Lacrosse Field Lines
The field lines in lacrosse add structure to the flow of play and delineate where certain players can move about the field. There are several types of lines you will learn about, including:
- end line
- midfield line
- restraining line
The End Lines
The end lines are located at both ends of the field just behind the goals. The end lines form the back boundary of the offensive and defensive areas. When the ball travels over the end line off an errant pass, the team that last touched the ball loses possession. If the ball travels crosses the end line off a shot on goal, the team with a back up player closest to the end line is awarded the ball.
The sidelines connect with the end lines forming the boundary lines on the field. Players are substituted from the sidelines. Coaches and players who are not on the starting roster stand or sit on the sidelines several yards back from the sideline. The sidelines are a hard boundary, and the team that last touched the ball before it crossed over the sideline loses possession on a restart. This rule also applies when the ball is checked out of a player’s stick. The ball is considered out-of-bounds on the sideline even when a player carrying the ball in their crosse touches the sideline with any part of their body.
The Midfield Line
The midfield line divides the field into two equal halves. One side is the defensive half, and the other side is the offensive half. Teams switch halves at the end of each period. Faceoffs also take place here. The midfield line is also used to call penalties like offsides. There are hash marks on each side of the midfield line, located 10 yards in from the sideline, that delineate the wing area or alley. The timekeeper and scorekeeper sit at the midfield line at a table a few yards off the field. Players substitute in and out of the game from the midfield line. You will see transition plays, including rides, clears and fast breaks, occur in the midfield area of the field.
The Restraining Line
The restraining line defines the attack area and the defensive area of the field. The restraining line connects with the sidelines to create a restraining box. The restraining line is used to call penalties like offsides. In settled offense with full strength offense and defense, there are six attackmen and midfielders per side in men’s lacrosse and seven attackers and midfielders per side in women’s lacrosse. The restraining line is important during a face-off or draw because it delineates where certain players can stand before the play begins.
Goal Line Extended
The GLE in lacrosse stands for Goal Line Extended. It refers to an imaginary line even with the goal line that runs parallel to the end line and extends out to the sidelines. Goal Line Extended is used to position a restart after a penalty call. Goal Line Extended is also a common place to position a feeder or cutter in a settled offensive play.