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Feb 08, 2023

Lacrosse 101

Learn all about the sport of lacrosse and come out to support your Tigers play at Historic Riggs Field!


  • Each team has 12 players on the field at a time, four attackers, four defenders, three midfielders and one goalie


  • Goggles, mouthguard, legal stick (a stick is legal if you can see the tip of the ball over the head of the stick when the stick is completely horizontal)


  • Four 15-minute quarters (teams switch sides at the end of each quarter)


  • When a foul is called and does not necessitate an officials timeout, the player who is awarded the ball may continue the course of play without waiting for an additional whistle


  • There is a 90-second shot clock. When a team has possession of the ball, they have 90 seconds to get a shot on goal
  • If nothing is done in the given time, possession is given to the other team
  • The shot clock resets to 60 seconds when the ball hits the goalie or the pipe
  • The purpose of the shot clock is to increase the speed of the game and eliminate the ability to stall


  • The draw takes place in the center circle at the beginning of each quarter and after every goal
  • A player from each team meets in the center of the field and lines up with their sticks parallel to each other, applying equal pressure. The referee will place the ball in the pocket between the two sticks. On the ref’s whistle, the two players taking the draw fling sticks upward to bring the ball into the air, making possession a 50/50 loose ball
  • Before possession is secured, only the six players lined up on the draw circle (three from each team) are allowed to be between the restraining lines in the center of the field. The rest of the players can only cross restraining lines if a team gains possession or the ball crosses over the restraining line
  • If one of the draw takers moves before the refs whistle, possession goes to the other team.
  • If the ball does not go above the draw takers’ shoulders, it turns into an alternate possession


  • Green Card: Any delay of game results in a one minute releasable penalty
  • Yellow Card: Any aggressive major foul which is up to the ref’s discretion. This is a two minute penalty with which the player is released either after two minutes or earlier if the opposing team scores
  • Red Card: The most serious penalty which results in an immediate ejection. This is a non-releasable penalty and the player must remain in the penalty box for two minutes


  • Blocking: A defender moving into an opponent’s path without giving the opponent a chance to stop or move out of the way, causing contact (similar to basketball)
  • Charge: When someone with the ball pushes into, lowers the shoulder, or makes bodily contact with the opponent who has already established their position (similar to basketball).
  • Covering: Covering the ball with the head of their stick or with their foot, blocking someones ability to pick the ball up
  • False Start: Starting before the ref’s whistle
  • Illegal Cradle: When the player cradles the ball so close to their head that it makes checking their stick impossible
  • Slash: Swinging their stick towards the opponent recklessly
  • Cross Check: Initiating stick-to-body contact and using the stick to hit or push the opponent
  • Dangerous Stick in the Sphere: Putting their stick too close and checking to the opponent’s head.
  • Empty: Checking someone’s stick who does not have possession of the ball
  • Shooting Space: A defender cannot be in the path of an attacker’s shooting lane if the defender is not directly marked up on them and is standing in between her and the goal while she is in position to shoot.
  • Three Seconds: When a defender is not within a stick’s length of an attacker for more than three seconds while in the 8-meter arc
  • Dangerous Shot: When a players shot follow through hits a defender or is deemed dangerous by the refs


  • Draw Circle: Center circle with a line at midfield, where the draw is taken
  • Restraining Lines: Used to ensure that a certain number of players occupy the attack area or defensive area at any time, 8 on defense (including goalie) and 7 on offense. If there are not at least 4 players behind the restraining line it is an offsides penalty
  • Crease: Circle around the goal. Only the goalie and one defender are allowed inside the crease at one time. If anyone else enters the crease, a penalty will be called
  • 8-Meter Arc: Inside this arc, defenders must be within a sticks length of their attacker. It is also used to administer a free position shot on a hash mark closest to where the foul occurred
  • 12-Meter Fan: Semi circle used in the administration of minor fouls 

Allison Kwolek Season Preview Media Availability, 2/8/23