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About the Girls Game

Girls lacrosse and boys lacrosse, while having some similarities are actually quite different. While the ball is similar in weight and size, the official ball for the boys and girls games are different colors. The stick, known as a crosse, is different in length allowed and pocket depth. The girls wear much less safety equipment because their rules do not allow body contact. Additionally the fields are lined differently and the positions are different. However, the object of the game is the same: Get the ball in the other teams net! The BYL girls teams play in the Massachusetts Bay Youth Lacrosse League and play by modified official women's lacrosse rules. Read on to learn more about the girls lacrosse game.

The Basics

U9 and U11 games are played on a smaller field with each team having 7 girls on the field plus a goalie.

U13 and U15 games are played on a full field with 11 girls on the field plus a goalie.

Goals: regulation lacrosse cages.

Ball: regulation solid yellow ball.

Length: regulation women's crosse (field stick for field players and goalie stick for goalkeepers) cut to a comfortable length.
Pocket depth: as the crosse is held in a horizontal position, pressure is applied to and released from a ball dropped into the pocket. The ball must remain even with or above the wall of the crosse.

Girls Safety Equipment
All field players (everyone but the goalie) must wear a mouth guard with no protruding tabs and ASTM approved women's regulation lacrosse goggles while on the field during games AND practices.

Goalkeepers must wear a regulation helmet, throat protector, mouth guard, chest protector and goalie gloves while on the field during games AND practices. Leg padding and pelvic protection is recommended but not required.

Each player must have a mouth guard that is fitted and colored (girls mouth guards cannot be white or clear).

All girls are required to purchase their own goggles.

Goalkeeper equipment is provided by BYL.

Description of Girls Postions

Start of the Game
Each half of the game and any overtime periods is started with a draw. After each goal the game is restarted with a draw. If a four or more goal differential exists, in place of a draw the team with fewer goals will be awarded a free position at the center of the center circle.

Draw: Each center opponent places one foot toeing the centerline. The crosse is held above the hip and parallel to the centerline. The ball is sandwiched between the backs of the the opposing players crosses and upon the whistle the center players push their sticks up and out thus tossing the ball into the air. The ball must attain a height higher than the heads of the players taking the draw. An illegal draw will result in a free position being awarded to the no offending center. If both players draw illegally, or it cannot be determined which player was a fault, then the referee will toss the ball in the air between the two centers as they stand next to each other.

Start/Stop Play
All play is started and stopped with a whistle. When the whistle is blown to stop play all field players must "stand" by not moving their feet unless directed to move by the official. The goalkeeper may move inside of the goal circle but if she was outside of the goal circle when the whistle blew she also must stand. Play resumes on the next whistle.

A goal is scored when the ball passes completely over the goal line drawn between the two goal posts. A goal may be scored if the ball bounces off a defenders crosse or body but not off an attack players body. A goal will NOT be scored if the ball enters the cage after a whistle, if a crease violation occurs, if and attack player fouls the goalie, if the attack's crosse is deemed illegal, or if the shot is ruled dangerous.

Substitutions may be made at anytime the ball is in play, after goals and a halftime. Each team may substitute an unlimited number of players at any time during play. If substitutions are made while the ball is in play ("on the fly") they must take place through the team substitution area by the scorer's table. The player leaving must be completely off the field before the substitute may enter the field. This includes the goalkeeper.

Duration of Play
A game is made up of two twenty-five minute running time halves. The clock will stop after each goal and, during the last two minutes of each half, after every whistle sounded to stop play. Otherwise the clock will run. Official time is to be kept by the home team.

If the score is tied at the end of regulation time then a six-minute stop-clock overtime may be considered but only if agreed upon by both coaches and if the referee's time allows.

Each team is allowed one two-minute time-out per half which may be requested only after play is stopped when a goal is scored.

