Lacrosse Rules

Lacrosse Rules

This page provides details for the basic rules governing boys & men's lacrosse. However, please be aware that there can be significant rule differences between ages (i.e. U8 boys lacrosse and college men's lacrosse). Make sure to visit the wiki's section on lacrosse terminology if you do not understand any of the lacrosse terms or commands used below.

Basic Lacrosse Rules

  • There are 10 players allowed on the field - 3 attack, 3 middies, 3 defenders and 1 goalie.
  • For each goal in boys lacrosse, the scoring team is awarded one point. In boys lacrosse, there is not a 2 point shot (unlike the MLL which has a 2 point scoring arc).
  • There can only be a maximum of 4 long poles on the field per team.
  • A lacrosse ball may not be touched by a player's hand except by the goalie.
  • To avoid an offsides penalty, there must be four players behind the defensive-area line (when not in a man-down situation).
  • No opposing player can make contact with the goalie or the goalie's stick when the goalie is in the goal crease area.
  • Play is stopped immediately when the ball goes out of bounds. When a shot on goal goes out of bounds, the possession is awarded to the team of the player closest to location of the ball when it went out. When the ball goes out of bounds, for any other reason other than a shot (i.e. an errant pass), the possession is awarded to the team that did not touch the ball last.
  • Body checking is only allowed for older boys. At the 12U, 10U, and 8U levels, a player may not deliver a body check to an opponent.
  • Lacrosse penalties vary by age. Please check the rule books below for the penalties by age. Some potential lacrosse penalties include cross checks, holding, illegal body checks, illegal screens, illegal sticks, etc. For additional penalties, please the wiki's section on Lacrosse Penalties.
  • According to US Lacrosse, all players except the goalie must have "(1) A lacrosse helmet that meets NOCSAE ND041 at the time of manufacture and has a permanent, replica of the NOCSAE lacrosse seal appearing legibly on the exterior of the helmet shell (See Image A), (2) An Intra-oral mouth protector (mouth piece), (3) Protective gloves designed for boy’s lacrosse (4) Shoulder pads designed for boy’s lacrosse, (5) Athletic cleats or athletic shoes, (6) Arm pads designed for lacrosse, (7) A jersey and shorts of the same color(s) as their teammates, (8) Athletic protective cup".
  • According to US Lacrosse, goalies must wear "(1) A lacrosse helmet that meets NOCSAE ND041 at the time of manufacture and has a permanent, replica of the NOCSAE lacrosse seal appearing legibly on the exterior of the helmet shell, (2) A throat protector designed for lacrosse (3) An Intra-oral mouth protector (mouth piece), (4) Protective gloves designed for boy’s lacrosse (5) Goalie chest protector designed for lacrosse, (6) Athletic cleats or athletic shoes, (7) Athletic protective cup, (8) A jersey and shorts of the same color as their teammates.
  • The official length of a lacrosse field for older boys is 110- 120 yards max in length and and 53 1/3 and 60 yards in width.

Additional Rules - For the additional rules (i.e. penalties) and the most recent rule changes, please visit the links below.



Boys U14 Lacrosse Rules Video for 2017

Boys High School Lacrosse Rules Video for 2017