Box Lacrosse Basics - USBOXLA | Cobras Lacrosse
Cobra Lacrosse is a non-profit youth lacrosse club in Arizona offering introductory, recreational and competitive travel level field and box lacrosse

My my My my


Box Lacrosse Basics (Rules)

USBOXLA Game Rules


Rules of Emphasis and tips for success for Box Lacrosse play

Game Length is Three (3) 15­ minute Periods of Running Time.

Quick 2 minute break between periods, and goalies switch ends.

Games start on the hour whether teams are ready or not.

Teams must be present at the box ready to play immediately after the game prior finishes.

1 x 30 second time­ out is allowed only in medal rounds. Team must have possession and be called by player on the floor.

Last minute of each game is stop time.


SHOT HITS GOALIE MASK/THROAT GUARD: Play is stopped, and goalie is awarded the ball in the crease. Exception:If ball enters goal after contacting mask, provided it has not contacted the ground or boards, nor any other player, the goal stands.  Goal will also stand if ball ricocheted off the post or crossbar and directly into the goal.

OUT OF BOUNDS:The safety mesh (above the glass surrounding the Boxes) and ceiling are both considered out of bounds resulting in a change of possession.  The ball is awarded to the opponent of the team who contacted the ball last.  If the offensive player shoots the ball and it goes OB, the defense is awarded the ball. If the shot hits goalie or defense, and then goes OB, the offense is awarded the ball.  The goal post is neutral and irrelevant in deciding possession. When a shot hits goalie mask and goes OB, it is awarded to goalie since it occurred prior to OB.

NO “PLAY­-ONS”: i.e., loose ball fouls and crease violations are immediate whistles.

NO “MAN­ BALL”; YOU MUST PLAY THE BALL!!! Referees will try to yell “ball” or “loose” to notify players. Violations will result in possession awarded to the offended team, or a 2 or 5 minute penalty, if necessary.



GOALIE ADVANCING THE BALL:The goalie has five (5) seconds to advance the ball from the crease area.

FACE OFFS: BOXLA face offs are completely different than field face offs.  Players taking a face off - will be restrained by a line at their feet.  Pockets of the players mesh must be flared out and will be resting against the ball. Face offs begin with a whistle and the players must pull straight back with no clamping, pushing or turning motion of their cross.  As with all other loose balls - there is NO MAN BALL allowed.  Players in the offensive or defensive end are also released on the face off whistle.

PENALTIES: All penalties are 2 minutes (minor), 5 minutes (major), or Game Misconduct (5 minutes plus ejection from either game or tournament).  There are no technical or personal fouls, all fouls are considered penalties.  In a slow­ whistle/delayed penalty situation, the play will continue until there is a goal, 2nd penalty, ball out of bounds, or defensive possession.  If a team is playing 2 men down, and commits another time serving penalty, one (1) penalty shot will be awarded in lieu of the team playing 3 men down when committing a minor penalty, OR two (2) penalty shots will be awarded when committing a major penalty. Penalty times will be stopped during the penalty shot(s).  There is always a face­ off after a penalty shot.  All penalties are still served by the offending player, once play resumes after the penalty shots.


Offensive players may run thru the crease, provided there is absolutely no advantage gained on the play; i.e., contact with the goalie or defense, screening a shot, to play a loose ball, or defend/check a player.  Offensive players may NEVER reach into the crease to play a loose ball.  The crease has an imaginary vertical plane (cylinder) that cannot be penetrated, except by a defender who may reach into play a loose ball.

“AIR GAITS” ARE PERMITTED:Offensive players with possession can run or dive through the crease on a shot provided the ball goes in the goal prior to contact with the crease. However, if they make contact with the goalie, it is a 2­ minute penalty and the goal is waived off. ○  Defensive players are permitted in the crease at all times; however, they may not re-­enter nor pass back into the crease with possession unless the ball was inside the imaginary vertical plane (cylinder) of the crease when initially possessed.  The 5­ second count also applies to any defensive player in possession.

PICKS/SCREENS: A player may use his/her stick, and more movement is tolerated when setting a pick.

NOTE: This does not mean you can plow through a player or lay a block; you may approach a defender with arms extended, and quickly pick and roll, but you may not cross­ check them when setting a pick.

NO OFFSIDES: If there is a delayed penalty (referee’s arm will be raised), the goalie can come off the floor and an extra player may enter play.


If there is a time­ serving minor penalty, and a goal is scored, the penalty is reported but no time is served.

In the case of a major penalty, the goal counts as the 1st towards the 2­ goal release.

A major penalty is released after the second goal however, the penalized player will remain in the penalty box for the entire 5 minutes.

MAN UP/MAN DOWN:When a team is playing man­ down, it has a 10­ second count to advance the ball across the restraining line in their offensive half, and the line is “hot” and the team cannot return to their defensive half.  NOTE: THIS ONLY APPLIES FOR THE MAN­ DOWN TEAM, NOT THE TEAM THAT IS MAN­UP.  If a shot is taken and does NOT hit a defender, goalie, or pipe, and goes back over midfield, it is a “back over” violation resulting in a turnover. Otherwise, it is a live ball, with no “back over” violation, and play continues.

STAY OFF THE OPPONENT’S BACK!  Any INTENTIONAL push, cross­ check, or body check in the back, regardless of severity will result in a minimum of a 5 minute penalty. Running with or bumping a player in the back should not be considered a check from behind.

NO BOARDING! Incidental contact, picks/screens, and positional hits (within 2 steps/strides) near the boards are allowed. Any hit with more than 2 steps of momentum into the boards will result in a 2 or 5­ minute penalty.  NO EXCEPTIONS!

STICK CHECKS: 1­ handed checks, including wrap checks, and any 2 handed wreckless wrap checks are a 2 minute penalty in Box Lacrosse.  Tighten up all of your stick checks! Many of the checks in field lacrosse are a 2­ minute Slashing penalty in Box Lacrosse.  Do not swing your stick recklessly!  REMEMBER TO PLAY THE BALL WHEN IT IS LOOSE!

CROSS­ CHECKING: GUIDING/PUSHING WITH THE CROSSE IS PERMITTED.  Players are permitted to spread their hands on their shaft and use the entire shaft to GUIDE OR PUSH their opponent.  However, players cannot thrust their arms violently towards their opponent!  Violations will result in a 2 minute cross­ checking penalty.

CONTAIN: Coaches must stress to their players to contain their man using a good body position like defending a post up in basketball.  Don’t swing your stick contain, contain, contain.

OFF BALL CONTACT: In the offensive zone (aka the house, or area below the restraining line), defenders are allowed to apply EQUAL PRESSURE TO ANY OFFENSIVE PLAYER, regardless if they have the ball or not.  Cross checking rules apply; defenders cannot thrust their arms violently or cross check in the back, below the waist, or above the shoulders.  However, if an offensive player knowingly gives their back to the defensive player, the referee may or may not issue a penalty. Violations will result in a 2­ minute cross checking penalty.

WARDING OFF/PUSHING OFF: This is called similar to the field game, and the principle of advantage/disadvantage is utilized in determining the call.

DELAY OF GAME: When the shot clock expires, the player in possession MUST immediately drop the ball, otherwise a 2­ minute delay of game penalty may be issued, as per the referee’s discretion.  The player may not shoot the ball or toss the ball away, disadvantaging the defense from a quick restart.


2017 USBOXLA Rule and Situational Book