Girls Lacrosse Rules: Essential Guide for Quick Play

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Welcome to our guide on girls lacrosse rules.

Finding a quick overview of girls’ lacrosse rules isn’t always easy, but it’s essential for players to be confident on the field.

Imagine the frustration of not understanding the rules during a game -missteps, penalties, and missed opportunities can quickly pile up, hindering both individual and team performance.

However, mastering the rules of girls lacrosse opens up a world of benefits. With a solid understanding, players can confidently grab their sticks and take on the field with precision and strategy.

In this article, we’ll break down the essential rules of girls lacrosse, focusing on key aspects like player positions, scoring, penalties – the foundation for a successful game, and especially protective gear.

Ready to dive into the world of girls lacrosse?

Let’s get started.

Field Dimensions and Markings

This section will discuss the field dimensions and markings for girls lacrosse.

Field Size

Girls lacrosse fields vary in size depending on the age group.

For ages 8U to 12U, fields measure 60-70 yards in length and 35-45 yards in width.

The dimensions increase to 110 yards in length and 60 yards in width for participants in the 14U category and older.

These dimensions are based on the USA Lacrosse Girls Youth Rules as of 2023.

Lacrosse Field Dimensions Diagrams

Learn more: Demystifying the Lacrosse Field: Dimensions, Rules, and Strategy

Marking Details

A girls lacrosse field has specific markings to dictate gameplay. These include:

  • Sidelines and End lines: Define the field’s boundaries, and are responsible for determining out-of-bounds.
  • Restraining Line: Positioned 30 yards from each end line. Players must remain on their designated side during a draw.
  • 12-Meter Arc: An arc 12 meters from the goal circle, where defensive players can be positioned during free position shots.
  • 8-Meter Arc: An arc 8 meters from the goal circle. Players must exit this area after a foul is committed within it.
  • Goal Circle: Circle around the goal, measuring 2.6 meters in radius. Marks the protected area for the goalkeeper.

Goal Area Specifications

The goal area in girls lacrosse consists of the goal, goal circle, and crease. The goal dimensions are as follows:

  • Goal: 6 feet high and 6 feet wide.
  • Goal Circle: 2.6 meters in radius.

Crease: This is the area surrounding the goal circle, often marked by a circle or lines, in which only the goalkeeper may enter.

Equipment Regulations

In girls’ lacrosse, specific equipment regulations help to promote fair play and ensure player safety.

This section provides an overview of the regulations in place for stick requirements, ball specifications, and protective gear.

Stick Requirements

In girls’ lacrosse, the stick is a crucial piece of equipment. You need to follow these guidelines:

  • Length: Sticks for field players must have an overall length of 35.5 to 43.25 inches, while goalkeeper sticks can range from 35.5 to 48 inches.
  • Pocket: The pocket should be strung traditionally and not exceed a depth that would allow the ball to be entirely visible below the sidewall when held at eye level.

You may want to know: Top 5 Best Girls Lacrosse Stick: Expert Recommendations | What Size Lacrosse Stick For Girls: A Ultimate Guide!

Ball Specifications

The ball used in girls’ lacrosse must meet specific requirements to ensure consistent play and minimal injury risk:

  • Size: The ball should have a circumference of 7.75 to 8 inches.
  • Weight: The ball must weigh between 4.5 and 5 ounces.
  • Material: It should be made from solid rubber in either white, yellow, or orange color, with NOCSAE stamp approval.

For your quick choice:

613MovdzQmL. AC SL1500
STX Lacrosse Fortress 300 Girls Complete Stick

Protective Gear

Girls’ lacrosse emphasizes safety, and as such, protective gear is vital. Make sure you adhere to the following:

  • Mouthguard: Mandatory for all players, it should be properly fitted and not have any visible protrusions.
  • Goggles: All field players must wear lacrosse-specific protective eyewear, called goggles, meeting the most current ASTM standard.
  • Goalie: Required to wear a helmet with a face mask, separate throat protector, chest protector, and gloves. Optional equipment includes close-fitting gloves and headgear for field players.
  • Close-Fitting Gloves: These are optional and allowed for all players.

Related: Why Don’t Girls Wear Helmets in Lacrosse?

Understanding these equipment regulations can help you follow the game’s rules and maintain a safe playing environment.

Player Positions and Roles


Girls Lacrosse Goalie

The goalkeeper (the goalie) plays a crucial role in any lacrosse team.

As a goalkeeper, your primary responsibility is to protect the goal and prevent the opposing team from scoring.

