*The number 1 rule is to have FUN !
*Although Lacrosse is very complementary to hockey its tactics are more similar to basketball. The main similarities and differences are as follows:
*Like basketball and unlike hockey to some degree the game of Lacrosse involves a full team offence. There are no defencemen in Lacrosse!
*Like basketball, there is no off-side nor icing! This keeps the pace of the game moving very quickly!
*There is a goalie and five players. The players are referred to as left crease, left corner, right crease, right corner and point.
*The goalie in Lacrosse can function just like any other player (remember, there is no blue line for offside purposes and a goalie can go anywhere on the floor).
*A big difference between hockey and Lacrosse involves the goalie's crease. If a player on the offensive team has the ball and steps into the defensive team's crease to shoot or cut through it, there is a change-in-possession.
*No player from outside the crease may reach into the crease and gain possession of the ball or, for that matter, interfere with the goalie gaining possession of the ball in the crease.
*A defensive player may step in the crease to gain possession of the ball in the crease and then run with the ball out of the crease but cannot then step back into the crease.
*If an offensive player goes through the other team's crease to make a check or touches the goalie while they are in their crease it results in a penalty. If an offensive player is pushed into the crease there is no penalty and the play continues. However the player must make every effort to get out of the crease immediately.
*If a player shoots or bounces the ball into the stands, the other team is given possession. A whistle restarts the play.
*If 2 players are going after a "loose" ball they must play the ball and not check the opposing player until they have possession. If a check occurs before possession, then the checked player is awarded possession.
*There is always a face-off after a goal, penalty or when the ball strikes the goalie in the helmet area, (a goal is counted if the ball goes directly into the net off the goalie's helmet or facemask).
*Face-offs are taken with the open face of the stick facing your own net. The ball must come out of the 2' centre face-off circle before the other players can enter the larger circle. An offence against this does not cause another face-off as in hockey, it results in immediate possession to the other team.
*Checking is an important part of the game but checking from behind and violent checks into the boards will be strictly enforced. Checking from behind will be dealt with severely as it is one of the leading potential injury factors. It is a "judgement" call by the referee and is enforced differently at Rep levels. Ejection can be called in extreme cases.
*High sticking can be an area of confusion. "Incidental" contact with the helmet by an opposing player's stick is not automatically a penalty. It is a referee's judgement call.
*Cross-checking in Lacrosse is both legal and a very important and proper method of checking! Cross- Checking from behind is not tolerated. However, if a player ducks into a players crosscheck, no matter how severe that check is, it is not a penalty unless it is from behind! Again, the only way to enforce cross-checking from behind is the referees' judgement.
*A player with the ball cannot push off with his free hand or arm! If they do, possession is immediately awarded to the other team. Many times spectators will not notice the free hand or arm pushing (as long as the player with the ball keeps both hands on their stick they may push or shoulder to resist the checker) and will often miss the checking by offensive players especially when the action is away from the ball.
*Remember as well, you can check an offensive player, whether he has the ball or not but this can only be done in the "D", which is the normally dotted line in the defensive zone! However, if you are on the offensive team you must take the checking without responding! Any response or checking by any member of the team who has possession will result in loss of possession.
*Players or goalies out of their crease, will be penalized if they catch the ball in the hand. If they just contact it with the hand it is possession to the other team.
*The ball may be kicked, but not for a goal. Also if the ball is stuck in a stick the referee will help free it and the play shall continue.
*When a team is short-handed, they have 10 seconds to get the ball over the center and once it is over it cannot go back, or change of possession occurs. When a player is awarded possession by the referee they must be given at least 9 feet of room by the defending players until the whistle signifies the start of play.
*When defending your own net you can only pass the ball back to your own crease area once each possession. Your goalie or player has 5 seconds to get the ball out of the crease after stopping and gaining control of it; they must have both feet out to be considered out and once out, they or any other player cannot go back in or through! You can pass to the goalie as much as you want if they are out of the crease.
The number 1 rule is to have FUN !