Lacrosse Terms


               A lot of terms are used in lacrosse and it can be confusing, particularly for folks new to the game. Set forth below are definitions for some of the more common terms used in the game:

Any action taken by a goal keeper from within the goal circle to pass or carry the ball out of the goal circle.

Critical Scoring Area:
An area 15 meters in front of and to each side of the goal and nine meters behind the goal. An eight-meter arc and 12-meter fan are marked in the area.

Crosse (stick):
The equipment used to throw, catch, check and carry the ball.

Crosse Checking:
Controlled stick-to-stick contact in an attempt to dislodge the ball from the Crosse.

A player who enters the goal circle when the goalie is out of the goal circle and her team is in possession of the ball.

A technique to start or resume play by which a ball is placed in between two sticks held back to back and drawn up and away.

Eight-Meter Arcs:
A semi-circular area in front of the goal used for the administration of major fouls. A defender may not remain in this area for more than three seconds unless she is within a stick's length of her opponent.

Free Position:
An opportunity awarded to one player when a major or minor foul is committed by a player from the other team. All players must move four meters away from the player with the ball. When the whistle sounds to resume play, the player may run, pass or shoot the ball.

Free Space to Goal:
A cone-shaped path extending from each side of the goal circle to the attack player with the ball. A defense player may not, for safety reasons, stand alone in this area without closely marking an opponent.

Goal Circle:
The circle around the goal with a radius of 2.6 meters (8.5 feet). No player's stick or body may "break" the cylinder of the goal circle.

Refers to any part of the goalkeeper's or deputy's body touching the ground for support outside of the goal circle when she attempts to play the ball from inside the goal circle.

Indirect Free Position:
An opportunity awarded to the offense when a minor foul is committed by the defense inside the 12-meter fan. When the whistle sounds to resume play, the player may run or pass, but may not shoot until a defender has checked her Crosse or she passes to a teammate.

Being within a stick's length of an opponent.

Penalty Lane:
The path to the goal that is cleared when a free position is awarded to the attacking team inside the critical scoring area.

Scoring Play:
A continuous effort by the attacking team to move the ball toward the goal and to complete a shot on goal.

All players, except the goalkeeper in her goal circle, must remain stationary following the sound of any whistle.

An imaginary area, approximately 18 cm (seven inches) which surrounds a player's head. No stick checks toward the head are allowed to break the sphere.

12 Meter Fan:
A semi-circle in front of the goal used for the administration of minor fouls.

Warning Cards:
A yellow card* presented by an umpire to a player is a warning which indicates that she will next receive a red card and be suspended from further participation if she continues to play dangerously and/or conduct herself in an unsportsmanlike manner. A green card is presented by an umpire to the team captain indicating a team caution for delay of game.
When a yellow card is given, the player must come off of the field for three minutes of elapsed playing time.