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Basic Rules of Lacrosse

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Following these six guidelines will help your child as he or she gets ready to play lacrosse.

Lacrosse Stick

Use your stick

Lacrosse players use their stick to pass, catch, cradle, scoop and shoot the ball. You are not allowed to use hands or feet to play the ball or interfere with an opponent.


Out of Bounds

Out of bounds

Play stops when the ball goes out of bounds. If the ball leaves play on a shot, possession is awarded to the team of the closest in-bounds player, regardless of who took the shot. If the ball leaves play for a reason other than a shot, like a player running out of bounds, the team that did not touch it last is awarded possession.




There are two types of checks: stick and body. Stick checking is when a defending player uses his or her stick to lift or poke another player’s stick in order to dislodge the ball. Rules on checking vary based on the age of your child, with limited stick checking at 12U and up.




Fouls include cross-check, slashing, tripping, illegal body check, illegal crosse (stick), unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness. The penalty for a technical foul is loss of possession. For a personal foul, the offending player serves a 1, 2 or 3-minute penalty suspension off the field (much like hockey). The severity of the penalty is based on the severity of the foul and the referee’s discretion.



The Goal-Crease

The goal-crease is a circle surrounding each net that is in place to protect each team’s goaltender. Opposing players are not allowed to make contact with any part of a goaltender within his crease. Offensive players are not allowed to step foot in the crease at any time. Defensive players with or without the ball may pass through the crease but are not allowed to attempt to block a shot from within the crease.


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