In lacrosse, there are tons of markings on the field so in this post we’re going to go over what it all means.

Although the boy’s and girl’s field looks a little different there are many similarities we can go over! Enjoy!

Girls Field:

womens lacrosse field

Boys Field:

men's lacrosse field


The Crease:  Both goals on a lacrosse field are surrounded by circle painted on the field known as the crease.  This space is for the goalies, and field players are not allowed to enter this space when the goalie is in there.  For the most part, field players aren't allowed in the crease at all, except for a particular situation.  Following a save, when the goalie is struggling to clear the ball to her teammates, she may drop the ball in the crease, exit the crease, and a field player may enter the crease to pick up the ball.

Restraining Lines: As you can see, both fields have restraining lines on them. However, how they are used within game play varies a little. In women’s lacrosse play, at the start of each half and following a goal the line is where the offensive/defensive players will stand until the whistle is blown to signal the draw. I’ll explain more about this when I discuss the circle at midfield. When play continues, the restraining line on the attacking team’s side is the line that the team’s defensive and opposing team’s offense has to stand behind. In women’s lacrosse, normal game play is seven on seven so the remaining players must stand behind. In the men’s game the restraining lines are similar at the start of the game to the women. There are the players involved in the faceoff, and then the remainder have to stay behind the line until the ball clears either side. During men’s play they have a six on six and the “restraining line” changes to be the midfield line.

The Differences

Women’s Game

12-Meter arc(12M): All offensive play is set up around the 12M arc. Usually an offensive setup will feature five players around the 12M with two behind.

8-Meter arc(8M): Inside the 8M is really where all the action happens. Here you’ll see goals scored, dodges, and 8M shots taken if a penalty occurs inside of these lines. An 8M shot in women’s lacrosse is similar to a penalty kick in soccer. Once a foul is committed, a player is sent to a hash mark on the 8M and every player must be on the outside of the 8M. There is another important rule involving the 8M that relates to basketball. A defensive player cannot be further than a sticks-length away from an attacker in the 8M arc for longer than three seconds. For more rules involving women’s lacrosse you can check out one of our previous Lacrosse 101 posts here.

The Center Circle: The only two players inside of the center circle are the two draw takers (one from each team). The draw is how each game is started and how it is reset after each goal. On the outside of the draw you will find two players from each team (at the youth level there are four). All other players will be behind the restraining lines as discussed above. Here are some examples:


Men’s Game

Faceoff Area/Wing Lines: The faceoff is the draw for the men’s game. Their faceoff features two players as well, but is done on the ground and tends to resemble elements of wrestling. The wing lines are where one player from each team will stand until the whistle is blown. These are the people the faceoff guys are trying to get the ball to. Here you can check out what a faceoff looks like:


Restraining Box: The restraining box is used in two ways in men’s lacrosse. The first and most common is that on a change of possession, the team that causes the change has 20 seconds to advance the ball over the midfield line and then 10 seconds to get the ball to the box or else the ball will change possession. Another way the box is used is if a team appears like they are stalling or goes a reasonable amount of time without a shot, the officials will call that the team can only play within the limits of the small box the restraining box lines make and at the college level they do so with a 30 second shot clock added.

If you’re still curious, check out this link to read more about the boys lines and rules!

Thanks for reading, until next time!