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Men's Lacrosse Rules

Men's lacrosse is a contact game played by ten players: a goalkeeper, three defensemen, three midfielders and three attackmen. The object of the game is to shoot the ball into the opponent's goal. The team scoring the most goals wins.

•       Each team must keep at least four players, including the goalie, in its defensive half of the field and three in its offensive half Three players (midfielders) may roam the entire field.
•       Generally, high school games are 48 minutes long, with 12 minute quarters. Each team is given a two minute break between the first and second quarters, and the third and fourth quarters. Half-time is ten minutes long.
•       New - Playing time will consist of (4) - (10) minute start/stop quarters for the U15, U13 and U11 age groups, EXCEPTION - If both head coaches agree before the game, 15 minute running time quarters could be an option. (MBYLL)
•       Teams change sides between periods. Each team is permitted two time-outs each half. The team winning the coin toss chooses the end of the field it wants to defend first.
•       Substitutions will be allowed on all out of bounds (sideline/ end line) for the U13 and U11 age levels only. (MBYLL)
•       There will be two timeouts per half per team. (USLYC)
•       Overtime will be played upon unanimous agreement of both coaches & referee, and will only be played as one (4) minute sudden-death period. (MBYLL)
•       Men's lacrosse begins with a face-off. The ball is placed between the sticks of two squatting players at the center of the field. The official blows the whistle to begin play. Each face-off player tries to control the ball. The players in the wing areas can release; the other players must wait until one player has gained possession of the ball or the ball has crossed the goal line.
•      Center face-offs are also used after a goal and at the start of each quarter.
•      Players may run with the ball in the crosse, pass and catch the ball. Only the goalkeeper may touch the ball with his hands.
•      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.
•      Body checking is permitted if the opponent has the ball. However, all contact must occur from the front or side, above the waist and below the shoulders. An opponent's crosse may also be stick checked if it is within five yards of a loose ball or ball in the air.
•      Poke checks will be permitted with proper intent of contact of opposing stick and/or gloves. (USLYC)
•       There will be no take out checks at any age level. Example: Any hit with or without possession that has the intent of injuring or putting the opponent on the ground. (USLYC)
•      There will be no body checking for U11 players per the US Lacrosse Youth Council Rules for U11 and U9 play. Players should play the ball not the man when it is loose. When defending a player in possession with the ball, the defender should use no more than equal pressure to prevent progress. (USLYC)
•      If the ball or a player in possession of the ball goes out of bounds, the other team is awarded possession of the ball. If the ball goes out of bounds after an unsuccessful shot on goal, the player nearest to the ball when and where it goes out of bounds is awarded possession.
•      NEW - U15 teams, to apply the 20 second count to clear the ball over the half field line and to apply the 10 second count to keep the ball in the offensive box. This rule would be suspended if one team had a 5 or more goal lead at any point in the game. It would be reinstated if the lead goes back under 5 goals.
•      An attacking player cannot enter the crease around the goal, but may reach in with his stick to scoop a loose ball.
•      If any team gains a FIVE-goal lead; the trailing team MUST receive the ball at midfield without a face off. Face offs resume when the margin returns to four goals. (MBYLL)
•      If a team acquires a ten goal advantage in the second half of a game, the coaches and referee will meet, in the spirit of the MBYLL, to discuss adjustments to play. (MBYLL)
•      The 2-minute stalling rule will only apply to U15 teams. Exception: The 2 minute rule will be used in the fourth quarter for the U15 age group. The offensive team in possession must keep the ball in the offensive box during the last two minutes of the game if they are ahead of the opponent. (MBYLL)
•      Long sticks will not be permitted U11 age level. 3 "long sticks" measuring a total of 60" (including the head) will be permitted on the field for U13. U15 follows USLYC rules (high school). (MBYLL)
•       All helmets must be NOCSAE approved lacrosse helmets. Any offending helmet must be removed from play, and the referee has the final say on all helmets. (MBYLL/USLYC)
•      One coach will be allowed and encouraged to be on the field at all times in any U11 game. The purpose is to be instructional without yelling from the sidelines. (MBYLL)
•      The home team should schedule a certified referee for all contests with MBYLL teams. If a scheduled referee fails to show, the coaches agree on how to proceed or reschedule. Coaches should consider the potential liability issues of proceeding with a game without certified officials. Towns should try to have a parent take the youth official certification course to cover these instances.
•     Uniforms must conform to NCAA standard jerseys with 6" numbers in front and 8" numbers in back. Programs with existing non-compliant jerseys should make the necessary changes at the next possible opportunity.