Girls's lacrosse is a non-contact game played by 12 players: a goalkeeper, five attackers and six defenders. The object of the game is to shoot the ball into the opponent's goal. The team scoring the most goals wins.
First Home: The first home's responsibility is to score. Located in front of the goal, the first home must continually cut toward the goal for a shot, or cut away from the goal to make room for another player. She should have excellent stickwork.
Second Home: The second home is considered the playmaker. She should be able to shoot well from every angle and distance from the goal.
Third Home: The third home's responsibility is to transition the ball from defense to attack. She should be able to feed the ball to other players and fill in wing areas.
Attack Wings: The wings are also responsible for transitioning the ball from defense to attack. Wings should have speed and endurance and be ready to receive the ball from the defense and run or pass the ball.
Point: The point's responsibility is to mark first home. She should be able to stick check, body check and look to intercept passes.
Coverpoint: The coverpoint's responsibility is to mark second home. She should be able to receive clears, run fast and have good footwork.
Third Man: The third man's responsibility is to mark third home. She should be able to intercept passes, clear the ball, run fast and have good footwork.
Center: The center's responsibility is to control the draw and play both defense and attack. She should have speed and endurance.
Defense Wings: The wings are responsible for marking the attack wings and bringing the ball into the attack area. Wings should have speed and endurance.
Goalie: The goalkeeper's responsibility is to protect the goal. She should have good stickwork, courage and confidence.
Blocking: Occurs when contact is initiated by a defender who has moved into the path of an opponent with the ball without giving that player a chance to stop or change direction.
Charging: Occurs when a player charges, barges, shoulders or backs into an opponent, or pushes with the hand or body.
Dangerous Shot: Occurs when a player propels the ball toward the goal without control, or in the direction of a field player or the goalkeeper.
Misconduct: Occurs when a player conducts herself in a rough, dangerous or unsportsmanlike manner, persistently causes infringement of the rules, or deliberately endangers the safety of opposing players.
Slashing: Occurs when a defender swings her crosse at an opponent's crosse or body with deliberate viciousness or recklessness, whether or not the opponent's crosse or body is struck.
Three Seconds: A defender may not stand within the eight meter arc, unless she is closely marking an opponent, for more than three seconds.
Obstruction of Free Space: Occurs when a defender is not closely marking her opponent and is in the free space to goal of the attack player with the ball. The attack player must have the opportunity and be looking to shoot.
Goal Circle Fouls: Occurs when any part of an offensive or defensive player's body or crosse, except that of the goalkeeper or deputy, enters the goal circle.
Warding Off: Occurs when a player guards a ground ball with her crosse or foot, removes one hand from the crosse and uses her free arm to ward off an opponent, or checks an opponent's empty crosse while she is trying to get possession of the ball.
Empty Cross Check: A player may not check an opponent's cross unless the ball is in the opponent's cross.
Body Ball: A ball that hits a field player's body to her distinct advantage.
The following is a list of terms you may frequently hear while watching a lacrosse game. Some, you may be familiar with, others, may sound a little odd at first. But all are part of knowing the game of lacrosse.
Clear: Any action taken by a player within the goal circle to pass or carry the ball out of the goal circle.
Critical Scoring Area: An area 15 meters in front of and to each side of the goal and nine meters behind the goal. An eight-meter arc and 12 meter fan are marked in the area.
Crosse (Stick): The equipment used to throw, catch, check and carry the ball.
Crosse Checking: Stick to stick contact consisting of a series of controlled taps in an attempt to dislodge the ball from the crosse.
Deputy: A player who enters the goal circle when the goalie is out of the goal circle and her team is in possession of the ball.
Draw: A technique to start or resume play by which a ball is placed in between the sticks of two standing players and drawn up and away.
Eight-Meter Arc: A semi-circular area 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 she is within a stick's length of her opponent.
Free Position: An opportunity awarded to the offense when a major or minor foul is committed by the defense. All players must move four meters away from the player with the ball. When the whistle sounds to resume play, the player may run, pass or shoot the ball.
Free Space To Goal: A cone-shaped path extending from each side of the goal circle to the attack player with the ball. A defense player may not, for safety reasons, stand alone in this area without closely marking an opponent.
