Rules: Box lacrosse for field players

finishing-attackIn 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.

Link to the official FIL rules page.

Key differences;

Goalie + 9 outfield players Goalie + 5 ‘runners’
Can pass back to your goalie Cannot pass back to your goalie
No shot clock (except NCAA) 30 second shot clock, reset if a shot hits the goal frame or goalie.
Minor (technical) penalties are 30 seconds, released after the man-up team scores Minor penalties are 2 minutes, released after the man-up team scores
Major (personal) penalties are 1 minute, or 2 minutes if severe, non-releasable. Major penalties are 5 minutes, non-releasable
A player setting a ‘pick’ must be stationary Moving offensive screens/picks/blocks are allowed “without forceful contact or excessive cross checking”
In a loose ball situation, a player, when within 9 feet of the ball, may impede an opponent to allow a teammate to pick up the ball, i.e. “man & ball” In a loose ball situation, an equal pressure rule applies between the two players competing for the ball. If a 3rd player joins and impedes the opponent player then this will be called interference and possession will go to the impeded player.
A player shall not strike any part of the body of an opponent, other than the gloved hand holding the crosse, in an attempt to dislodge the ball from his opponent’s crosse, i.e. ‘slashing’. In theory the same but called when “excessive force” is used
A player may not check an opponent with that part of the handle of his crosse that is between his hands, either by thrusting his crosse away from him or by holding it extended from his body, i.e. ‘cross checking’ The use of the crosse 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.
No body checks from behind, above the shoulders or below the waist AS PER FIELD LACROSSE

Some more box-specific rules;

  • 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”.
  • A minimum of three runners must be on the floor so if a 3rd penalty occurs it will result in a penalty shot.
  • No “boarding” (pushing a player from behind into the boards), ever!

Now some personal safety advice.

Personal Safety

  • 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.