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Men's lacrosse is a contact game played by ten players: a goalkeeper, three defensemen, three midfielders and three attackmen. The object of the game is to shoot the ball into the opponent's goal. The team scoring the most goals wins.
  • Each team must keep at least four players, including the goalie, in its defensive half of the field and three in its offensive half Three players (midfielders) may roam the entire field.
  • Generally, high school games are 48 minutes long, with 12 minute quarters. Each team is given a two minute break between the first and second quarters, and the third and fourth quarters. Half-time is ten minutes long.
  • Teams change sides between periods. Each team is permitted two time-outs each half. The team winning the coin toss chooses the end of the field it wants to defend first.
  • Men's lacrosse begins with a face-off. The ball is placed between the sticks of two squatting players at the center of the field. The official blows the whistle to begin play. Each face-off player tries to control the ball. The players in the wing areas can release; the other players must wait until one player has gained possession of the ball or the ball has crossed the goal line.
  • Center face-offs are also used after a goal and at the start of each quarter.
  • Players may run with the ball in the crosse, pass and catch the ball. Only the goalkeeper may touch the ball with his hands.
  • A player may gain possession of the ball by dislodging it from an opponent's crosse with a stick check, which includes the controlled poking and slapping of the stick and gloved hands of the player in possession of the ball.
  • Body checking is permitted if the opponent has the ball. However, all contact must occur from the front or side, above the waist and below the shoulders. An opponent's crosse may also be stick checked if it is within five yards of a loose ball or ball in the air.
  • If the ball or a player in possession of the ball goes out of bounds, the other team is awarded possession of the ball. If the ball goes out of bounds after an unsuccessful shot on goal, the player nearest to the ball when and where it goes out of bounds is awarded possession.
  • An attacking player cannot enter the crease around the goal, but may reach in with his stick to scoop a loose ball.
Men's Lacrosse Personal Fouls

    • The penalty for a personal foul is a one to three minute suspension from play and possession to the team that was fouled. Players with five personal fouls are ejected from the game.
      • SLASHING: Occurs when a player's stick contacts an opponent in any area other than the stick or gloved hand on the stick.
      • TRlPPlNG: Occurs when a player obstructs his opponent at or below the waist with the crosse, hands, arms, feet or legs.
      • CROSS CHECKING: Occurs when a player uses the handle of his crosse to make contact with an opponent.
      • UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT: Occurs when any player or coach commits an act which is considered unsportsmanlike by an official, including taunting, obscene language or gestures, and arguing.
      • UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS: Occurs when a player strikes an opponent with his stick or body using excessive or violent force.
      • ILLEGAL CROSSE: Occurs when a player uses a crosse that does not conform to required specifications. A crosse may be found illegal if the pocket is too deep or if the crosse was altered to gain an advantage.
      • ILLEGAL BODY CHECKING: Occurs when any of the following actions take place: (a) body checking of an opponent who is not in possession of the ball or within five yards of a loose ball: (b) avoidable body check of an opponent alter he has passed or shot the ball; (c) body checking of an opponent from the rear or at or below the waist; (d) body checking of an opponent by a player in which contact is made above the shoulders of the opponent. A body check must be below the neck, and both hands of the player applying the body check must remain in contact with his crosse.
      • ILLEGAL GLOVES: Occurs when a player uses gloves that do not conform to required specifications. A glove will be found illegal if the fingers and palms are cut out of the gloves, or if the glove has been altered in a way that compromises its protective features.
Men's Lacrosse Technical Fouls


The penalty for a technical foul is a thirty second suspension if a team is in possession of the ball when the foul is committed, or possession of the ball to the team that was fouled if there was no possession when the foul was committed.
  • HOLDING: Occurs when a player impedes the movement of an opponent or an opponent's crosse.
  • INTERFERENCE: Occurs when a player interferes in any manner with the free movement of an opponent, except when that opponent has possession of the ball, the ball is in flight and within five yards of the players, or both players are within five yards of a loose ball.
  • OFF SIDES: Occurs when a team does not have at least four players on its defensive side of the midfield line or at least three players on its offensive side of the midfield line.
  • PUSHING: Occurs when a player thrusts or shoves a player from behind.
  • SCREENING: Occurs illegally when an offensive player moves into and makes contact with a defensive player with the purpose of blocking him from the man he is defending.
  • STALLING: Occurs when a team intentionally holds the ball. without conducting normal offensive play, with the intent of running times off the clock.
  • WARDING OFF: Occurs when a player in possession of the ball uses his free hand or arm to hold, push or control the direction of an opponent's stick check. 
     