You will be positioned inside the goal circle and have privileges that other players do not, such as using your body to block shots and being able to handle the ball with your hands within the goal circle.

Remember, you lose these privileges if you step outside the goal circle.


In girls’ lacrosse, there are usually three defenders on the field.

Your primary objective as a defender is to guard the opposing team’s attackers and prevent them from scoring goals.

You must stay close to the player you’re marking and apply pressure to disrupt their movements.

Your defensive skills, such as checking and body positioning, will be vital when defending the goal area.

Remember that body contact is prohibited, so focus on good positioning and footwork to keep the attacker at bay.


As a midfielder in girls’ lacrosse, you’ll be responsible for playing both offense and defense.

There are typically three midfielders on the field at a time, and your job is to support the defenders and attackers, control the ball, and facilitate the transition between offense and defense.

You’ll be involved in various aspects of the game, including draw control, ground ball pick-ups, and contributing to both scoring and defending.

Good endurance and versatility will be crucial for your success as a midfielder.


The attackers are the primary goal-scorers in girls’ lacrosse.

There are typically three attackers on each team, and your objective is to outsmart and bypass the defenders to create scoring opportunities.

In this position, you’ll use your offensive skills, such as dodging, shooting, and passing, to find openings and capitalize on them.

Good teamwork, communication, and creativity will be essential for success in the attacker role.

Remember that each position requires a unique skill set and determination.

To excel in your chosen position, make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations specific to girls’ lacrosse.

Related: Lacrosse Positions: Decoding the Winning Formulas on the Field

Game Duration and Timing

Match Length

In women’s lacrosse, the game lasts 60 minutes and is divided into two halves, each lasting 30 minutes. However, for high school matches, the total duration is 50 minutes, each half lasting 25 minutes.

Remember to manage your stamina and tactics according to the match’s length.

Girls Lacrosse Time

Overtime Rules

In case of a tie after the end of regular time, overtime is used to determine a winner.

Generally, overtime consists of two periods of 3 minutes each with a two-minute break between them.

If the game remains tied after the first set of overtime periods, additional overtime sets can be played until a winner emerges.

During overtime, remember that the sudden-death rule applies, meaning that the first team to score wins the game.


Coaches can request timeouts during a women’s lacrosse match.

Timeouts allow the team to regroup, discuss strategy, and make necessary adjustments.

A team can request up to two timeouts per half, each lasting 2 minutes. Timeouts can only be requested after the team’s field players have scored a goal.

Always keep these rules in mind when participating in a lacrosse match.

Starting the Game

Opening Draw

The game starts with an opening draw (not faceoff like man lacrosse) at the beginning of each half and after each goal.

Two opposing players will participate in this draw at the center of the field. Both players must hold their crosses horizontally, parallel to the ground, and place the back of their cross pockets together.

The referee will then place the ball between the two pockets, and upon blowing the whistle, the players must move the ball in an up-and-away motion to initiate the game.


Before the opening draw, players need to be positioned correctly on the field. This ensures that the game starts fairly and that players follow the rules.

The correct positioning is as follows:

  1. Draw players: The two players doing the opening draw must stand at the center of the field facing each other, with their crosses in contact.
  2. Center circle players: Two additional players from each team can be positioned around the center circle. They must stand outside the circle and are allowed to enter once the whistle is blown.
  3. Other field players: The remaining field players, including attackers and defenders, should be positioned according to their coach’s instructions. They can only cross the restraining line of their respective defensive or offensive areas once the whistle is blown.

Following these positioning rules, you and your teammates guarantee a fair and well-organized start to the game. Pay attention to the referee’s guidance and cooperate with other players.

Girls Lacrosse Rules: Scoring

Goal Validation

In girls’ lacrosse, a goal is considered valid under the following conditions:

  1. The ball must pass completely through the goal line’s plane inside the goal circle.
  2. The shot must be taken from within the attacking team’s offensive half of the field.
  3. The player taking the shot must not have an illegal crosse or commit any violations during the act of shooting.

It is important to note that a goal cannot be scored directly from a draw or a throw.

Scoring Procedure

When attempting to score, players must adhere to the following procedure:

  1. Establish possession within the attacking zone. This typically involves advancing the ball into the critical scoring area.
  2. Set up the play by passing and cutting in order to create open lanes for shots. Keep an eye out for proper spacing and communication within your team.
  3. Take the shot while ensuring that you are adhering to the rules regarding shooting space and avoiding dangerous shots. Remember, safety is paramount.
  4. Once the ball crosses the goal line completely and the goal is considered valid, a point is awarded to your team. The game will then restart with a draw at midfield.

