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Lacrosse Boundary Rules

Table of Contents

The Boundaries

Each area of the lacrosse field defined by various boundary lines has different rules associated with it. In this section, we will cover some of the main boundary rules in lacrosse.


If the ball goes out-of-bounds in lacrosse, it results in a turnover which gives possession to the other team. Play is also considered out-of-bounds when the foot of a player touches the line. The other team brings the ball back in play with a quick restart, meaning that once the player brings the ball onto the field and makes a move, the ball is in play.Lacrosse Quick Restart


When the ball goes over the boundary lines following a shot, possession is awarded to the team whose player is closest to the ball during the instant it crosses the line. Often times after a shot, a player from each team race to the boundary line to be closest to the ball so that they will gain possession for their team.

Restraining Line Rules

The restraining line is used to ensure that a certain number of players occupy the attack area or defensive area at any one time. During a draw or faceoff, all players aside from the center taking the draw or faceoff must stand behind the restraining line or wing area line. In men's field lacrosse, six players from one team are allowed to cross the centerline into the attacking half and seven players (including the goaltender) are allowed to cross the centerline into the defensive half. In women's lacrosse, seven players from one team are allowed to cross the centerline into the attacking half and eight players (including the goaltender) are allowed to cross the centerline into the defensive half.

There are also time clock rules associated with the restraining line. When the defense wins possession in their own half, they have 20 seconds to transition the ball past the midfield line and 10 additional seconds to move the ball into the restraining box. To prevent the attack from a stall play, officials will add a 30-second shot clock during which time the attack cannot leave the restraining box.

Substitution Area Rules

The player running off the field preparing to be substituted for must be within 10 yards and moving in the direction of the sideline before the player in the substitution box can exchange places with their teammate. If a player runs onto the field too early, the official will signal for offsides or illegal substitution, which is a delay of game penalty.

Crease Rules

A penalty related to the crease rules results in a crease violation. A crease violation in lacrosse is a penalty infraction resulting from illegal movement or action within the crease or goal circle. In men's lacrosse, crease violations can result from an attacker touching or crossing the goal circle, unless it was a shooting play and the attacker's body was moving away from the goal. If the goaltender fails to clear the ball from the goal circle within four seconds in men's lacrosse or within ten seconds in women's lacrosse, a crease violation results. Defenders are able to run through the crease while defending an attacker.


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