Lacrosse 101

Difference between Box & Field Lacrosse:

If you're new to the sport of lacrosse, you might be wondering about the differences between box lacrosse and field lacrosse. While both sports share similarities, such as the use of sticks and a small rubber ball, they have distinct differences that set them apart. Box lacrosse is played indoors, with six players per side and a smaller playing surface, while field lacrosse is played outdoors, with ten players per side and a larger field. Box lacrosse has a faster pace and requires more physicality, while field lacrosse is more strategic and requires endurance. Both sports offer unique challenges and exciting gameplay.


The strategy of box lacrosse is similar to that of basketball, with all five runners involved in the offense and the defense. Added to the appeal are the speed and excitement created by a 30 second shot clock. The combination of action and reaction makes Box as much fun to play as it is to watch.

The strategy of field lacrosse is different from that of box lacrosse, with a focus on creating space and passing lanes to move the ball up the field. Field lacrosse also features a shot clock, typically 80 seconds, which adds a sense of urgency and fast-paced action to the game.


Basic Rules:

Both games begins with a face-off.  Players battle for possession of the ball and use their sticks to pass, catch, and run with the ball.  A player may dislodge the ball from an opponent’s stick by the controlled poking and slapping of the stick of the ball carrier.  A stick may also be checked if the ball is loose or the ball is in the air.

To stop the opposing team from scoring, defensive players use good positioning to defend their net.  In younger divisions there is limited body contact.  The emphasis is to play team defense, turn the ball over, and move into offense quickly to create scoring chances.



The main equipment you need for the game of lacrosse includes a stick, a ball, a helmet, gloves, shoulder pads, elbow pads, and a mouthguard. The type and quality of the equipment can vary depending on the level of play, with more advanced players often using specialized gear.


Other info:

Box Lacrosse is played almost exclusively in Canada, with numerous amateur and professional leagues and annual National Championships occurring at seven levels. The award of the premiere junior (17-21) championship is the Minto Cup, while the best senior players in Canada (over 21) play for the Mann Cup.

Field lacrosse is particularly popular in both Canada and the USA, where it is played at all levels, from youth leagues to professional leagues.

There are currently over 50,000 lacrosse players in Canada. Both males and females play and the ages of competition range from 6-65 years.

Box Lacrosse Rules Quick Guide:

The rules of lacrosse and tactics utilized are much the same as basketball. Unlike hockey, there is no off-side and the goaltender may advance to any portion of the floor. In novice and above, a thirty second clock is in effect. The team with possession of the ball must take a shot on net within the 30 seconds or give up possession. When a team is in possession of the ball, all players are on the attack. When a team is not in possession of the ball, all players are on the defense and trying to get possession from the opposing team.

Listed below is a short summary of the most common infractions:

  1. Butt ending, slashing, and high sticking are all called as penalties, similar to hockey.
  2. Cross­checking below the waist or in a chopping motion is not allowed. Players are to place the stick on the opponent and push.
  3. Checking from behind is a major penalty. If the offensive player turns his back, no infraction is called.
  4. If any player impedes another in going for the ball, interference is called and the non offending team gains possession.
  5. Handling the ball: Not allowed, non offending team gains possession.
  6. No attacking player is allowed in the goal crease. No defensive player may check an offensive player or the goaltender in the crease. The goaltender or offensive team must move the ball out of the crease within 5 seconds.
  7. Any player who engages in a fight receives a game misconduct plus any additional games deemed necessary by the league commissioner.

Here are more detailed Lacrosse Rules

(Sadly, the official CLA rulebook must be purchased:)