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Lacrosse 101


  • There are three attackers, all who look to score.
  • The five midfielders are responsible for transitioning the ball from defense to attack and vice versa. One of the midfielders is called the center and is responsible for controlling the draw and playing both defense and attack. Midfielders play on both the offensive and defensive ends and have to ability to score.
  • There are three defenders that mark (stay within a stick's length of) the opposing attackers. They stick check, body check and look to intercept passes.
  • The goalkeeper’s responsibility is to protect the goal.


Lacrosse Field
  • The draw, similar to a face-off in hockey or tip off in basketball, starts play at the begining of each half and after each goal.
  • There are two 30 minute halves.
  • Each team is allowed one timeout per half.
  • Only seven offensive players and eight defensive players, including the goalkeeper, are allowed within the line 30 yards from the goal line.
  • When a ball is ruled out out of play, the player closest to the ball gets possession.
  • Loss of possession may occur if a player deliberately runs or throws the ball out of play or if a player gains a distinct advantage by playing the ball of their body.
  • Rough checks (stick-to-stick), and contact to the body with the crosse (stick) or body, are not allowed.
  • Field players advance the ball towards the goal by passing to a teammate or running with the ball in their crosse.
  • Players may dislodging the ball from an opponent's crosse with a check (a controlled tap of one stick with theirs). The player must be one step in front of their opponent in order to check. Checks must be directed away from the head of a player.
  • A player may not cradle the ball and crosse so close that it would be illegal for an opponent to check.
  • Only the goalkeeper may touch the ball with their hands within the goal circle.

Major Fouls

When a major foul occurs, the offending player is placed four meters behind the player that takes the free position. If the defense has committed a major foul when the offense has entered the critical scoring area, a flag is thrown but play continues to allow the offense to score. An immediate whistle is blown if the safety of a player has been jeopardized.

  • Blocking: 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: When a player charges, barges, shoulders or backs into an opponent, or pushes with the hand or body.
  • Dangerous Shot: When a player propels the ball toward the goal without control, or in the direction of a field player or the goalkeeper.
  • Misconduct: 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: 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: 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.

Minor Fouls

When a minor foul occurs, the offending player is placed four meeters off, in the direction for which they approached their opponent before committing the foul. If the foul is commited in the critical scoring area, the player with the ball must pass first.

  • Goal Circle Fouls: 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: 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.
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