Practicing and understanding these scoring rules and procedures will help ensure fair play and player safety during games.

Realted: Lacrosse Scoring: Tips and Strategies for Boosting Your Team’s Points

Fouls and Penalties

In girls lacrosse, fouls are divided into two categories: major and minor fouls. These fouls aim to ensure fair play and player safety. Let’s discuss each category and how penalties are administered.

Major Fouls

Major fouls are serious violations that significantly impact the game and affect player safety. Some examples of major fouls include:

  • Cross-checking: Using the lacrosse stick between your hands to contact an opponent. Based on severity, this can result in a 1-3 minute penalty.
  • Slashing: Swinging your stick at an opponent forcefully. Penalties for slashing depend on the severity of the action.
  • Tripping: Deliberately causing an opponent to fall. This foul is penalized with a free position for the offended player.

It is important to remember the criteria when evaluating a potential major foul. The official must first note the ball’s location. The ball must be above the goal line extended and within the critical scoring area.

Minor Fouls

Minor fouls have a lesser impact on the game, but still contribute to a disruption in fair play. Some examples of minor fouls include:

  • Holding: Impeding the movement of an opponent using your body or stick.
  • Offside: When too few defenders or attackers are positioned on their respective sides of the field.
  • Body check: Illegal contact by an attacker or defender against an opponent who is in possession of the ball, or within 5 yards of a loose ball.

Minor fouls result in a change of possession and a free position for the offended player.

Penalty Administration

When fouls occur, the penalties are administered as follows:

  • For major fouls, the offending player serves a 1-3 minute penalty, and the offended team receives a man-up advantage. The length of the penalty depends on the severity of the foul.
  • For minor fouls, the offending player loses possession, and the offended player is awarded a free position.

By understanding the types of fouls and their penalties, you can better grasp the significance of fair play and the importance of adhering to the rules in girls lacrosse. This knowledge will help you avoid committing fouls and make the game more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Related: Lacrosse Penalties: 3 Common Ones & Tips to Avoid Them

Free Position and Restart

Awarding Free Position

In girls’ lacrosse, a player is awarded a free position when an opponent commits a foul. The location of the foul determines the location of the free position. Sometimes, a free position is awarded outside the critical scoring area, eliminating the player’s requirement to stop before self-starting1. Safety and fair play are paramount in girls’ lacrosse, so always follow proper protocol when awarding free positions.

Restarting Play

To restart play after a free position has been awarded, adhere to the following steps:

  1. The player who was fouled takes the free position at the designated spot.
  2. Opposing players must maintain a distance of at least 2 meters from the ball carrier, forming a barrier to ensure fair play2.
  3. Once the referee blows the whistle, the player can either self-start or wait for the referee to restart play.
  4. The game resumes with the player in possession of the ball, and all players can move freely.

As an official or a coach, you must ensure players understand and abide by these rules to keep the game flowing smoothly and safely.


  1. Girls’ Lacrosse, PDF, girls’ game in compliance with USA Lacrosse Girls’ Lacrosse Rules
  2. The Do’s and Don’ts of Women’s Lacrosse Rules (2023 Guide), 2023 Update of International Women’s Lacrosse Rules, free movement after the referee blows the whistle.

Offside Rules

In girls’ lacrosse, offside rules play an essential role in maintaining a fair and balanced game. As a player, understanding these rules will help you avoid penalties and improve your gameplay.

To provide a brief overview, offside occurs when a team has too many players on the wrong side of the midfield line. This results in a turnover, and the offending team must remove a player from the field, giving the opposing team an advantage. Now let’s look into the specific offside rules in girls’ lacrosse.

According to USA Lacrosse Girls’ Lacrosse Rules, offside is called when:

  1. A team has more than 7 players, including the goalkeeper, on the defensive side of the field.
  2. A team has more than 5 players on the offensive side of the field.

To avoid offsides, always be aware of your position on the field in relation to the midfield line and your teammates. Here are a few other important aspects to understand:

  • The count for offside players is based on players, not their equipment. If a player’s stick crosses the midfield line, but they do not, it does not result in an offside call.
  • If a player is substituted and their replacement enters the field before they exit, it may result in an offside violation if the extra player is on the wrong side of the midfield line.
  • In case of an inadvertent whistle during the play, offsides may also be called.

Facing offsides penalties can be detrimental to your team’s chances of success. By understanding these rules and being attentive to your position on the field, you can keep the gameplay fair and maintain your team’s strategy and advantage.