RULES OF PLAY

            Patriot League play shall be governed by the current National Federation of State High School Associations Boys Lacrosse Rules except as amended and modified by the Patriot League Board of Directors. Each year, the Patriot League Board shall review the Patriot League Rules of Play to find opportunities to reduce injury, increase the safety of players, increase the educational and learning experience, maintain the balance of the contests, and promote a speed and finesse style of play over a style featuring unrestrained hitting and intimidation tactics.

PATRIOT LEAGUE MODIFICATIONS for the U-9, U-11, U-13 & U-15 Divisions

(Modifications do not apply to the U-15 Competitive Division)

Modifications effect the NFHS, US Lacrosse Youth Council; Rules for Youth Lacrosse

Age definition: The Patriot League age definition is modified as stated in Teams

 Number of players: Modification of the number of players is as follows:7 players per side on the field for the U-9 division.  The U-9 team will consist of 2 attack 2-midfield, 2-defense &  a goalie.

7 players per side on the field for the U-11 division.  The U-11 team will consist of 2 attack 2-midfield, 2-defense &  a goalie.

Field: The Patriot League field size is modified as follows:

The lacrosse playing field for the U-9 division shall be rectangular, between 53 1/3 and 60 yards long and 55 yards wide.  ( Half field.  Side lines used as end lines, end line and midfield line used as side lines.  Creases centered X yards from new end line with a 9’ radius and painted or marked with flat cones. 

 The lacrosse playing field for the U-11 division shall be rectangular, between 53 1/3 and 60 yards long and 55 yards wide.  ( Half field.  Side lines used as end lines, end line and midfield line used as side lines.  Creases centered X yards from new end line with a 9’ radius and painted or marked with flat cones. 

Equipment: US Lacrosse Youth Council “Equipment” Rule 1 Sections 6 & 9 is modified as indicated in bold print:

The length of the short crosse may 37 to 40 inches for offensive players in the U-11 and U-9 Divisions and defensive players in such divisions may use a stick with a length of 37 to 40 inches. (No long poles for U-9 & U-11)

Length of Game: US Lacrosse Youth Council “Length of Game” Rule 3 Sections 1 is modified as indicated in bold print:

U-13 and U-15 Division – Four 10 minute stop-time quarters.  In the event of a tie, two 4-minute sudden-victory overtime periods will be played.  If after two overtime periods the score is still tied, additional sudden-victory overtime periods may be played until a winner is determined (provided time permits and coaches and officials are in agreement).

 U-11 and U-9 Divisions- Four 12-minute running-time quarters. In the event of a tie, one 15-minute running-time overtime period will be played with the team in the lead at the end of the overtime declared the winner.  This is not a sudden victory period.  If the score is still tied at the end of the overtime period, the game will end as a tie.

Facing Off: The Patriot League will NOT apply the US Lacrosse Youth Council “Facing Off, Rule 4 Section 3” rule.  (The four goal lead no face off rule)  All Patriot League coaches are strongly encouraged to make efforts to keep the score close.

Body Checking: US Lacrosse Youth Council “Body Checking” Rule 5 Section 3 is modified as indicated in bold print:

 Body checking is permitted in U-15 and U-13 Divisions; however, no take-out checks are permitted by any player.  A take out check is defined as any check in which the player lowers his head or shoulder with the force and intend to put the other player on the ground.  The take out check definition should also include consideration as to whether the offending player chose contact over the opportunity to gain possession of the ball.

 Players in the U-13 and U-15 divisions may make contact in an upright position within five yards of the ball.  No body checking of any kind (including man/ball “clear the body” type pushing) is permitted in the U-9 and U-11 Division.  If a loose ball is not moving, the referee may re-start play following the alternate possession rule. 

Slashing: US Lacrosse Youth Council “Slashing” Rule 5 Section 9 is modified as indicated in bold:

Personal Foul/SlashingFor U-11 and U-9 Divisions: Any poke check, making contact with an opponent (other than the gloved hand while holding the stick) will be considered a slash.  Also, any one-handed check will be considered a slash for the U-11 and U-9 Divisions.

Offensive Stalling: US Lacrosse Youth Council “Offensive Stalling” Rule 3 Section 10 is modified as indicated

Offensive stalling shall be enforced for the U-13 and U-15 Divisions; however this rule will be waived for U-11 and U-9 Divisions.

 U-15 and U-13 Divisions: the team with the lead must keep the ball in the goal area during the last two minutes of the game.  U-9 and U-11 Divisions are excused from this rule.

Time Serving Penalties: US Lacrosse Youth Council “Time Serving Penalties” Rule 7 Section 1, 2 & 3 is modified as indicated

Time serving penalties are enforce and man up situations are permitted in all division except the U-9 Division, where there are no time-serving penalties; instead the player must be substituted for and the ball awarded to the other team at the point of the infraction.