Field & Line Rules
FIELD SIZE - official size is 110 Yards x 60 yards but actual size may vary by location.
END & SIDE LINES - defines the field of play, the ball is out of bounds if the ball or any player with the ball touches or steps over a line.
CREASE - the circle around the goal that provides a protective area for the goalie. The crease rules provide the goalie a short amount of time to make saves or pick up a blocked shot and initiate a clear. It is not a long term place for the goalie to ‘hide” the ball from the other team. In lacrosse, play continues after saves similar to soccer, goalies do not “cover” the ball like in hockey.
MIDFIELD LINE - divides the field into offensive and defensive ends, defines the location of faceoffs and serves to determine if players go offsides.
RESTRAINING LINES - define the attack area and the defense area of the field (also called restraining box). Among other things, these lines define the starting location of the attackmen and defensemen during faceoffs.
WING LINES - the wing lines define the starting location of the wing midfielders during faceoffs.
TWO POINT LINE - only used in professional lacrosse.
General Line Rules
OUT-OF BOUNDS - ball is awarded to the opposite team of the last player that touched the ball.
OUT-OF BOUNDS AFTER A SHOT - ball is awarded to the team whose player is closest to the ball when it travels out of bounds. Closest to the ball is defined as the body of the player not the stick.
RESTARTING PLAY - after an out-of-bounds, a player takes the ball and steps on the field and waits for a referee whistle to start play. Defenders be at least 5 yards away or the referee will warn them to move. After the whistle, the player with the ball can pass or run; the defender can charge in and check the player with the ball.
OFFSIDES - at all times during a game, each team is required to have at least 4 players on their defensive end (usually the goalie and 3 defensemen) and 3 players on their offensive end (usually the 3 attackmen). If a team is in violation, then depending on the situation, either the ball is awarded to the other team or a player must serve a penalty.
During clears and rides, a defenseman or attackman may cross the midfield line. In those cases, a midfielder must "stay back" to ensure the team does not go offsides. A common situation is where a defenseman clears the ball over the midfield line. In this case, the midfielder furthest away from play should decide to stay back until the defenseman returns. The midfielder should raise their stick and shout "I'm back."
Crease Specific Rules
Crease rules and privileges vary by player position as follows.
GOALIE - while in the crease, attacking players are not allowed to check or interfere with the goalie when he has the ball, is passing the ball or is scooping the ball. After the goalie has possession of the ball, he has 4 seconds to either pass the ball or leave the crease. Once the goalie leaves the crease he can be checked like any other player and can not reenter the crease while carrying the ball.
DEFENDING PLAYERS (middies & defense) – all players on the team defending the goal are allowed to cut through the crease. If they pick up the ball in the crease, the attacking players are free to check them as long as they don't step in the crease.
ATTACKING PLAYERS (middies & attack) - offensive players are never allowed to enter the crease. A crease violation will be called if they step on the crease line or interefere with the goalie. If the ball is loose and the goalie is not trying to pick it up, the offensive players can reach in with their stick to go after the ball including batting it into the goal.
CREASE VIOLATION - in a crease violation, play continues if the defense retains the ball, otherwise play is stopped and they are awarded the ball. For example, if an attackman checks the goalie while he is scooping the ball but the goalie gets it anyway, the referee will call "play on." If instead, the ball rolls back into play or the goal, play is stopped and the ball is awarded to the defense. The "play on" prevents unnecessary stops in the game.