  1. LaxEZ, “Lacrosse Offsides: Rules and Penalties Explained

Boundaries and Out of Play

In this section, we will discuss the rules and regulations regarding boundaries and out-of-play situations in girls’ lacrosse.

Understanding these rules is essential for players to avoid fouls and maintain the game’s flow.

Sideline Rules

During a girls’ lacrosse match, it’s important to be aware of the sideline rules. When the lacrosse ball goes out of bounds, it results in a space violation, which is considered a minor foul. The referee will stop play and award possession of the ball to the opposing team.

To resume play when the ball goes out of bounds, a player has the following options:

  1. Collect the ball, run onto the field, and continue play without pausing.
  2. Step onto the field, pause, and initiate a self-start.

Make sure not to use your free hand or elbow to guard your crosse or create contact with your opponent—this is considered a warding foul.

Endline Regulations

Similar to the sideline rules, you must also be mindful of the endline regulations in girls’ lacrosse. The game is considered out of bounds when a player touches the restraining line with her feet. When this happens, possession goes to the opposing team, and play stops momentarily.

Players should be aware of the restraining lines and keep their feet within the boundaries to avoid endline violations and turnovers.

In conclusion, understanding and adhering to boundary rules in girls’ lacrosse helps maintain the game’s pace and fairness. Familiarize yourself with these regulations to become a better and more informed player.

Safety and Sportsmanship

Player Conduct

In girls’ lacrosse, safety and good sportsmanship are emphasized to ensure a positive experience for all participants. As a player, you are expected to play, coach, officiate, and spectate according to the spirit and intent of the girls’ game, in compliance with the USA Lacrosse Girls’ Lacrosse Rules.

  • Fair play: Treat your fellow players, coaches, officials, and spectators with respect. Display courtesy, even in the heat of competition.
  • Teamwork: Work together with your teammates, supporting and motivating each other as you play.
  • Discipline: Maintain control over your emotions, actions, and language during the game.

Equipment Check

Before participating in a girls’ lacrosse game, it is crucial to ensure that your equipment and uniform are in compliance with the USA Lacrosse Girls’ Lacrosse Rules. Here is a checklist of required items:

  1. Stick: Ensure that your stick meets the specific length, pocket depth, and crosse-head requirements set by the rules.
  2. Goggles: Protective eyewear, or lacrosse goggles, must be worn, and they should meet the ASTM International standard.
  3. Mouthguard: A properly fitted mouthguard is mandatory for safety. It should be a solid color other than clear or white and must not have any graphics visible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the duration of a standard high school girls’ lacrosse game?

A standard high school girls’ lacrosse game consists of two 25-minute halves, with a 10-minute halftime break. In the case of a tie at the end of regulation time, teams will play two 3-minute overtime periods, followed by sudden victory periods if needed.

How does the scoring system work in girls’ lacrosse?

In girls’ lacrosse, a goal is scored when the ball completely crosses the goal line within the goal circle. Each goal is worth one point. The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.

Can you explain the restraining line rules in girls’ lacrosse?

The restraining line is a visible line on the field that designates the area where only a certain number of players from each team may enter. In girls’ high school lacrosse, each team is allowed a maximum of seven players (including the goalkeeper or deputy) in their defensive end and a maximum of seven players in their offensive end. Players must not cross the restraining line until the draw is possession or the official has blown the whistle to start play.

What are the differences between boys’ and girls’ lacrosse equipment requirements?

Girls’ lacrosse requires fewer pieces of protective equipment compared to boys’ lacrosse. The required equipment for girls includes a mouthguard, protective eyewear, and a lacrosse stick. Goalkeepers must also wear a helmet with a face mask, throat protector, chest protector, and protective gloves.

What are the specific rules regarding stick checking in girls’ lacrosse?

In girls’ lacrosse, stick checking is the act of using one’s stick to dislodge the ball from an opponent’s stick. Stick checking is legal only if the check is made below the shoulder and above the waist, and the check is in a downward direction away from the opponent’s body. Players may not use excessive force or body contact during a stick check.

How are fouls categorized and penalized in girls’ lacrosse?

Fouls in girls’ lacrosse are divided into two categories: major and minor fouls.

Major fouls, such as dangerous play or checks to the head, result in a free position for the opposing team. The player who committed the foul may be removed from the field for a certain period of time, depending on the severity of the infraction.

Minor fouls, like procedural violations or offsides, can result in a change of possession or a free position, depending on the circumstances. The penalty for these fouls is less severe, usually not involving time off the field for the player committing the foul.

Learn more: How to Play Girls Lacrosse? Fast-Track Guide to Join the Game.

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