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Girls Lacrosse Rules:
  • Girls and women’s lacrosse is a non-contact game played by 12 players: a goalkeeper, five attackers and six defenders.

  • The game begins with a draw, which is taken by the center position. A draw is used to start each half and after each goal, and it takes place at the center of the field.

  • At the youth level, a free position will be taken at the center by the team with fewer goals if a four or more goal differential exists. The player taking the free position may run or pass, but may not shoot until another player has played the ball.

  • In youth lacrosse, the girls game is 20 -25 minutes running time per half for 4th graders, and 25 minutes running time per half for 5th-8th graders.

  • Teams are allowed two timeouts per game (including overtime). Time out may be requested by a coach or any player on the field after a goal is scored or any time their team is in clear possession of the ball. If a possession time out is called, players must leave their crosse in place on the field and return to that same place for the restart of play. The time out is 2 minutes in duration.

  • Coaches must remain within their own coaching area, that is, the area on the bench/table side of the field extending from their side of the substitution area to their end line and up to the side line. Coaches may not stand near or walk in front of the opposing team area.

  • A restraining line is located 30 yards from each goal line, which creates an area where only a maximum of seven offensive players and eight defensive players (including the goalkeeper) are allowed.

  • The 12-meter fan is used to position players after fouls.

  • The 8 meter arc in front of each goal is considered the critical scoring area, where defenders must be at least within a stick's-length of their attacker.

  • All play is started and stopped with the whistle.

  • When a ball is ruled out of bounds, the opponent nearest the ball will place the ball in her crosse and stand 2m inside the boundary spot from where the ball went out of bounds. If the goalkeeper while within her goal circle is the nearest to the ball when it crosses the boundary, she will remain in her circle to restart play.

  • Rough checks, and contact to the body with the crosse or body, are not allowed.

  • Modified checking is allowed in the 7th and 8th grades only. The player with the ball must have her entire stick below shoulder level, and the check must be in a downward direction away from that player’s body.

  • No player may reach across an opponent's body to check the handle of a crosse when she is even with or behind that opponent.

  • A player may not protect the ball in her crosse by cradling so close to her body or face so as to make a legal, safe check impossible for the opponent.

  • Three Second Rule (youth only): A player may not hold the ball for more than 3 seconds when closely guarded/marked and the defense has both hands on her stick and is in position to legally check were checking allowed.

  • Fouls are categorized as major or minor, and the penalty for fouls is a “free position.” For major fouls, the offending player is placed four meters behind the player taking the free position. For a minor foul, the offending player is placed four meters off, in the direction from which she approached her opponent before committing the foul, and play is resumed. When a minor foul is committed in the critical scoring area, the player with the ball has an indirect free position, in which case the player must pass first.

  • A slow whistle occurs when the offense has entered the critical scoring area and the defense has committed a major foul. A flag is thrown but no whistle is sounded so that the offense has an opportunity to score a goal. A whistle is blown when a goal is scored or the scoring opportunity is over. An immediate whistle is blown when a major foul, obstruction or shooting space occurs, which jeopardizes the safety of a player.

  • Required Equipment:

    -Mouthpiece of any color except clear or white.
    -Legal Field Crosse (stick). click here to view approved sticks.
    -Eye Protection meeting current ASTM standards. click here to view approved eyewear.
    -No Jewelry.
    -Rubber cleats or sneakers.
    -Close fitting gloves, nose guards, and soft headgear may be worn by all players.
    -Goalkeepers must wear a helmet with face mask, separate throat protector, padded gloves, a mouth piece, and a chest protector. In addition, for high school level and below the goalkeeper must wear padding on the shins and thighs. The protective helmet, designed for lacrosse, must meet the NOCSAE test standard. It is recommended that the goalkeeper wear padding on the arms and shoulders. Leg padding is recommended for goalkeepers above high school level. Padding must not excessively increase the size of these body parts.

    Click here for a summary of rules changes for women's lacrosse 2008.

    Click here to be directed to the
    girls and women's lacrosse rules section of the USlacrosse website.

Resource Books:

Go to http://www.lacrosse.org/cgi-bin/uslstore at the US Lacrosse website for books and information on Girls rules and play.