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League Rules and Requirements

Player Requirements

Online Registration: All players must hold a current US Lacrosse membership and have a parent or legal guardian complete an online league registration form. *The form serves as a waiver / liability release / code of conduct agreement, verifies US Lacrosse membership and collects emergency contact information.

Players are required to compete for their home community association or school team. Home community lines mirror school district lines. Players who live in communities that do not have a member association may submit a request to play for a neighboring association. Players competing on school teams must attend that school or affiliated lower school. 

Coach Requirements

Online Registration: All coaches must be current members of US Lacrosse and complete an online league registration form. *The form serves as a waiver / liability release / code of conduct agreement, verifies US Lacrosse membership and collects emergency contact information.

Coach Training: All coaches must MSHSL, MBSLA, or GNLL Certified Coaches, in order to be in the Coaches Box Area.


The rules for high school summer box lacrosse league games played in outdoor rinks will be consistent with the 2017 season of NFHS rules with the following variations listed in this document.  

Points of Emphasis:

1) No Boarding is permitted

2) No Cross Checking is permitted

3a) A defending or riding team must either allow a player in possession of the ball to continue along the boards, or establish themselves in a position ahead of the ball, against the boards, requiring the player in possession of the ball back in towards the middle of the field.

3b) An offensive player's in possession of the ball, who decides to initiate contact, is subject to same the rules as any other player who decided to initiate contact.  A player in possession of the ball, may be called for boarding, unnecessary roughness, or illegal body checks.


All players and coaches must complete an on-line registration with a valid US Lacrosse Membership.


Coaches Certification:

All Coaches (Head, or Assistant) must be MSHSL certified, MBSLA certified, or GNLL Certified in order to be in the Team area.  


Purpose and Divisions:

It is our understanding that many lacrosse athletes in the state are participating in Select and Travel Teams over the summer.  We also understand that not every athlete can make that time commitment or financial commitment.  With that understanding in mind the purpose of this league is to provide an opportunity for high school aged athletes to participate in our summer high school box lacrosse league.  It is recommended that when multiple teams exist within a program, the programs should consider roster allocation based upon athletic skills.  Teams in the Junior A division should be comprised of the athletes available whose talent level is potentially equal to varsity or will be considered for evaluations for their respective schools varsity roster in the 2018 season.  The Junior B division teams should be comprised of the athletes available whose talent level is in need of further development to help prepare them for the speed and skills of higher level play.


Number of Players:

Each team will have a total of 6 players on the field and serving penalties at any point in the game.  This will include a legally equipped goalkeeper, and 5 legally equipped player’s on the floor.  


A good rule of thumb for roster size is between 12-17 athletes, with 1-2 committed goalies.


Crosse Length:

No long crosses are permitted at any division of play.  Legal crosse lengths are 40”-42” for a field players and 42”-72” for a goalie’s crosse.



A team must have 6 players to start a game: one goalie and 5 field players.  If a team cannot provide this minimum number of players, they may borrow players from another team, but must forfeit the game in order to do so and play the game.  If at any time after the start of the game a team cannot put at least 4 players (counting the goalie) on the field due to and combination of penalties, injuries, disqualifications, ejections, or other reason, the game is over and declared a forfeit.



There will be a midfield line, and two restraining lines.  The restraining lines will also serve as the attack area.  There will also be two creases.  



A player who is removed from a game or practice by a coach, game official, trainer, or league official due to signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion cannot return to practice or play in the same day under any circumstances, and the player must receive clearance from a physician before returning to practice or play on a subsequent day. The player’s head coach and his team’s association are responsible for ensuring that this clearance has been granted before allowing return to practice or play on a subsequent day.



Each team is required to have a legally equipped goalie; a team without a legally equipped goalie at the start of the game or which refuses to supply a legally equipped goalie at any point during the game forfeits the game.


Goalie Equipment:

Minimum equipment for goalies is the same as in field lacrosse. Goalies may wear goalie protection as provided by the GNLL at each site (or equipment in the style of the GNLL-provided equipment) even if that equipment would be illegal for field lacrosse. The gear is optional, and may or may not be used at the athlete’s own risk. Hockey goalie gloves or additional rectangular hockey goalie blocker arm pads are illegal.


