In the United Kingdom, everyone plays field lacrosse and only a few play box (indoor) lacrosse. However across Europe box lacrosse is growing just as fast as field lacrosse. So what does the average field lacrosse player need to know when they first step off the “field” and onto the “floor”? Let’s start with the rules.
Box Lacrosse Basics/Essentials
- Goalie + 5 runners.
- When we play at the Midlands Arena in Lutterworth we play with 4 runners.
- No passes back to the goalie.
- Only goalie allowed in the crease, except after the ball has crossed the goal plane.
- 30 second shot clock, reset if a shot hits the goal frame or goalie.
- 10 seconds to transition the ball from the defensive to offensive half.
- If the ball, or player with the ball, goes back into his defensive half then it’s an “over and back” change of possession from where the ball ends up, unless it’s a rebound off the goal frame or goalie.
- After any whistle, any defending player who throws or kicks the ball away from an opponent will be “delaying the game”.
- Minor penalties are 2 minutes, released after the man-up team scores.
- Major penalties are 5 minutes, non-releasable.
- A minimum of three runners must be on the floor so if a 3rd penalty occurs it will result in a penalty shot.
- The use of the lacrosse stick shaft against an opponent body is allowed. It must be between the waist and shoulders but never with “excessive” force, otherwise a “cross checking” penalty will be called.
- When we play and not all players have bicep and back pads this rule does not apply for player safety
- Offensive screens/picks/blocks are allowed “without forceful contact or excessive cross checking”.
- Interference rule; in a loose ball situation an “equal pressure” rule applies.
- No body checks from behind, above the shoulders or below the waist, as per field lacrosse.
- Slashing rules are in theory the same as field lacrosse but called when “excessive force” is used.
- No “boarding” (pushing a player from behind into the boards), ever!
Now some personal safety advice.
- Wear high protection rib pads and bicep pads, if possible have no upper body areas unprotected, and keep your mouth guard in.
- When all players do not have fully protective equipment we adjust the contact rules for player safety.
- Transition the ball up the floor along the non-gate side to avoid collisions with players subbing on/off the floor.
- Keep your head up so you can see who’s around you.
- When substituting, allow players onto the floor before getting off the floor. You can stand beside the gate in the substitution area for a few seconds to allow his to happen.
- Regardless of playing in offence or defence, you will be getting cross checked on the body and arms almost all the time. Get used to it.
Read my blog report on my first venture into playing box lacrosse at the 2014 Tasko Cup.