Girls lacrosse rules

Like any sport, knowing the rules is very important if you want to enjoy playing or watching women’s lacrosse. With this complete guide to women’s lacrosse rules and regulations, we’ll have you be a pro in no time! For more information on lacrosse rules or equipment check out LacrosseMonkey today!

In this article, we’ll cover:

Understanding Women's Lacrosse Basics

What is Women's Lacrosse?

The first women’s lacrosse game was played in 1890 and its popularity has grown tremendously with women’s lacrosse being played at top-tier colleges and having its own pro league. Women’s lacrosse is all about finesse and skill due to the restrictions they have on pocket depth. Women’s lacrosse features less physical contact than men’s lacrosse, so playing defense is much harder in women’s lacrosse.

General Lacrosse Rules

Common rules between men’s and women’s lacrosse include:

  • Restraining lines
  • Goalies
  • Crease rules
  • Penalty for checking to head or back
  • Subbing on the fly 

Differences between men’s and women’s lacrosse include

  • Number of Players
  • Field Size
  • Offensive & Defensive Player Locations
  • Face-off vs. Draw
  • Pocket Depth
  • Checking

High School Girls Lacrosse Rules

Overview of High School Girls Lacrosse Rules

High school women's lacrosse shares the same rules as collegiate lacrosse. However, high school lacrosse has more emphasis on stick-to-body contact rules and will be more strict to maintain player safety. 

Girls Lax Rules and Gameplay

Women's lacrosse is played with 5 attackers and 6 defenders. Only seven players from each team are allowed past the restraining line on each end of the field. Common plays for offense are a wheel or setting picks. The most common defense is a zone with a backer meaning the defense will always have a free slide.

NCAA Women's Lacrosse Rules

Overview of NCAA Women's Lacrosse Rules

High school women's lacrosse shares the same rules as collegiate lacrosse. The collegiate game is much faster and more physical than high school lacrosse. The players are allowed more stick-to-body contact and the referees normally let the players play. Also, there is a 90-second shot clock that is exclusive to college lacrosse.

Women's Lacrosse Stick Regulations

For a women’s stick to be legal it must have a shallow pocket and no more than 2 shooting cords. The pocket depth is measured by using a ball. If you can see the ball over the side rail then the pocket is legal, if you can not then the pocket is too deep and will be deemed illegal. A woman’s stick length can be between 35.5 and 43.25 inches.

NCAA Women's Lacrosse Rule Book

The NCAA rule book is the ultimate guideline for coaches, referees, and players. Coaches and referees should know all the rules to provide a safe environment for the players.

Women's Lacrosse Rule Changes in 2023

The NCAA committee has implemented new rules that will speed up the game. This will ultimately give coaches more options on offense and have to rely on a strong defense to win games.

New rule changes include:

  • 15-minute quarters instead of 30-minute halves.
  • The free movement rule allows movement after a whistle.
  • 90-second shot clock.
  • Dangerous shots are no longer a foul.

Safety and Sportsmanship in Women's Lacrosse

Emphasizing Safety in Women's Lacrosse

Women’s lacrosse rules are designed with player safety in mind. There is limited checking and high sticks near players' heads are not allowed. Players wear goggles to protect their faces from shots or sticks, however, if a player wants even more protection they can wear a helmet designed specifically for women’s lacrosse.

Sportsmanship and Fair Play

The referee's job is to keep the game safe and fair, this is to allow both teams to have even footing and a fair chance to win the game. Sportsmanship also goes a long way on the field, being respectful to the opposing team and referees is something collegiate coaches look for when recruiting.

Knowing all the rules and regulations of a women's lacrosse game can make playing and watching the game much more enjoyable. After today's article, you should be a pro when it comes to women’s lacrosse! Check out more lacrosse articles and pick up the newest lacrosse gear today at LacrosseMonkey.

Women’s Lacrosse Rules FAQs

How does women's lacrosse work?

Women’s lacrosse is a 12 v 12 game featuring four 15-minute quarters. The goal of the game is to score the ball in the opposing team’s goal.

Is women's lacrosse in halves or quarters?

Women’s lacrosse is played in four 15-minute quarters.

What is the hardest position in women's lacrosse?

The hardest position in women’s lacrosse is goalie. Goalies have to save the ball from going into the goal.

What is not allowed in girls lacrosse?

Stick to body checking is not allowed in women’s lacrosse.