Lacrosse Rules & Scoring: How to Play Lacrosse?

Lacrosse is a fun sport that is visually pleasing and aesthetically appealing to watch. The ultimate aim of the Lacrosse, for which it has been invented in America, is to prepare young men for the wars. The points in this game are scored by letting a small hard ball into the net on the opponent’s side. Players can either throw the ball with the help of a stick or their hand into the opponent’s net. Let us discuss more the game in detail along with its rules and scoring methods.

Lacrosse Field Structure and Game Length

How to Play Lacrosse

The basic dimensions of the Lacrosse field as mentioned by the NCAA rules is about 110 yards’ length by 60 yards’ width. A standard American football field can also be utilized to play the game.

The goal nets are 6’ x 6’ in dimensions and they reside within a 9’ circle termed as the crease. The position of the net is about 15 yards from the end line, which is about 13.5 yards between the back of the crease and the end line. 

The game is played with ten players, namely three defenders, three midfielders, three attackmen, and one Goalie. The game is divided into four timed quarters and the time varies depending on the age of the team that plays. At the end of each quarter, the teams switch ends. At the end of the fourth quarter, the team that aggregates the maximum points will win.

Equipment for Playing the Game

In the Lacrosse game, players send the ball to the opposite net with the help of sticks. The Lacrosse sticks are split between short and long sticks. The long sticks measure between 40 and 42 inches and the short sticks measure between 52 and 72 inches. The head of the sticks should be not more than 6 inches and the widest point on the stick should be no more than 10 inches. 

The stick of the goalkeeper can be anything between 40 and 72 inches in length and 15 inches in width. Of the ten players in the team, not more than four players are allowed to carry a long stick. The ball that is used to play the game should be of solid rubber construction and can measure around 8 inches in diameter. The players are required to wear helmets and are recommended to use arm pads, shoulder pads, and gloves.

Game Scoring Method

To win the game, the team should propel the ball with the help of their lacrosse stick into the goal in such a way that it crosses the goal line completely. The winning team is the one that has scored the maximum goals within the time limits of the game. If the scores of both the teams are the same at the end of the match, an additional period is offered. It is termed as Sudden Victory Overtime, and according to this, the team that first scores the goal becomes the overall winner. 

Certain infringements such as the player entering the crease the ball crosses the goal line will result in the goal getting disallowed.  

Rules of the Lacrosse Game

The rules of the Lacrosse game have been set differently for boys and girls. And within these groups, the rules vary based on the age group of the players. We have discussed here the basic rules of the Lacrosse game.

  • There are about 10 players in each team and for each goal in the game, the scoring team is awarded a point.
  • The lacrosse ball should not be touched by the hands of the player, except by the goalie.
  • There must be four players behind the defensive area, to avoid offside penalties.
  • The opposing player should not make contact with the goalie and his stick when the goalie lies in the goal crease area.
  • The game will be stopped immediately when the ball gets out of bounds. 
  • If a shot on goal gets out of bounds, the possession is awarded to the team of the player, who is closest to the ball’s location when it went out. 
  • When the ball goes out of bounds at other times, its possession is given to the team that did not touch the ball. 
  • Body checking is allowed only for older boys. Also, the penalties vary according to the age of the players.
  • Some penalties of the lacrosse game include cross-checks, illegal body checks, illegal screens, illegal sticks, etc.

Field Positions

  • First home – The objective of this position is to score. It is located in front of the goal. Players in this zone should cut towards the goal or cut away from it to allow another player.
  • Second-home – This home is considered a playmaker. The player should shoot well from every angle and distance from the goal. 
  • Third home – The responsibility of the players in this room is to transition the ball from defense to attack. The player feeds the ball to other players. 
  • Attack wings – Players in this zone transition the ball from defense to attack. They should have the speed and endurance and be ready to receive the ball from the defense and also pass the ball.

Penalties

There are two major types of penalties, namely the technical foul and the personal foul. Personal fouls include slashing, tripping, illegal cross-checking, and also checking a player from behind them. These activities are generally given a one-minute penalty. The penalties can be increased to two or three minutes and even ejection can happen for major fouls, especially personal fouls. 

Some of the technical fouls that invite penalties are crease violations, pushing from the rear, offside, and warding off thus constituting a possession. When a personal foul penalty occurs and a one-minute penalty is assessed, the offending player will be removed to the penalty area in front of the scorer’s table.  The player thus has to stay in the penalty area, until the penalty is been served.

Finally

Lacrosse has a lot of rules that involve timing and is also a tough sport that demands extreme attention and concentration on the field.

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