Lacrosse is a fast-paced, exciting sport that combines the best aspects of many other sports. Some highlights of what you need to know are featured on this page, and our youth guidebooks linked below feature a comprehensive look at the sport to get you up to speed.

Equipment

Field Player

  • Length: 35.5” minimum, 43.25” maximum. U9 and U11 may shorten to the length of player’s arm
  • Stringing: 4-5 leather or synthetic strings, 8-12 stitches or cross-lacing, maximum of two “shooting” strings
  • Pocket: no mesh - legal when ball remains above the wall when pressure applied in horizontal stick
  • Head: triangular af xed in same plane as handle
  • Shaft: wood, composite or metal alloy
  • Eye protection must meet the current ASTM Specification Standard for women's lacrosse and must be listed on the US Lacrosse web site.
  • Proper fit should be based on manufacturers' guidelines & requirements
  • Variety of materials, sizes, colors & fitting options
  • Must be visible color other than clear or white
  • Self-molding (from manufacturers) or custom-molded (from dentists)
  • Properly fitted, protecting the anterior (leading) dental arch, allowing players to talk & not cause discomfort
  • May not be altered to decrease protection; can cut if too large for athlete's mouth. There may be no protruding tabs
  • If worn, they must be close-fitting & should be comfortable for player while holding a stick
  • Goalie gloves not permitted for field players
  • Approved soft headgear
  • Protective devices necessitated by medical grounds
  • No Equipment - including protective devices necessitated by medical grounds - may be used unless compliant with rules & manufacturers' specs & deemed not dangerous to other players by the officials

Goalie:

  • Length: 35.5” minimum, 52” maximum in youth lacrosse
  • Stringing: goalkeeper sticks come standard with mesh pockets
  • Pocket: legal when ball moves freely in pocket and stick meets manufacturing specs from Rule 9 in “Official Rules for Girls and Women’s Lacrosse” rulebook published by US Lacrosse
  • Head: extra-wide triangle in same plane as handle
  • Shaft: wood, composite or metal alloy
  • Must be field lacrosse-specific
  • Statement/seal to indicate it meets NOCSAE stand performance specs
  • Proper fit should be based on manufacturers' guidelines & requirements on their website or included with helmet
  • Variety of materials, sizes, colors & fitting options
  • Must be visible color other than clear or white
  • Self-molding (from manufacturers) or custom-molded (from dentists)
  • Properly fitted, protecting the anterior (leading) dental arch, allowing players to talk & not cause discomfort
  • May not be altered to decrease protection; can cut if too large for athlete's mouth. There may be no protruding tabs
  • Hand must be fully inserted in glove
  • Includes additional thumb protection
  • Should cover 2"-3" above the wrist
  • Too short - cuff won't protect wrist; too long - cuff will limit mobility
  • Should cover front torso from neckline to below the navel
  • Body straps must be secured to the front of pad - adjust for a snug, comfortable fit
  • Too tight - restricts player's movement
  • Too loose - pads can move & expose player to injury
  • Collar of chest protector should lie flat on player's collarbone
  • Must wear underneath jersey
  • Separate from helmet
  • Attach with snaps, screws or other fasteners
  • Proper fit for helmet & guard must be done relying on manufacturers' guidelines & requirements on their website or included with helmet/guard
  • Generally incorporated in leg pads
  • Must protect shins & thighs
  • May not use field hockey equipment
  • Tight enough so they don't slide up or down during play
  • Tight enough not to cause discomfort

Common Signals

Checking into the Sphere

Check to the Head

Cover

Dangerous Follow Through

Empty Cross Check

Forcing Through

Goal

Obstruction of Free Space to Goal

 

Common Terms

8-meter arc
An arc marked in front of the goal used for the administration of major fouls. A defender may not remain in this area for more than three seconds unless closely marking her opponent.
12-meter fan
A semi-circle area in front of each goal circle bounded by an arc 12 meters from the goal circles.
Checking
Using stick-to-stick contact to try and dislodge the ball.
Free Position
An opportunity awarded to one player when a major or minor foul is committed by a player from the other team. All players must move 4 meters away from the player with the ball. When the whistle sounds to resume play, the ball carrier may run, pass or shoot, unless it’s indirect. On an indirect free position, the ball must be passed before a shot can be taken.
Goal Circle
The circle around the goal to protect the goalkeeper. No player’s stick or body may “break” the plane of the goal circle.
Modified Checking
Checking the stick only if the entire stick is below shoulder level. The check must be down and away from the body.
Marking
Closely guarding an opponent within a stick’s length.
Shooting Space
A player may not use any part of her body to guard the goal in a manner that denies the attack the opportunity to shoot safety and encourages shooting at a player.
Stand
When whistle is blown, all players must stand where they are. Ball is considered dead until whistle blows again.
Three Seconds
While defending within the 8-meter arc, remain in tha t area more than 3 seconds unless she is marking an opponent within a stick's length.

Field Diagrams