrosse involves the goalie's
crease. If you go into the other team's crease to shoot or cut
through it, you will lose possession. If you go through the
other team's crease to make a check or you touch the goalie
while he is in his crease it results in a penalty. If you are
pushed into the crease you are okay but you must make every
effort to get back out immediately. In your own team's
end, once the ball is in your goaltender's crease and comes out,
if one of your team brings the ball back into the crease, the
ball is turned over to the other team.
The goalie in
Lacrosse can function just like any other player on the floor.
Remember there is no centre red line for off-side purposes and a
goalie can go anywhere on the floor.