Harrison Youth Lacrosse
This is a very condensed list of the many rules and practices with respect to girls lacrosse. It is meant to give the parents of youth girls lacrosse players some basics so they can follow the game more easily as well as topics to discuss and review with your daughters. We hope that it is helpful. If you have anything else that you think should go on the list or be expanded upon please send an email to
Point of the Game
Girls Lacrosse Basics
Score more goals than the other team.
- 4 Attack (play forward, offense)
- 3 Midfielders (play offense and defense)
- 4 Defenders
- 1 Goalie
Start of the Game; After Goals - The Draw
- Girl’s lacrosse stick
- Lacrosse eye protection
- Mouthpiece (with nothing coming off the mouthpiece/do not attach it to eye protection)
- Gloves (like batting gloves) recommended but optional
- No jewelry permitted
The ball is placed between two player’s (standing in the middle of the circle) sticks and on the whistle they must pull the ball up into the air. For an acceptable draw the ball must go above the players’ heads.
3 Attack and 3 defenders must start behind their restraining lines and the other players not taking the draw line up on the circle.
All players can go for the ball after draw has been signaled for.
Positions During Play
Must always have 4 players on offensive 3/4 of the field (up to the opposite restraining line). Essentially means attack can play from behind goal they are trying to score on until 30 yards away from their goalie.
Must always have 5 players (including goalie) on defensive 3/4 of the field (up to the opposite restraining line). So, defenders can play from behind goal they are defending until 30 yards away from goal their team is trying to score on.
Attack and Defenders may cross the entire field if another player (usually a midfielder) stays back.
Generally in youth girls lacrosse, no player other than the goalie is allowed in the circle around the goal. An offensive player’s stick may not touch the goal circle or inside it or be in the air above it.
At 3/4 we may need to play with a 2 or 3 pass requirement prior to being allowed to shoot. It is subject to discussion between the coaches.
The games are 20 (at 3/4) and 25 (5/6 and 7/8) minute running time halves.
Out of Bounds
A ball on or outside the lines surrounding the field or a player’s feet on or outside the line around the field is out of bounds.
A ball shot that misses the goal and goes out of bounds is awarded to the player closest to the ball when it goes out of bounds. So girls should be aware to run behind the goal on a shot in case it is not on target.
Subbing must be done on the fly or after goals. So most subbing will occur during play. The player coming off the field must be all the way off the field at midfield prior to the player being inserted going on the field (also at midfield).
Stoppage of Play
Players must freeze on any whistle and only move if directed by the referee.
- Cradling - With the ball in stick, the act of moving the stick from side to side causing the ball to remain in the pocket while running.
- Picking up ground balls - The ball is on the ground a lot. The team that controls the ground balls usually wins.
- Catching - Requires eye hand coordination and technique. Use soft hands like catching an egg. Girls should practice against a wall on their own or with friends. Practice lefty and righty.
- Passing - A common mistake is to keep your top hand too high on the stick. This limits accuracy and distance. Need to step with opposite foot as top hand on stick. Throwing a lacrosse ball is very similar to throwing a baseball. Practice same as for Catching above.
- Dodging - While cradling the ball, making a move designed to beat a defender. Girls should practice at home and switch hands. It is fun to dodge cones, trees or siblings.
- Shooting - Accuracy and power are important. No shooting while a defender is between the shooter and the goal (a rule for safety since girls are not wearing equipment).
- Movement - When your team has the ball movement of the player with the ball and movement of the players without the ball is essential to create opportunities.
- Spacing - Like basketball and soccer players on offense need to be sensitive to spacing and not bunching up unless intentionally done to create confusion.
- Defending - Defending well is an essential skill that is often overlooked. Movement of feet and being in right position in respect of player defending is essential. With no stick checking in 3/4 and 5/6 and limited checking in 7/8, there is a 3 second rule. If defender is in High School checkable position (within 1 stick length, stick on same side of body as offensive player’s stick and stick on the offensive player’s body side of the offensive player’s stick) for 3 seconds, the defensive player is awarded the ball. In 7/8, the player is not allowed to check the offensive player’s stick if the head of her stick is above her shoulders.
Key Differences from Boys Lacrosse
- Pushing, tripping, blocking, etc.
- A defender putting her stick close to the head (or “sphere”) of an offensive player.
- An offensive player charging into a defensive player.
- Covering the ball with one’s stick.
- A defender standing inside the 8 meter arc surrounding the goal without being within 1 stick length of an offensive player (or saying they are covering a player behind the goal by holding their stick up in the air and pointing to her) for 3 seconds.
- Approaching a girl inside the 8 meter arc surrounding the goal so that if the offensive player were to shoot the player approaching would be potentially hit with the ball.
- Offsides (see above under Field).
- For a foul inside of the 8 meter arc, the ball is awarded to the player 8 meters from the goal and with other players a few yards to her side giving her a free shot on goal (at 3/4 the same applies but the girl awarded the ball needs to pass at least once before the team can shoot).
- The field. See Field above.
- No padding (other than goalie)
- The stick - no pocket. This makes it harder to catch and run with the ball - designed to counter the limited checking rules. No mesh allowed (other than goalie stick).
- No checking in 3/4 or 5/6, limited stick checking in 7/8.
- The differences in the draw from than the faceoff.
- 12 players on the field for each team versus 10 for the boys.
- Because of limited equipment, a lot of safety rules, including needing open lane to shoot on goal.
- Offsides not based on midfield line (but is based on lines somewhat equivalent to boys restraining lines - attack and defenders can play 3/4 of the field). See above under Field.
- It is a foul to put your stick on top of the ball.
- No one allowed to move after a whistle.
- Generally no man up/ man down. 5/6 and 7/8 have what looks like penalty shots for fouls inside the 8 meter arc.