Lacrosse Overtime Rules

In the event of a tied lacrosse game at the end of regulation play, a sudden death overtime decides the winning team. Overtime is a high stakes and intense situation for both teams. Sudden death means that the first team to score a goal is automatically declared the winning team. Read to learn the basic rules of overtime in lacrosse.

Overtime Length

The length of overtime varies for different leagues and levels of the game. In collegiate and high school lacrosse, overtime periods are four minutes long with a two-minute stoppage in between each period for the teams to change goals.

In the Professional Lacrosse League (PLL), overtime periods are each 12 minutes long. In the National Lacrosse League (NLL), the sudden death periods are 15 minutes long with a two-minute stoppage of play between the first and second period.

Overtime Format

Overtime begins five minutes after the end of regulation play. Teams will have an opportunity to discuss strategy, make substitutions and regain focus for the intensity of overtime. A coin toss is conducted first to decide respective offensive and defensive halves. After the teams take the field, each sudden death overtime period begins with a face-off.

Some indoor lacrosse games are decided by a shootout if no team scores a goal during the two 15-minute periods. In a shootout, one player from each team starts at the centerline and drives on goal undefended for a shot. Three players from each team alternate back and forth, and the team with the most goals scored after six total shooters is declared the winner. In the event that the game remains tied, the alternating procedure continues. Teams must elect a different shooter for every round.

Overtime Coin Toss Procedure

If the game is tied at the end of regulation, the officials perform another coin toss with the captains. According to official procedure, this coin toss must be performed within a two-minute interval between the end of the second half and the start of the first overtime period. The visiting team again receives the right to call the coin toss. The team that wins the coin toss has the option to choose which half of the field to defend. Alternating possession status continues as prescribed leading into overtime.


How long does overtime last in lacrosse?

The length of overtime in lacrosse depends on the league and level of lacrosse being played. High school and college lacrosse overtime periods typically last four minutes, or until a goal is scored. Meanwhile, at the professional level, PLL overtime periods last 12 minutes and NLL overtime periods last 15 minutes.

What are college lacrosse overtime rules?

In NCAA lacrosse, overtime periods last four minutes and use a sudden death format. This means that, following a tie at the end of regulation play, a new four-minute period begins where the first team to score a goal is declared the game’s winner. Additional overtime periods are added until the tie has been broken.

What are high school lacrosse overtime rules?

In high school lacrosse, overtime periods typically last four minutes and follow a sudden death format. Following a tie at the end of regulation play, teams will play new four-minute periods, and the first team to score a goal is declared the game’s winner. Some non-Varsity high school leagues and teams will not have overtime periods and allow games to end in a tie.