Major Fouls

  1. Check roughly or recklessly. Checks will be controlled.
    (No stick checking will be allowed at the U12 level in the first four games of the season, full checking the second half of the season if both teams agree. If either team is not prepared to check, there will be no stick checking in that game)
    (Full stick checking allowed throughout the U14 season. Checks will be downward and away from the body.)
  2. Slash. Checks will be short and controlled, there must be recoil.
  3. Hold Crosse within the seven-inch sphere around opponent's face and throat.
  4. Hook the bottom end of an opponent's crosse.
  5. Reach across opponent when level or behind.
  6. Block opponent' move in the path of an opponent with out giving her a chance to change direction.
  7. Obstruct free space to goal, denying the attack the opportunity to shoot safely.
  8. Remain in the 8 meter arc for more than 3 seconds unless marking an opponent within a sticks length away.
  9. Set a moving or stationary pick out of the visual field of the opponent if she does not have enough space or time to change direction and contact occurs.
  10. Detain by holding or pushing with body or crosse.
  11. Trip an opponent, deliberately or otherwise.
  12. Hold or cradle crosse within her own sphere or the sphere of opponent.
  13. Charge, barge, shoulder or back into an opponent, or push with hand or body.
  14. Propel the ball or follow through with crosse in a dangerous or uncontrolled manner.
  15. Shoot dangerously or without control. A dangerous shot is determined by distance, force and placement. A shot may not be directed at a field player or the goalkeeper's body (especially the head or neck). A shot may be called dangerous and a free position given to the goalkeeper even if it misses the goal.
  16. Shoot from an indirect free position.
  17. Violate the restraining line. (In this league this will result in a held whistle until all players have learned the restraining line rule. It is up to the coaches to instruct their teams on this rule and enforce the rule with their own team).

Minor Fouls

  1. Guard a ground ball with foot or crosse.
  2. Check an opponent's cross when she is trying to get possession of the ball (checking an empty crosse).
  3. Guard the crosse with an arm, ward off or elbow with free arm.
  4. Touch the ball with hand or body. (except goalkeeper)
  5. Use hand or body to keep the ball in the crosse.
  6. Use any part of the body to impede, accelerate or change the direction of the ball.
  7. Throw the crosse in any circumstance.
  8. Take part in the game if she is not holding her crosse.
  9. Draw illegally by: drawing too soon, if the movement of the crosse is not up and away, move before the whistle, or it the ball does not go higher then the heads of the players taking the draw.
  10. On the center draw step into the center circle before the whistle. (except for two players taking the draw)
  11. Play with a crosse that does not meet specifications.
  12. Adjust crosse after it has been checked and allowed into the game.
  13. Fail to be on the field after a time out or at half time.
  14. Take part in the game wearing jewelry or illegal uniform.
  15. Substitute illegally.
  16. Move before the whistle, or fail to stand when the whistle is blown.
  17. Intentionally delay the game, fail to move four meters away, fail to wear a mouthpiece, or any behavior that the referee determines is a delay of game.
  18. Deliberately cause the ball to go out of bounds.
  19. Score a goal with a crosse that does not meet the field crosses's specifications.
  20. Take a shot on goal until three passes, not including the goalkeeper's clear are completed or attempted. (League rule, possibly will be amended for the 2001 season to include the goalkeeper's clear as one of the passes).

Goal Circle Fouls

1) Enter of have any part of her body or crosse in the goal circle at any time unless deputizing for the goalkeeper.


  1. Allow the ball to remain in the goal circle for more than ten seconds.
  2. Reach beyond the goal circle to play the ball in the air or on the ground with her hand.
  3. Draw the ball into her goal circle when any part of her is grounded outside the circle.
  4. Step back into the goal circle when she has possession of the ball. (She may toss the ball into the circle and follow it in.)
  5. When outside the circle, throw any part of her equipment to her deputy.

Penalties for Fouls
A foul results in a free position by the team that was fouled with all players moving 4 meters away from the player with the ball.

For a MAJOR FOUL the offending player moves 4 meters BEHIND the girl awarded the free position.

For a MINOR FOUL the offending player moves 4 meters AWAY in the direction from which she approached.

In the critical scoring area, inside the 8 meter arc, a major foul by the defense will result in a free position taken on the 8 meter arc (a direct shot on goal).

A minor foul will result in an indirect free position in which case no shot may be taken until the ball has been played by another player.