Goal #Circle: The circle around the goal with a radius of 2.6 meters (8.5 feet). No player's stick or body may “break” the cylinder of the goal circle.
Grounded: Refers to any part of the goalkeeper's or deputy's body touching the ground for support outside of the goal circle when she attempts to play the ball from inside the goal circle.
Indirect Free Position: An opportunity awarded to the offense when a minor foul is committed by the defense inside the 12 meter fan. When the whistle sounds to resume play, the player may run or pass, but may not shoot until a defender or one of her teammates has played the ball.
Marking: Being within a stick's length of an opponent.
Penalty Lane: The path to the goal that is cleared when a free position is awarded to the attacking team.
Scoring Play: A continuous effort by the attacking team to move the ball toward the goal and to complete a shot on goal.
Stand: All players, except the goalkeeper in her goal circle, must remain stationary following the sound of any whistle.
Sphere: An imaginary area, approximately 18 cm (seven inches) which surrounds a player's head. No stick checks toward the head are allowed to break the sphere.
12 Meter Fan: A semi-circle in front of the goal used for the administration of minor fouls.
Warning Cards: A yellow card presented by an umpire to a player is a warning which indicates that she will next receive a red card and be suspended from further participation if she continues to play dangerously and/or conduct herself in an unsportsmanlike manner. A green card is presented by an umpire to the team captain indicating a team caution for delay of game.
Girl's lacrosse begins with a draw, which is taken by the center position. The ball is placed between two horizontally held crosses (sticks) at the center of the field. At the sound of the whistle, the ball is flung into the air as the crosses are pulled up and away. A draw is used to start each half and after each goal, and it takes place at the center of the field.
The collegiate game is 60 minutes long, each half being 30 minutes. The high school girl's game is 50 minutes long, each half being 25 minutes. In both collegiate and high school play, teams are allowed one timeout per half.
The approximate dimensions for a field are 110 yards by 60 yards. Additional markings on the field include a restraining line located 30 yards from each goal line, which creates an area where only a maximum of seven offensive players and eight defensive players (including the goalkeeper) are allowed; a 12-meter fan, which officials use to position players after fouls; and an arc in front of each goal, considered the critical scoring area, where defenders must be at least within a stick's-length of their attacker.
When a whistle blows, all players must stop in place. When a ball is ruled out of play, the player closest to the ball gets possession when play is resumed. Loss of possession may occur if a player deliberately runs or throws the ball out of play.
Rough checks, and contact to the body with the crosse or body, are not allowed.
Field players may pass, catch or run with the ball in their crosse. A player may gain possession of the ball by dislodging it from an opponent's crosse with a check. A check is a controlled tap with a crosse on an opponent's crosse in an attempt to knock the ball free. Stick checking is onlu allowed for Girls U15 (7th/8th grade). For U15's only modified checking (below the head/shoudlers) is permitted. The player must be one step in front of her opponent in order to check. No player may reach across an opponent's body to check the handle of a crosse when she is even with or behind that opponent. A player may not protect the ball in her crosse by cradling so close to her body or face so as to make a legal, safe check impossible for the opponent.
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.
All legal checks must be directed away from a seven-inch sphere or "bubble" around the head of the player. No player is allowed to touch the ball with her hands except the goalkeeper when she is within the goal circle. A change of possession may occur if a player gains a distinct advantage by playing the ball off her body.
Fouls are categorized as major or minor, and the penalty for fouls is a “free position.” For major fouls, the offending player is placed four meters behind the player taking the free position. For a minor foul, the offending player is placed four meters off, in the direction from which she approached her opponent before committing the foul, and play is resumed. When a minor foul is committed in the critical scoring area, the player with the ball has an indirect free position, in which case the player must pass first.
A slow whistle occurs when the offense has entered the critical scoring area and the defense has committed a major foul. A flag is thrown but no whistle is sounded so that the offense has an opportunity to score a goal. A whistle is blown when a goal is scored or the scoring opportunity is over. An immediate whistle is blown when a major foul, obstruction or shooting space occurs, which jeopardizes the safety of a player.