Box Lacrosse Explained

Box Lacrosse 101

Southern Box Lacrosse follows the FIL rules and regulations. Where appropriate and necessary, the FIL Rules may be adapted to fit the mission, goals, and objectives of the SBL league, players, coaches and referees. 

Indoor lacrosse combines the physical play of ice hockey with the high scoring, fast pace and play-making style of basketball. Indoor lacrosse is played inside the confines of a rink, with glass and rink boards intact known as the Box. The playing surfaces normally consists of a roller hockey tiled surface suitable for the fast-paced, up-and-down style of play.

Each team has five runners (forwards and defenseman) and a goaltender on the floor during the game. Each team can dress a maximum of sixteen players (fifteen runners and one goaltender) per game, and the players rotate on and off the floor in shifts, similar to ice hockey. The game consists of four quarters, each twelve minutes in length. A game that is tied at the end of regulation is decided in a sudden-death overtime. There are no tie games in indoor lacrosse.

  • Rosters: 16 man roster, each team dresses 16 players for games (15 runners and one goalie). A team shall be composed of six (6) players on the floor - 5 runners and one goalie;
  • Equipment: Players must wear a certain amount of specific equipment, including a lacrosse helmet with facemask, arm and shoulder pads, back/kidney pads and bicep guards. 
  • Time Format: Four 12-minute quarters; two minutes between quarters; 5 minute halftime;
  • Time Outs: Are forty five seconds long and each team gets one time-out per half.
  • Sudden Death Overtime: Games ending play with a tie score are decided by a sudden death overtime period. Play continues until a goal is scored, only one overtime period is played.
  • Face-Offs: To determine possessions at the start of each quarter and after every goal, players face their sticks at midfield with the ball between the heads of the sticks and no part of the stick on the white centre line.
  • Shot Clock: A 30-second clock begins (counting down) when a team assumes possession of the ball. The offensive team must put a shot on goal during that time or they will lose possession. If they do shoot on goal (without scoring) and recover possession of the ball (via rebound/loose ball recovery), the clock is reset for a new 30 seconds
  • 10 Second Violation: Occurs when team on offense fails to advance the ball past midfield within 10 seconds after taking possession at their end.
  • Goals: are 4' (high) x 4'9" (wide). The circle around the goal known as the crease with a radius of 9'. An offensive player is not allowed to intentionally step into the crease area. Only the goalie can stand in this nine-foot radius with the ball. Shooters or their teammates can not stand on (or inside) the line or their goals won't count. Any violation of this rule will disallow the goal.
  • Crosscheck: An defensive strategy using the shaft of the stick to push on an opponent to force a missed or bad shot.
  • Offensive Pick: The legal interference by an offensive player from a set position on a defensive player who is trying to defend the ball carrier.
  • Body Check: Used to slow an opponent who has the ball; must be above the waist and below the neck.
  • Slow Whistle (Delayed Penalty): If a defending player commits a minor or major penalty against an opponent in possession of the ball where there is offensive momentum and the opponent doesn't lose possession, the official raises his hand and does not blow the whistle until a shot is taken, the 30-second shot clock expires, or a goal is scored or possession is lost.
  • Minor Penalty: Two minute penalty for infractions such as delay of game, elbowing, holding, illegal crosschecking, slashing, and tripping. On two minute personal fouls, the penalized player is released from the penalty box if a goal is scored before the expiration of the two minutes.
  • Major Penalty: Five minutes in the penalty box for infractions such as high sticking, boarding, face masking, fighting and spearing. On five minute major personal fouls, the penalized player stays in the box for the duration of the penalty, though the offending team returns to full strength if two goals are scored against them during the five minutes. When a second major penalty is imposed on the same player in a game, an automatic game misconduct penalty shall be imposed.
  • Penalty Box: Where a player goes to sit while serving a two and/or five minute penalty.
  • Power Play: When a team has an extra man advantage because the other team has at least one player in the penalty box.
  • Shorthanded: When a team has one or more players in the penalty box and the opponent is at full-strength, or has more players on the floor.
  • Loss of Possession: Illegal screens, 30 second shot clock violation, 10 second half court violation, loose ball push, and illegal procedure during faceoffs are among the acts that can cause a team to lose possession of the ball.
  • Use of Penalty Shot: Since a team cannot be more than two men down at a time, if a third penalty is called, the official will award a penalty shot to the non-offending team.
  • Ejection from Game: Players can be ejected from a game for several reasons including being the third man participating in a fight or accumulating two major penalties in one game.
  • Coincidental Penalties: When each team is given the same amount of penalty time arising out of the same incident, the offending players shall not be released until the expiration of the penalty. Teams do not lose floor strength, and the ball is awarded to the team who was in possession prior to the fouls.