To help girls in grades 1-8 who live in Dover or Sherborn learn to play and enjoy lacrosse.

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The national governing body for lacrosse is US Lacrosse. All coaches, players and referees must be registered with US Lacrosse. US Lacrosse, through its rules committee, produces a set of rules for men's, women's and youth lacrosse. The Massachusetts Bay Youth Lacrosse League, which has a girls and boys division, adopts and at times modifies the US Lacrosse rules. The Dover-Sherborn Girls Lacrosse club belongs to the Founders Girls Lacrosse League and adheres to the rules adopted by the FGLL. Here is a synopsis of the rules.


  • Goals: regulation lacrosse cages

  • Ball: regulation solid yellow ball

  • Crosse: regulation women's stick cut to a comfortable length. The ball must be able to be seen above the wall of the crosse.

  • Protective equipment: mouthguards, regulation, ASTM-approved women's goggles. 

  • Goalkeepers equipment: regulation helmet, throat protector, mouthguard, chest protector, pelvic protector, leg padding and gloves. Additional protection is recommended as long as it does not increase the size of the body.

  • Absolutely no jewelry (medical alert jewelry must be taped securely)


  • Hard boundaries were implemented in 2006. The desirable field length is 100 yards between goal lines, 10 yards behind each goal circle and 70 yards wide.  

  • The field must be lined according to US Lacrosse Women's rules.

  • There are 2 restraining lines, thirty yards out from either goal. Four players including the goalie may not cross this line into the scoring area. May or may not be enforced in the 3/4 and 5/6 divisions.

  • Team benches will be located on the side of the field opposite from spectators.


Start of the game
  • Eleven field players, one goalkeeper (for Grade 7/8 and 5/6)
    Nine field players, one goalkeeper (for Grade 3/4

  • The game and second half is started with a draw. There will be a draw after each goal. 

  • A free position will be taken at the center by the team with fewer goals if a four or more goal differential exists. (3 pass rule still applies)

  • The draw: each center opponent has one foot toeing the centerline. A maximum of five players from each team may be between the restraining lines during the draw. All other players must be below either restraining line. Players must not enter the circle or cross the restraining lines until the whistle blows. The crosse is held above the hip, and parallel to the centerline. Each players' crosse will be between the ball and the goal they are defending. The ball must attain a height higher than the heads of the players taking the draw. An illegal draw will result in a free position. If both players draw illegally, or it cannot be determined which player was at fault, a throw will be taken.



  • All play is started and stopped with the whistle.

  • A goal is scored when the ball passes completely over the goal line and into the goal cage. A goal may be scored off the defender's body or crosse. No score if off an attack player's body, a whistle had sounded, a crease violation has occurred, the goalie has been fouled or the shot is ruled dangerous.

  • A game is two twenty-five minute running time halves (two twenty minute halves for 3/4) with the official time kept by the Home team. The clock will stop after each goal. One time-out per team per half is permitted.

  • Three passes (including the goalkeeper's clear) must be completed or attempted before taking a shot on goal.  Coaches/players may monitor the pass count, but officials have the final say.  Once the offense has fulfilled the three pass requirement, a new three pass count is not necessary if the ball remains within the fifty-yard line, even if the defense plays the ball.


MAJOR (abbreviated list)

  • Rough checking (no checking at 3/4 and 5/6 levels; modified checking at 7/8)

  • Dangerous shot

  • Entering the bubble around an opponent's body

  • Obstruct the free space to the goal

  • Remain in the 8-meter arc for mroe than 3 seconds unless marking an opponent a stick's length away

MINOR (abbreviated list)

  • Covering a ground ball with the foot or crosse

  • Touching the ball with hand or body

  • Moving before the whistle

  • Taking a shot on goal before 3 passes (including the goalkeeper's clear) are completed or attempted

  • Holding the ball for more than 3 seconds when closely guarded (the defense must have two hands on the stick), when the defense is in a position to legally check if full checking were allowed.  

Fouls result in the opposing player getting a free positon. If a major foul is committed by the defense in the critical scoring area, there is a free position in the 8m arc (a direct shot on goal) A minor foul in a critical scoring area results in an indirect free postion. The ball must be played by another player before the shot.


  • Substitutions may be at any time during play, after goals and at halftime. Following a whistle, players may not substitute while play is stopped.

  • Each team may substitute an unlimited number of players at any time during play.

  • During play, substitution must take place through the team substitution area by the scorer’s table.

  • The player must be completely off the field before the substitute may enter the field.This includes the goalkeeper.

Goalkeepers may not

  1. Allow the ball to remain in the goal circle for more than ten seconds.
  2. Reach beyond the goal circle to play the ball in the air or on the ground with hand.
  3. Draw the ball into her goal circle, when any part of her is grounded outside the circle.
  4. Goal circle reentry: Once the goalie leaves the crease with the ball, she MUST pass to a teammate who has the option of rolling or throwing the ball into the crease. The goalie cannot directly relieve herself of pressure and regain a 10 second clearing count. However, if the goalie is checked, she may then reenter the crease.
  5. Step back into the goal circle when she has possession of the ball. She may toss the ball into the circle and follow it in.
  6. When outside the circle, she may not throw any part of her equipment to her deputy.