While lacrosse is America’s oldest game, it may be the “freshest” sport in the nation as well. Its unique blend of fast-paced, high scoring, hard-hitting action has made it the fastest growing team sport in the United States. In lock step with this growth, Major League Lacrosse (MLL) was successfully launched in June 2001 as a single entity ownership structure to showcase the best professional outdoor lacrosse in the world. MLL was founded by Jake “Body by Jake” Steinfeld with founding partners Dave Morrow and Tim Robertson. The MLL has eight teams playing in major markets across the United States and Canada. MLL teams play 14 regular season games (seven home and seven away) that begin in April and run through August, including an All-Star game and Championship Weekend, where the top four teams play for top honors. Each team, consisting of twenty-three players, has three attacks, three midfielders, three defensemen, and a goaltender on the field during the game. Each team dresses eighteen players per game and the players rotate on and off the field in shifts. The game consists of four 15-minute quarters.
LEAGUE LACROSSE RULES:
Roster: Teams consist of 23 players. Each team dresses eighteen players per game (3 attacks, 3 midfielders, 3 defensemen, and 1 goaltender on the field during the game).
Time Format: Games consist of four 15-minute quarters, including a 15-minute halftime period.
Face Offs: Face offs occur to determine possession of the ball at the start of each quarter and after every goal. Two players face their sticks at midfield with a referee placing the ball between the heads of the sticks.
Shot Clock: Changed from a 45-second shot clock in 2005, a 60-second clock begins when a team gains possession of the ball. The offensive team must put a shot on goal during that time or they will lose possession. The clock is reset for a new 60 seconds if the offensive team takes a shot without scoring but recovers the ball.
Slow Whistle (Delayed Penalty): If a defending player commits a minor or major penalty against an opponent in possession of the ball where there is offensive momentum and the opponent doesn't lose possession, the official raises his hand and does not blow the whistle until a shot is taken, the 60-second shot clock expires, a goal is scored, or possession is lost.
Two-Point Arc: The 15-yard radius from the center of the goal line from which goals are worth two points. Also, players must remain at this line until the face off is possessed.
Goals: Are 6’ (high) x 6’ (wide)
Ball: The ball is colored fluorescent orange and is textured, making it less weather-sensitive and giving players a better feel for the ball in the stick pocket. The orange ball helps fans follow the game and enhances televised games by making them more viewer-friendly.
Body Check: Defensive move used to slow an opponent who has the ball, must be above the waist and below the neck.
Breakaway: One-on-one (shooter on goalie) scoring opportunity.
Clear: An attempt by the team in possession to transition the ball from defense to offense.
Cradle: Method used to keep the ball inside the pocket of the stick by rocking it back and forth.
Crease: The nine-foot radius containing the goal in which offensive players cannot enter. Shooters or their teammates cannot stand on (or inside) the line or their goals won’t count.
Cross Check: Defensive strategy using the shaft of the stick to push an opponent to force a missed or bad shot.
Failure to Advance: Upon gaining possession of the ball and resetting of the shot clock, the failure of a team to advance the ball from its defensive end of the field within 20 seconds.
Fast break: Like basketball, a transition from a defense-type offense in which the team with the ball gains a man advantage during the transition.
Ground Ball: Occurs when there is no possession and the ball is bouncing, rolling, or deflected off the goaltender.
Man Down: When a team has at least one player in the penalty box.
Man Up: When a team has a man advantage because the other team has at least one player in penalty box.
Outlet Pass: The first pass from the goaltender that begins the transition from defense to offense.
Penalty Box: Where a player sits while serving a penalty.
Ride or Riding: Defending a clear; an attempt to stop the team in possession from clearing the ball.
Roll Dodge: Typical of an attackman’s move, driving with the stick in one hand while rolling with his back to the defender to free hands for a pass or shot on goal.
Shorthanded: When one team has one or more players in the penalty box and the opponent is at full-strength or has one less penalized player on the field.
Shot Clock Violation: Failure to get a shot on goal - whether it hits the post, rebounds off the goalkeeper, or is saved by a defensive player in the crease - in 60 seconds.
Split Dodge: When an offensive player with the ball changes direction by moving the stick from one hand to the other in a crossover motion to lead the defender in the opposite direction.
Takeaway check: An attempt to strip the offensive player of the ball using the defenseman’s stick.
Attack: The attackman's responsibility is to score goals. The attackman generally restricts his play to the offensive end of the field.
Midfield: The midfielder's responsibility is to cover the entire field, playing both offense and defense. The midfielder is key to the transition game and is often called upon to clear the ball from defense to offense.
Defense: The defenseman's responsibility is to defend the goal. The defenseman generally restricts his play to the defensive end of the field. A good defenseman should be able to react quickly in game situations.
Goal: The goalie's responsibility is to protect the goal and stop the opposing team from scoring. A good goalie also leads the defense by reading the situation and directing the defensemen to react.
STICK DIMENSIONS FOR MAJOR LEAGUE LACROSSE:
Used by attackmen and midfielders
- Length: 40-42 inches
- Pocket width: 5-10 inches
Used by defenders, and only three are allowed on the field at the same time
- Length: 52-72 inches
- Pocket Width: 5-10 inches
One per team -no more, no less- is required on the field
- Length: 40-72 inches
- Pocket Width: 10-12 inches