Lacrosse Field Dimensions
During its infant stages, lacrosse was played with no official rules and on fields of various sizes – sometimes up to miles long and wide. Some players rode horses, making the early game reminiscent of polo. The modern game, however, has a set field size and markings.
Lacrosse is often played on multi-purpose fields, sharing space with football, field hockey and soccer teams. With the exception of the crease, all of the measurements are in yards, making the field lining relatively easy. Almost every form of field lacrosse is played on a rectangular field measuring 110 x 60 yards.
Lines on the Field
The lacrosse field is divided in half by the midfield line. Within each half there are lines marked to designate various zones on the field.
- Midfield line: The midfield line stretches 60 yards across the middle of the field, from sideline to sideline. Each team must have at least three players on the offensive half, and at least four players on the defensive half. If a team does not follow these regulations, it will be offsides. At the center of the midfield line is the faceoff “x,” where the ball is placed for every faceoff.
- Boundary lines: Two sidelines (110 yards each) and two end lines (60 yards each) mark the field boundaries. If any part of the ball or any player possessing the ball steps on, touches or crosses over one of the boundary lines, the ball would be called out of bounds. On a shot that goes out of bounds, possession is awarded to the team with the player closest to the ball at the time it goes out of bounds. For all other out-of-bounds calls, possession is awarded to the team that previously was not in possession of the ball.
- Attack and defensive areas: Also referred to as the “restraining box,” this is an area within each half of the field that extends up from the end lines 35 yards, and is 40 yards wide. There are 10 yards between the restraining box and each sideline.
- Wing area: There are two wing areas on a lacrosse field. They run perpendicular to the midfield line, and cross it 10 yards in from the sideline, extending out 10 yards in both directions.
- Goal line: There are two goal lines, each being 6 feet wide and running parallel to the end line. They are 15 yards up the field from the end line.
- Crease: The crease is a circular line around the goal line that has a 9-foot radius from the center of the goal line.
Zones on the Field
Though most of the attention paid to the field is limited to the offensive and defensive sides, the field is broken into several additional zones as well. Below is an outline of all the different areas of a lacrosse field.
The offensive half of the field is on the side of the midfield line where a team is attempting to shoot the ball into the opposing team’s goal. Teams are required to have at least three players on the offensive half at all times. An offsides penalty will be assessed if less than three players are on the offensive half at any time during play.
The defensive half of the field is on the side of the midfield line where a team is defending its goal to prevent the opposing team from scoring. Teams must have at least four players on the defensive half of the field at all times. An offsides penalty will be assessed if less than four players are on the defensive half of the field at all times.
The crease is a circular zone with an 18-foot diameter surrounding each team’s goal. No player from the opposing team is permitted to enter the crease during play. Defensive players are permitted to enter the crease, but not if they are in possession of the ball at the time of entry. There is no limit on how many defensive players may be in the crease at one time.
The restraining box is an area within each half of the field that extends up from the end lines 35 yards, and is 40 yards wide. There are 10 yards between the restraining box and each sideline. When a team gains possession of the ball in its defensive half of the field, it may not leave and then re-enter the box with possession of the ball. Once the team has crossed the midfield line with possession of the ball, it has 10 seconds to enter the restraining box or it will be assessed a “Failure to Advance” penalty and possession will be awarded to the opposing team.
The substitution area is located on the sideline between the two teams’ respective bench areas. This box is 10 yards long, placed at mid-field and parallel to both sidelines. It’s also is five yards deep going away from the sideline. Players are permitted to substitute in to the game through the substitution box at any time during play. No coaches are permitted in the substitution box at any time during play. Penalized players must also remain in the substitution box for the duration of their penalty.
Aside from player equipment, only two things are needed to play lacrosse:
- The ball: The lacrosse ball is made of solid rubber, weighs 5.25 ounces and is 2.5 inches in diameter.
- The goal: Lacrosse goals are 6 feet high by 6 feet wide. The front plane of the goal sits directly atop the goal line. A net is affixed along the back of the goal. Any instance where the ball completely crosses the goal line is considered a goal.
A Simple Game
In terms of the field requirements, lacrosse is a relatively simple game: players, nets and a ball. Of course, the addition of strategic elements makes it much more complex. Be sure to check out the many other iSport Lacrosse Guides available here!