Goalie Penalties:

If the goalie leaves the game due to a penalty, the team must either (1) have a legally equipped backup goalkeeper ready to play within 20 seconds of the penalty being reported (2) call a timeout in order to switch gear to another player or (3) choose a player to serve the penalty for the goalie (at which point penalty time is doubled and made non-releasable).


Required equipment:

All NFHS equipment is required.  


“Box Lacrosse Helmets,” are not allowed in this league.



Teams are required to have uniforms of a matching color with numbers.  Home team wears white, visiting team wears color.  If pennies do not have number’s, the Officials have the ability to select the athlete they believe committed the rules violation for time serving penalties. Coaches are responsible for making sure shoulder pads are covered per manufacturer recommendations.


Goalie Jersey:

Each goalie must have a jersey that matches his team’s color.  The home goalie must wear white and the visiting goalie must wear a jersey matching the color of the rest of the team whenever possible. If no matching jersey is available a technical foul shall be called at the start the game.



The league will provide game balls that meet the NOCSAE standard, a working scoreboard with a timer and horn, and an official scorebook or score sheets. The league will also provide a certified field manager/scorekeeper.



Goals will be provided by the league, 4’x4’, and will have no holes or gaps in the nets. League staff will normally handle net repairs, but each team should have string available for net repairs in case there is no staff member present.


Length of Game:

All levels will play three 15-minute running time periods. Period lengths and intermissions may be shortened, if needed, to keep the games on time. There will be 2-minute intervals between periods. No overtime will be played. Note: The game clock shall begin at the scheduled starting time whether or not teams are ready to play. No on-field time is allotted for warm-ups.


Pre-game procedures:

There will be no coin toss: the home team will select a goal to defend in the first period and the visitors will be granted first alternate possession (so captains need not be identified except for playoffs). A coaches’ certification and brief line-up will be performed for every game; coaches should be prepared to identify a starting attacker as the in-home player.



Each team is permitted one 2-minute time-out per game.



Shall follow NFHS rules, with one player leaving the area of play prior to another player entering the field of play.  


Dead-Ball Substitutions:

Teams shall be allowed a 20-second dead ball free substitution following

  • the ball reaching the spot of the face off after a goal is scored,

  • after a time serving penalty is reported

  • upon being called back from a time-out,

  • after an official’s timeout, and

  • upon a being called back to start the next period of competition.  In these situations a team might have more than 6 players on the floor while substitutions are taking place.


Attack Area:

The attack area consists of the entire area behind the restraining line.



Restarts where the defense is due possession, shall occur

  • at the spot where the violation took place


Restarts where the offense is due possession, shall occur

  • outside of the attack area, or

  • parallel to the infraction with the offensive player in possession of the ball and within one yards of the boards.  

  • All restarts must take place on/or above goal line extended.

  • A goalies must be given 5 seconds to return to his crease prior to any restart


Prior to any restart, no player is allowed to be within 5 yards of the player in possession of the ball.



There is no off-sides rule.  A goalie may not participate in settled offense, and the goalie may not be pulled from the game to provide an extra offensive player.  This is due to the rule now making it illegal for a defender to enter the cage in an attempt to defend the goal from shots.


Penalty Stacking:

If a team has 3 or more players serving penalties at the same time, the man down team will not play with less than 4 players (counting the goalie) on the floor at any time.  In the event a team would have 3 or more players serving penalties, each athlete assessed a penalty must serve their penalty, and a bench player is allowed to enter the game to maintain 4 players on the floor.



For the faceoff, each team must have:

  • One player at the midfield to take the faceoff

  • Three players behind their respective defensive restraining line, one goalie and two defenders

  • Two players behind their respective offensive restraining line


At the sound of the whistle, only the two players participating in the faceoff are permitted to participate in the draw and attempt to gain possession of the ball.  All other players are to remain behind their restraining lines until possession has been called by the Officials or a loose ball crosses the restraining line.


Advancing the ball:

Upon gaining possession of the ball, a team shall have 20 seconds to advance the ball into their respective Offensive Attack Zone.  This requirement is satisfied by either, a player in possession stepping on or over the restraining line or by a loose ball touching something in the attack area.


