Lacrosse Rules

Link to 

2015 Womens & Girls Lacrosse Rule Book



Understanding Lacrosse rules: 

The rules are designed to not interfere with the play of the game... i.e. If you have a fast break it would not be fair to stop it if the other team intentional steps off-sides. For this reason, Lacrosse employs two techniques know as "slow whistle" and "play on". 

* The "Slow Whistle" is used for personal fouls and allows the Ref to call the foul by throwing a yellow flag, but not stop play until a time when he will not be penalizing the fouled team. 

* "Play on" is used for technical fouls. The Ref will call out "play on" to let you know he saw the violation, but he will not stop play. If the foul did not cause a disadvantage to the fouled team, he will forget about it. But ,if the team was disadvantaged, he will stop play. An example of this would be: Our team is trying to pick up a ground ball and is pushed from behind. The Referee will call out "play on". If we get the ground ball, nothing happens. If we miss the ground ball and the other team gets it, he will blow the whistle. 

There are two types of fouls in Lacrosse: 

Type 1 - Personal foul

1. Cross Check 

*Hitting or pushing your opponent with the portion of your stick that is between your hands 

2. Illegal Body Check 

*Hitting someone below the waist or above the shoulders 

* Hitting from behind

*Hitting someone who does not have the ball or is not within 5 feet of a loose ball. 

*Hitting someone who has any part of their body other than their feet on the ground 

*Hitting someone without both hands on your stick 

*Hitting someone by lowering your head and "spearing" them 

3. Slashing

* Using your stick to hit anywhere on your opponent's body. Poke checks and stick checks can only contact your opponents stick or hands. If you are trying to stick check, but hit the body by accident it will generally not be called as a slash, unless it is violent.

4. Tripping 

*Should not be called unless it is intentional. But, sometimes a referee will call a trip when the other player falls over a piece of grass- live with it! 

5. Unnecessary Roughness

*A legal hit that is way too hard 

*An avoidable hit after your opponent has gotten rid of the ball 

6. Unsportsmanlike Conduct - If you get this you will have more to worry about than the penalty!!! 

*Repeatedly committing the same foul (ie.. the ref. has called you for entering the crease 3 times - the 4th time could be considered intentional and therefore unsportsmanlike).

*Laughing at a player that has been hit, or at a player who has made a mistake

*Name-calling or taunting an opposing player. 

*Throwing your stick

Personal fouls result in the ball being awarded to the other team and a 1 to 3 min. penalty (the duration of the penalty is solely at the discretion of the referee).

*If the defending team was fouled they get the ball at the midfield 

*If the offensive team was fouled they get the ball outside the goal box at a point close to where the foul occurred. 

Type 2 - Technical foul

Technical fouls are considered less serious than personal fouls, so the referee will not always call them. 

1. Crease Violation

*If an offensive player's feet touch the goal line, he is considered in the crease - which results in a free clear by the defensive team. Players may reach into the crease with their sticks, as long at they are not interfering with the goalie.

2. Goalkeeper Interference

*Any contact with the goalkeeper, or his stick, when he is in the crease - But, any part of his stick that extends outside the crease may be checked. 

3. Holding 

*Using your stick to pin a players stick against his body or prevent his free movement.

*You can hold the ball carrier if you have both hands on your stick and are not using your stick. You can not grab their jersey or hold them with a cross check. The hold must be body to body. 

4. Off-sides 

*We always need 3 players on their side of the field. If an attack man or defender is removed by a penalty, a midfielder must stay back to keep us onsides. The same rule applies if a defender tries to take the ball upfield - one of our midfielders must stay in the defensive half of the field. 

5. Pushing 

*A hold that exerts more than even pressure.

*A check from behind that is not hard enough to be considered an illegal body check. 

*Extending your arms during a body check. 

6. Warding Off 

*Using your free hand to push your defenders body or stick away. Your free hand can be used to protect your stick, but it must remain motionless. 

7. Interference 

*Keeping a defensive player from moving freely - playing defense on a defensive player so that he can't get to the ball carrier. Also called offensive screening. You can stand still and set a pick, but you can not actively be in a defender's way. 

8. Withholding ball from play

*Laying on the ball 

9. Illegal Procedure 

*Any player except the goalie touching the ball with his hand 

*Delay of game

*Leaving the restraining box before possession on the face-off

*Improper substitution 

Defensive technical fouls result in a 30 sec. penalty Offensive technical fouls result in the ball being awarded to the other team. 

***Having everyone on our team know what to do when a foul is committed can give us a tremendous advantage, even if the foul is against us. *** 

What We should do on a slow whistle (when we see the yellow flag): 

On offense: If the penalty is in our favor; we should take the ball straight to the goal and shoot. If we miss the shot, or drop the ball, the whistle will blow and the ball will be given back to us - we have nothing to lose by going in and taking the shot. If we try to pass the ball and it is dropped, the whistle will blow and we have given up a free shot. 

On Defense: If the penalty is against us; we should play tight to keep them from getting a free shot. If we can get them to drop the ball the play will be stopped.

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