Lacrosse Stalling the Clock Penalty

Lacrosse Stalling the Clock

In lacrosse, deliberately delaying the game results in a stalling the clock penalty. This technical foul results in a turnover or 30-second releasable penalty for the team that is caught stalling. There are a few different situations where this penalty can be called.


Lacrosse is a fast-paced sport in which players are constantly moving, meaning every second on the clock is valuable. A stalling the clock penalty involves intentionally holding the lacrosse ball without an effort to advance it. This penalty is a technical foul, which is less serious in nature than a personal foul. This penalty helps ensure that players don’t intentionally delay the game when they are in the lead.

Stalling the clock can be applied in a number of situations. Referees will first provide a warning if they believe a team is attempting to waste time, followed by the actual enforcement of the penalty. The referee will give a “get it in” command when a player in possession of the ball fails to get into the goal area in a timely manner. At this point, the player must get the ball into the goal area within 10 seconds and keep it there, or a stalling the clock penalty will be called. However, alternative versions of this penalty exist in different lacrosse leagues. For example, stalling the clock may be based on a shot clock that counts down every time a team has possession of the lacrosse ball. If a team hasn’t attempted to score on the opponent’s goal by the time the shot clock runs out, this penalty will be called. The duration of the shot clock will vary between leagues and levels of play. The resulting penalty for a stalling the clock violation will also be different as well between various leagues.


The result of a stalling the clock penalty will vary between different lacrosse leagues and levels of play. At the US Youth Lacrosse level, this penalty will cause the player who committed the illegal action to sit in the penalty area for 30 seconds or until a goal is scored by the opposing team. Within NCAA lacrosse, there is an 80-second shot clock, where the offensive team is required to make an attempt at scoring. If they fail to do so, the other team will be awarded possession of the ball. Professional indoor lacrosse operates similarly but with a 30-second shot clock.

Referee Signal

Lacrosse Stalling the Clock Referee Signal

Initially, a referee will give a warning signal for stalling, which involves the two arms being stretched outwards perpendicularly. When the actual penalty occurs, the referee blows their whistle and signals that stalling of the clock has occurred. In this signal, the referee puts their arms in front of them at shoulders length. Then, the arms are crossed over each other, with one on top of the other.  


  • A player on the attacking team is in the offensive half of the field and makes no attempt to score.
  • The offensive team enters the goal-scoring area and then leaves the area with possession of the ball without making a shot on goal.
  • The offensive team has possession of the ball in the goal-scoring area and a defender is attempting to defend within 5 yards, but the offensive team makes no attempt to score.

Similar Penalties to Stalling the Clock

  • Illegal Procedure
  • Offsides
  • Crease Violation


What is stalling the clock in lacrosse?

Stalling the clock is when a team attempts to waste time by failing to attack the goal. Teams are inclined to do this when they are in the lead and want to run out the clock. The stalling the clock penalty helps deter this behavior. At the NCAA level, an 80-second shot clock exists to help control the pace of play. If the team on offense fails to shoot or try to score a goal in those 80 seconds, they will be charged with a stalling the clock penalty.

What are the consequences of stalling the clock in lacrosse?

The consequences for stalling the clock in lacrosse will vary between different leagues. At all levels of play, stalling the clock is considered a technical foul. In most situations, the team that commits the stalling the clock penalty will lose possession of the ball. At the US Youth level, a specific player may need to sit in the penalty area for 30 seconds when they commit this penalty.  

What is the shot clock in lacrosse?

The shot clock in lacrosse keeps track of the time that a team has left to attempt scoring a goal during each offensive possession. At the NCAA level, an 80-second shot clock is used to help keep track of possession. The clock will reset when there’s a change of possession or if the team on offense is able to regain possession. All lacrosse games must have at least one shot clock visible from the center of the field.