Lacrosse Crease Violation

Lacrosse Crease Violation

In lacrosse, the crease is the circular area surrounding each net. Only the goaltender can possess the ball in this area, and defensive players can enter the crease as long as they are not in possession of the ball. If a team is found to have committed a crease violation, they will be penalized with a technical foul. Technical fouls result in a change of possession or a 30-second penalty.


A crease violation is when a member of the offensive team enters the crease, typically during a shot attempt. The crease is the circular area around the net. Only members of the defense and the goalkeeper, who protects the net, are allowed inside the crease. Additionally, the goalkeeper is the only player who is allowed to possess the ball inside the crease. When an offensive player steps on or inside the crease, the referee blows their whistle and awards possession to the opposing team. If a goal is scored during the play, it will not count. If the violation occurs when the defense possesses the ball, a flag will be thrown, and a 30-second penalty will be charged to the offending player during the next dead ball.

There are certain exceptions to this rule in lacrosse, which makes calling this violation a potential challenge for referees. These include when the offensive player’s momentum carries them into the crease after the ball enters the net or if the offensive player is pushed into the crease by a defensemen and scores a goal. In these circumstances, the goal will count and there is no crease violation. A maneuver called “crease diving” is currently controversial in the lacrosse community, being legal at the collegiate and professional levels but not in youth or high school leagues. Crease diving is the act of purposefully jumping into the crease area to gain a better shooting angle but not making contact with the ground until after the ball has entered the goal.

A crease violation is considered a technical foul in lacrosse, meaning it is less serious than a personal foul. Technical fouls will be called when a rule of the game is violated and result in either a change of possession or a 30-second penalty charged to the player who committed the violation. Overall, a crease violation is not a serious offense in lacrosse, but committing this violation could jeopardize critical scoring opportunities and impact a team’s chances of winning the game.


In lacrosse, a crease violation committed by the offense results in a change of possession. The referee will blow their whistle to stop play and award possession to the defense. Play will be restarted on their sideline. If a goal has been scored during the play, it will be waived off and play will continue. If the violation occurs while the defense is in possession of the ball, a flag will be thrown and a 30-second penalty will be assessed at the next dead ball or change of possession.

Referee Signal

Lacrosse Crease Violation Referee Signal

If a goal is scored during a crease violation, the referee will wave their hands in the air to “waive off” the goal, then point at the crease to signal a crease violation. If the violation results in a flag being thrown, the referee will make a “T” formation with their hands in front of their body to signal the technical foul after play has stopped. At that time, they will issue a 30-second penalty to the offending player.


  • An attacking player steps in the crease while attempting to dodge from behind the goal. They shoot and score, but the goal is waived off and possession is awarded to the other team.
  • A loose ball outside the crease and a member of the attacking team falls into the crease. If the defensive team doesn’t recover the loose ball, they are awarded the ball upon a team gaining possession.
  • A defensive player is trying to clear a ball, and an offensive player runs through the crease chasing them. This results in a flag on the play and the defensive team to complete their fast break before the penalty is assessed.

Similar Violations to Crease Violation

  • Goalkeeper Interference
  • Offsides
  • Holding
  • Warding


What is a crease violation in lacrosse?

A crease violation is a technical foul called in lacrosse when an offensive player enters the goaltender’s crease around the net. The 18-ft diameter circle around the net is considered sacred for the goaltender. As soon as an offensive player in possession of the ball enters the crease, the play is blown dead and the crease violation is assessed. The goaltender is the only player on the field who is allowed to possess the ball in the crease.

What are the consequences for being called for a crease violation in lacrosse?

A crease violation is considered a technical foul in lacrosse. Technical fouls are less serious than personal fouls. Technical fouls will result in a change of possession or 30-second penalty, and if an attacking player scores a goal but enters the crease before the ball is in the net, the goal will be disallowed. Once the attacking player enters the crease, the whistle is blown to signify the penalty, and there is no play-on when it comes to entering the crease as an offensive player.

What is the crease in lacrosse?

In lacrosse, the crease is the small circular area around the net measuring 18 feet in diameter. Only the goalkeeper and defensive players are allowed inside the crease during a lacrosse game, and the goaltender is the only player who is allowed to control the ball inside the crease. Each lacrosse field has two creases, one around each team’s net.