Rules Of Box Lacrosse – Powered by UWF

The basics of Indoor or Box Lacrosse is played inside the confines of multi-sport rink. Each team has six (6) total players on the floor to start a game with five (5) runners and one (1) goaltender. Players rotate on and off the floor in shifts with the objective of playing offense by trying to put the ball in their opponent’s goal and trying to defense by preventing their opponent from scoring on their goal.

  • The field of play is called a box (Indoor) and is usually surrounded by boards topped with wires or netting.

  • The team with the most goals at the end of the game wins.

  • Six players /(Optional 5) per side consisting of five ‘runners’ and a goalie.

  • The players are known as centers, forwards, attack, and goalies.

  • All players must use standard lacrosse sticks 40in (1m) to 46in (1.2 m) in length. Goalies may use a wider mouthed goaltender's stick.

  • The game lasts 60 minutes and consists of three 20-minute periods. (Optional 2/20 min Half’s)

  • 8U -10U  (7v7)- 10 min warm up – (2) 15 min Half’s – 5 min halftime – running clock

  • 12U-14U – (6v6) 10 min warm up – (2) 20-minute Half’s – 5 min halftime -running clock

  • HS – (6v6) 10 min warm up – (2) 30 minutes Half’s – 5 min halftime – running clock

  • Men’s – (6v6) warm up – (3) 20 minute periods – 2 min break – running clock

  • Players must also wear a certain amount of protective equipment, including a lacrosse helmet with facemask, mouth pieces, lacrosse gloves, arm, shoulder pads and rubber soled shoes. NO CLEATS!

Starting and playing a game of box lacrosse

  • Each period is started with a face-off with the ball placed on the ground between the sticks of two players. ( 0ptional Puck Drop) Play is also restarted in this way after each goal unless otherwise specified where goalie will start after ref blows the whistle.

  • Rule 38: Positioning of All players at face-off

  • 38.1 Positing of Players Prior to the Whistle - The remaining players must take a position inside an offensive or defensive zone. Once the players are in position themselves, they must remain in those locations until the whistle sounds to start play at which time all players are released from their respective positions. Players may be moving prior to the whistle provided they are behind the zone line and not making contact with an opponent.

  • 38.2 Contact in the Faceoff Circle - Players not involved in the actual face-off are allowed to enter the outside face-off circle (11’ radius) while the face-off is taking place. Any player who enters the outside face-off circle (11’ radius) and strikes one of the face-off participants prior to the player becoming upright in a vulnerable position shall be assessed the appropriate time penalty.

  • When the ball goes out of play, the team who touched the ball last loses possession.

  • A 30-second shot clock means that the attacking team must take a shot on goal with 30 seconds of gaining possession.

  • Players must advance the ball from their own defensive end to the offensive half of the floor within 10 seconds.

  • Players can check another player’s stick but for the check to be legal it must not be above the shoulders, below the waist, when the opponent is not on their feet, or when a non-ball carrier is outside the dotted line on the floor.

  •  Back-Court Definition -Teams must keep the ball in their offensive half after gaining possession or carrying the ball with both feet across and making contact in that zone. Violations will result in possession being awarded to the non-offending team.

  • No faceoff when the goal differential is 6 goals or more. Possession is automatically awarded to the losing team. All periods will still start with a faceoff.

  • Games ending with a tied score are decided by a sudden death overtime. Each overtime period is five minutes long but the game ends immediately a goal is scored.

  • Teams may substitute players in and out freely while the game is in play.

  • There are no offsides, meaning the game is fast-flowing.

  • Minor penalties such as too many players, tripping, charging, checking from behind, elbowing, high sticking, holding the ball with your hands, inappropriate language or misconduct result in the removal of the offending player for 2 minutes.

  • Major penalties such as butt-ending, boarding, cross-checking, throwing the stick and face-masking, result in a 5-10-minute removal of the player from the field. (Referee’s Discretion)

  • Goalies Serving Penalties - A goalie does not serve minor or major penalties. In cases when a goalie receives a minor penalty or major penalty, the in-home will serve the penalty but the penalty is still recorded under the goalie in the official scorebook. If a goalie is removed from the game due to too many penalties and a substitute is not available then the offending team will forfeit the game.

  • Player who amass five penalties of any kind are expelled from the rest of the match.

  • 3-man penalty – If a team Is already down 2 players down from full strength and is assessed and additional time serving penalty to a 3rd player, the non- offending team shall be awarded a penalty shot.

  • Penalty Shot – begin with the ball at the center faceoff spot and the player can begin moving towards the goal when the official blows the whistle. The player must continue in forward motion and is allowed one shot.

Overtime or Shootout Procedure

  • Overtime – If permitted by a league or event, an overtime period may be used in the event of a tie score at the end of the regulation game. Play will continue with sudden victory overtime periods until the scoring of a goal. Overtime length shall be 5-minute periods with a two-minute interval between periods. (Optional - Rock-paper- Scissors)

  • Shootout Procedure – In the event of a tie score at the end of the regulation or overtime a game can be decided via a shootout. Each teams head coach has two minutes to select three separate players to participate in a shootout immediately after the third period. The away team’s first player shall go first followed by a shooter from the home team and will continue to alternate from that point forward. Should the shootout remain tied after three shooters from each team the shootout shall continue until there is a winner. A player may only shoot once and can only shoot again until all other players have participated.


  • Each team shall have 2 timeout per game and may only call 1 timeout per period. Timeouts can only be called by a player on the floor when their team has possession of the ball or during a dead ball. Timeout shall be 30 seconds in length and may not be taken during the last two minutes of a regulation or overtime if playing a running time format game. Timeouts do not carry over to overtime and teams get 1 timeout per overtime period. Timeouts cannot be taken during a shootout.

Offensive Picks/Blocks/Screens

  • Picks/Blocks/Screens are legal if applied below the shoulder and above the waist. Contact is made with the body or stick but under no circumstances may there be clutching and grabbing an opponent. At the discretion of the referee, picks/blocks/screens are allowed as long as overt forceful contact with the body, and/or crosse is not made to an opponent. Contact is expected but excessive contact shall be penalized under the appropriate rule.

Goalkeeper Privileges

Goalie Hand Ball

  • A goalkeeper may catch the ball while in their crease with the gloved hand and place the ball in their own stick or their teammates stick if their teammate is in the crease. If the goalie throws the ball with their hand, possession shall be awarded to non-offending team. A goalie cannot use their hand to grasp, touch, or hold the ball outside their crease. A violation results in possession to the non-offending team

  • If the goalie has two feet in the crease and possession of the ball in their stick and both stick and ball are outside of the crease, they may not be checked. If a defender makes contact with the goalies stick while the goalie still has possession of the ball during an outlet pass while the goalie is in their crease, the defender will receive a two (2) minute minor penalty for goaltender interference. If the ball is clamped outside the crease circle by the goalie, a player may rake under the goalie’s stick.