South Carolina Lacrosse Officials ASSOCIATION

Lacrosse Rules 101 for Parents

The Faceoff—One member from each team lines up in the center of the field to win possession of the ball. A faceoff occurs at the beginning of each quarter and after every goal.

Substitution—Substitutions are made freely during the game, but players must switch through the substitution box.

Game Length—There are 4 quarters with a halftime break after the second quarter. The clock runs unless there is a timeout, or the referee signals for the time to stop.

Stick Checking—It is legal to check an opponent’s stick on the head or shaft.

Penalties/Man Down—If a player commits a penalty, he must kneel in the substitution box. Penalties can be 30 seconds, 1 minute, or longer. The team plays one man down for the duration of the penalty.

Play On—Similar to hockey, a penalty is delayed until the team committing the offense gains possession of the ball, the ball goes out of bounds, or a goal is scored.

Technical Fouls—Technical fouls are minor infractions resulting in a 30-second trip to the penalty box or a change of possession. Fouls include, crease violations, offsides, holding, and ward.

  • Crease Violation—An offensive player cannot touch or enter the circle around the goal. If a player is shooting and steps in the crease, the goal will not count.
  • Offsides—Offsides occurs when there are too many offensive or defensive players on a particular side of the field. There should never be more than six offensive players or seven defensive players (including the goalie) on the same half of the field.
  • Holding—Holding is when one player keeps another player from getting to where he wants to go by using their arms, stick, or feet.
  • Warding—An offense by using your arms to push another player away while in possession of the ball.  However, a player may use their arm to shield the ball if he keeps it still.

Personal Fouls—Personal fouls are major infractions resulting in 1-3 minute trips to the penalty box. Violations can include illegal cross-check, slash, push, and illegal body check.

  • Illegal Cross-Check—Contact made when a player has his hands spread apart on his stick and uses his shaft to push another player instead of using his hands.
  • Slashing—Slashing occurs when a player swings his stick too violently and contacts his opponent.  Any stick contact to the helmet, legs, or back is considered a slash.
  • Push—A push with possession occurs when a player pushes a ball-carrying opponent in the back.
  • Illegal Body Check-- For younger players, body checking is illegal. In general, a player should not push or check a player if an opponent’s numbers on their back are showing.


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