How Officials See the Game

Professional Appearance

Always match your partner and make sure your uniform is in good condition.

Your flags should be easily accesible when you need them, but try not to have them be obvious from a distance. Great officials are fit officials that stand proudly and walk confidently.

Advantage Signal

When a player is fouled we have the option of holding the whistle to allow the player to continue to play on, or hold for advantage.

Holding for advantage can make a game flow nicely and decrease the number of whistles blown in a game.


Learning to anticipate play improves your skills as an official. With the players and the ball in constant motion, you need to be ready to make quick adjustments to be in the best position to see between players.

Practice short, quick footwork. Having the ability to look at one area of play, while seeing another allows you to anticipate what may happen next.

Making quick adjustments with your movement and your vision can help improve your game.

Clear Positioning

When a change of possession occurs and the goalkeeper is looking to clear up field, do not be too quick to head up field.

As you transition from Lead to Trail, staying level with the goalkeeper until she clears the ball offers you the ability to watch the cutters and be in position if a quick turnover occurs and the ball is coming back to your critical scoring area.

Coach Communication

Communication with coaches is a challenging aspect of officiating.

When doing so remaining calm, using the language of the rules and listening to their concerns can make this a better experience for everyone.

Coaches and Captains Meeting

When conducting a pregame meeting, keep it simple. Coaches and captains should hear from one voice, the lead or head official. This meeting is to determine who has the first Alternate Possession, how long halftime should be and answer questions they may have.

When answering keep it brief and use the language of the rulebook. Refrain from involved rules interpretations or reviewing all of the year's Points of Emphasis.

Draw Focus

We need to work as a team to best officiate all aspects of the draw.

If you are not administering the draw, yet the ball off the draw and the 6 players in between the restraining lines come directly towards you, you may need to turn your focus away from the restraining line and officiating the play near the ball.

Have a thorough pre-game discussion about various scenarios off the draw and how your team will handle those, and you will be better prepared to effectively officiate the draw.

Eyes on the Shooter

Trail positioning and focus during a shot is key to identifying fouls by the shooter, as well as seeing the defenders foul the shooter during or after the shot.

Hustle and Awareness

Always move to improve your position. Anticipate where the play will go and then put yourself in the best possible position.

While you can be in the best position, if you are not looking in the right area (or at the ground) then you will probably miss what you are required to see.

Talk to yourself. Keep yourself focused.

Slow Whistle Flag

When you pull your flag for a defensive foul on a scoring play, be sure to hold the flag high and visible so players and coaches can see.

Remember every defensive foul in the Critical Scoring Area is not necessarily a flag, the attack must be on a scoring play.

Finally, have a clear understanding what constitutes the end a scoring play ends so you lower your flag at the appropriate time.

Staying on Tangent

A great way to make the right calls is to be in the best positioning to see the fouls.

As lead always adjust your positioning to be on tangent to the ball, and ready to make and sell the correct call.

Third Team on the Field

Support your partners' and trust them to cover their areas. Your goal is to call the game consistently as a team. Regrouping during a time-out or halftime is a great way to check in and make adjustments if needed. Although after goals may be time for a quick check-in or comment, be conscientious of the players and do not make them wait for you at the draw. Finally, have each other's back. Our goal as a team is to "get it right". We should be helping our partners and also willing to take help from our partners.

Educational Resources

Rules Clarifications


General Resources


Grants & Scholarships

Susie Ganzenmuller Observers Program Grant

The purpose of this program is to emulate Susie Ganzenmuller’s passion and attitude toward officials’ on-field development through a grant to local boards to implement an observation program. The goal of this program is to develop officials, by utilizing on-field evaluations throughout the spring season. As such, observers will be trained to identify and communicate key areas for improvement in working officials, and follow up to see if these officials have implemented the suggestions into their games.

Thank you for your interest in the US Lacrosse Observation Grants. The application period for the upcoming season is closed. If you have questions please email our department at [email protected].

US Lacrosse National Convention Scholarships

US Lacrosse Officials Education Department is once again providing scholarships to the National Convention. A total of $5,000 dollars is awarded to officials attending the US Lacrosse National Convention. The quantity and amount of scholarships is determined by super region.

Thank you for your interest in the scholarship. The application period is closed. If you have questions please email our department at [email protected].

Helpful Links

Official Patches Available in Our Member Store