Over and Back:

NFHS rule will be used: once the ball is advanced into the attack area, it is an over-and-back violation if the ball returns to the defensive end.


  • it is last touched by the defense, OR,

  • it rebounds to the defensive end after hitting the goal (vertical posts or crossbar) or goalie and the impetus that carries the ball to the defensive end is from a shot (even if last touched by the offense).


A shot hitting the the boards below the goal-line extended and rebounds to the defensive end, will be ruled as an over and-back violation.


Ball Out of Play:

A ball touching the boards (or temporary barrier designed to enclose a soccer goal is still in play).  Any ball touching anything inside the bench area, beyond the boards, or in the netting above the boards is out of play.  If the ball goes out of play, possession is awarded to the opposite team which touched it last in all situations except on a shot:


During a shot, if a shot goes out of bounds after hitting the goalkeeper, the goalkeeper’s crosse, or the goal (vertical posts and/or crossbar), the Offensive team will retain possession of the ball.  At no time does being closest to the ball when it goes out of bounds rule (from field lacrosse) apply.


Goal Crease Privileges:

The goalkeeper or any player of the defending team may receive a pass while in the crease area.


Penalty Time:

Time-serving technical fouls will be 30 seconds, and personal fouls will be 1, 2, or 3 minutes, depending on foul severity (some penalties have mandatory minimums). Penalties are releasable after one goal except for those designated as non-releasable. Penalty time begins on the whistle restarting play. Egregious fouls (e.g., any checks or pushes into the boards; deliberate targeting of the head with a body check, cross check, or spear; any standard ejection foul such as flagrant misconduct or a second non-releasable USC penalty) will result in an immediate ejection, a 3-minute non-releasable penalty (to be served by the in-home) and suspension. Penalty time does not run if the game clock is stopped.


If a penalty expires during a dead ball, the player is not released until the official blows a whistle to restart play. If a penalty expires before or during a face-off,  the player is not released and must wait until the face-off is over (e.g., possession is called; loose ball crosses the restraining line).


Disqualifications (“Fouling Out”):

A player receiving 5 minutes of assessed personal foul penalties, fouls out of the current game but is not suspended for subsequent games.



Boarding is strictly prohibited in this league, and will be called very tightly.  Defenses are expected to approach, break down in a good defensive positioning, and run in good defensive positions any time near the boards.


Any trip, check or push into the boards is an automatic ejection foul. However, officials should take care to distinguish between (1) a player who falls due to incidental contact and makes contact with the boards and (2) a player who ends up hitting the boards as a result of an act made by the opponent whose foreseeable consequence is the opponent hitting the boards (regardless of whether that was the intent of the act). The first should not be an ejection—although a penalty may still result—while the second should be an ejection.


Cross Checking:

Cross Checking is strictly prohibited per NFHS rules.  Offensive player’s must be allowed to “cut,” and move off ball. A defender using a cross check hold against the ball carrier is only legal at the college ranks.  


Interference, and Holds Modifications:

“Interference” - during any loose ball situation, body contact is not permitted.  All players attempting to gain possession must play the ball.  

“Pinning,” a player against the boards with possession, or during a loose ball shall be enforced as “unnecessary roughness,” with a required minimum one minute penalty.

“Pinning,” an opponent's crosse against the boards during a loose ball situation shall be called as illegal procedure.

Ejection Fouls:

In addition to the penalties described in the NFHS Rules (including a 3:00 non-releasable ejection foul to be served by the in-home), in GNLL Leagues anyone ejected from a game will be subject to the penalties described in the NFHS rules as well as the following:

  • Players ejected from a regular-season game or ejected following the final horn will be suspended for the remainder of that game plus the next 2 games for the first offense.

  • Coaches ejected from a regular-season game or ejected following the final horn will be suspended for the remainder of that game plus the next four games for the first offense.

  • Subsequent offenses result in longer suspensions, and suspensions and the count of suspensions will carry over from year to year.

  • League directors may impose additional penalties or suspension at their discretion.

Tie Games:

  • Ties will stand. There will be no overtime or tiebreakers in any game other than play-off games in an end of year tournament.