Men's Lacrosse (Boy's Rules will vary slightly)
Outdoor men's lacrosse involves two teams of 10 players each competing to project a small ball of solid rubber into the opposing team's goal. The field of play is 110 yards long and 60 yards wide. The goals are 6 feet by 6 feet, containing a mesh netting similar to an ice hockey goal. The goal sits inside a circular "crease", measuring 18 feet in diameter.
Players line up with 3 offensive players called "attackmen," players who shoot on the opposing team's net; 3 "midfielders" or "middies," who shoot on the opposing team's net as well as defending their own net; 3 "defensemen," who guard their own team's net; and 1 designated goaltender, or "goalie" who stands inside the "crease" and blocks incoming shots. Each player carries a lacrosse stick measuring between 40 inches and 42 inches long (a "short crosse"), or 52 inches to 72 long (a "long crosse"). The designated goalkeeper is allowed to have a stick from 40 inches to 72 inches long. The head of the crosse on both long and short crosses must be 6 inches or larger at its widest point and 2.5 inches wide or wider at its narrowest point. The head of a goaltender's crosse may measure up to 15 inches wide, significantly larger than field players' heads to assist in blocking shots. Goalies at the youth levels commonly use short crosses because they are not capable of handling the true 60 inch goalie crosse. Although most attackmen and midfielders utilize short crosses, defensemen carry long crosses, and one midfielder on defense may carry a long crosse. Some teams choose to distribute their sticks differently, not uncommon because a team may only have 4 long crosses on the field during live play, excluding the benches and penalty boxes. Most modern sticks have a metal shaft, usually made of aluminum or titanium, while the head is made of hard plastic. Metal shafts must have a plastic or a more popular rubber cap or ("butt") at the end. The heads are strung with string, leather, mesh, or a combination of the previous, forming a net called the "pocket".
Lacrosse players also typically wear helmets and gloves, plus rib, shoulder, and elbow pads.
Players scoop the ball off the ground and pass the ball through the air to other players. Players are allowed to run carrying the ball with their stick. Unlike in women's lacrosse, men's lacrosse players may kick the ball, as well as cover it with their sticks, provided they do not withhold it from play. Play is quite fast, with considerably more goals scored than are in soccer or hockey, with typical games totaling ten to twenty goals.
As mentioned, men’s lacrosse is a full contact sport, with players wearing complete protective equipment. Thus "checking" - striking opponents’ stick or body with the crosse - is legal and very much part of the game.
Each team starts with ten players on the field: a goalkeeper and three defenders at the defensive end; three midfielders across the midfield line; and three attackers at the offensive end. Each quarter starts with a "face-off" in which the ball is placed on the ground and two "faceoffmen" lay their stick horizontally next to the ball, head of the stick inches from the ball and the butt-end pointing down the midfield line. Faceoffmen scrap for the ball, often by "clamping" it under their stick and flicking it out to their midfielders, who start on the wing restraining line near the sideline and sprint in when the whistle is blown to start play. Attackers and defenders cannot cross their "restraining line" until one player from the midfield takes possession of the ball. A face-off also restarts the game after each goal.
Time continues to run in dead ball situations such as in between goals, with two exceptions: when the referees deem it necessary to avoid a significant loss of playing time, for example when chasing a ball shot far away; and in the last three minutes of the fourth quarter of any men’s game.
In men's lacrosse, players can be awarded penalties of two types by the referee for rule infractions. Personal fouls always result in the player serving time in the penalty box, located at the side of the field between the opposing teams' interchange benches. These penalties can last one, two, or three minutes at the referee's discretion. Two and three minute penalties are usually reserved for the most serious slashing or unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. Technical fouls are less severe and result in 30 seconds being served only if the foul was committed while the opposing team was in possession of the ball. If there was a loose ball situation or the player's team was in possession at the time of the foul, they only result in a turnover. Technical fouls are "releasable," meaning that a player may return to the game without spending the entire duration of his penalty in the box if the opposing team scores during the penalty. Fouls form an important part of men's lacrosse as while a player is serving time, his team is 'man down'. At this time his defense must play a 'zone' while they wait for the penalty to expire while the attacking team has its best opportunity to score. A list of the fouls in men's lacrosse is as follows:
- Slashing: Occurs when a player's stick viciously contacts an opponent in any area other than the stick or gloved hand on the stick.
- Tripping: Occurs when a player obstructs his opponent at or below the waist with the crosse, hands, arms, feet or legs.
- Cross Checking: Occurs when a player uses the handle of his crosse between his hands to make contact with an opponent.
- Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Occurs when any player or coach commits an act which is considered unsportsmanlike by an official, including taunting, arguing, or obscene language or gestures.
- Unnecessary Roughness: Occurs when a player strikes an opponent with his stick or body using excessive or violent force.
- Illegal Crosse: Occurs when a player uses a crosse that does not conform to required specifications. A crosse may be found illegal if the pocket is too deep or if any other part of the crosse was altered to gain an advantage (In addition, the penalized player may not use the illegal crosse for the remainder of the game). A head must also not be too pinched so the lacrosse ball cannot come out.
- Illegal Body Checking: Occurs when any of the following actions takes place:
- a. body checking an opponent who is not in possession of the ball or within five yards of a loose ball.
- b. avoidable body check of an opponent after he has passed or shot the ball.
- c. body checking an opponent from the rear or at or below the waist.
- d. body checking an opponent above the shoulders. A body check must be below the shoulders and above the waist, and both hands of the player applying the body check must remain in contact with his crosse.
- Other Illegal equipment: not having a mouthguard, or not having it in the mouth, open ends on the shaft of the stick (no butt end), no shoulder pads, no arm pads (in most leagues, goalies do not have to wear arm pads so they can move their arms faster to block shots.)
- Illegal Gloves: Occurs when a player uses gloves that do not conform to required specifications. A glove will be found illegal if the fingers and palms are cut out of the gloves, or if the glove has been altered in a way that compromises its protective features.
- Holding: Occurs when a player impedes the movement of an opponent or an opponent's crosse, or a player has his crosse in between the arm pads and the players body.
- Interference: Occurs when a player interferes in any manner with the free movement of an opponent, except when that opponent has possession of the ball, the ball is in flight and within five yards of the player, or both players are within five yards of a loose ball.
- Offsides: Occurs when a team does not have at least four players on its defensive side of the midfield line or at least three players on its offensive side of the midfield line.
- Pushing: Occurs when a player thrusts or shoves a player from behind.
- Moving Pick: Occurs when an offensive player moves into and makes contact with a defensive player with the purpose of blocking him from the man he is defending, as opposed to a legal pick, standing next to a defensive player, blocking him from the player he is covering.
- Stalling: Occurs when a team intentionally holds the ball, without conducting normal offensive play, with the intent of running time off the clock. This is called if no attempt is made to get in the box.
- Warding Off: Occurs when a player in possession of the ball uses his free hand or arm to hold, push or control the direction of an opponent this includes pushing him off.
Information from Wikipedia.com and used without permission