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NCAA Rules for Men's Lacrosse

author image Steve Silverman
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.
NCAA Rules for Men's Lacrosse
Contact may be made between the defender and the offensive player with the ball.

Lacrosse is a game played at the high school, college and professional levels. When it is played by men at the college level, it is run by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The NCAA makes sure that players are academically eligible to compete on a championship level and that the game is officiated properly.

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Length of Game

In men's lacrosse, the game consists of four 15-minute quarters with 10 players on each team. There is a two-minute break between the first and second quarters as well as the third and fourth quarters. There is a 10-minute break at halftime. If a game is tied at the end of four quarters, a four-minute sudden death overtime will be played. The first team to score wins the game. If no goals are scored in the first overtime period, sudden death overtime will continue to be played until a goal is scored.

Player Positions

In men's lacrosse, each team has a goaltender, three defensive players, three midfielders and three offensive players. The offensive players must stay on their half of the field, the defensive players must stay on their half of the field and the midfielders can go the entire length of the field. If the offensive players leave their side of the field or the defensive players leave their side, offsides will be called and the opponent will gain possession of the ball.


Checking is legal in lacrosse. However, the only time a defensive player may check with his body is when the offensive player has the ball. If the offensive player has just passed the ball or is waiting to receive the ball, the defensive player can stick check his opponent. However, there can be no body contact if the opponent does not have the ball in his possession.


Each team is permitted to call two timeouts per half. Only the team that is in clear possession of the ball can call timeout. Timeouts are 1 minute and 40 seconds. When timeout is called, both teams can make substitutions. Substitutions can only occur when time is out. There is no changing on the fly in NCAA men's lacrosse. Players can return to the game after they have been taken out of the game. If a team calls a timeout when it has no timeouts remaining, the opponent will be awarded the ball.

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