From high school to college to the pros, the game of lacrosse has universal similarities but a few key differences. For instance, Major League Lacrosse is the only league that awards 2 points for long-distance goals. Before you watch Paul Rabil and the boys this year, brush up on the finer points of pro lacrosse rules.
The 60-Second Shot Clock
Major League Lacrosse’s 60-second shot clock keeps play moving at a fast pace.
The shot clock starts after:
- A change of possession
- A save by the goalie
- A shot hits the goalpost
If the 60 seconds expire, the team on defense is awarded possession.
Each team has 20 seconds to clear the ball across the midfield line.
No Restraining Box
Since MLL’s shot clock already speeds up play, there is no restraining box rule in professional lax.
The 2-point Shot
Much like basketball’s 3-pointer, the 2-point shot can be a difference-maker in professional lacrosse.
Players may score two points instead of one by shooting from behind an arc on the field. To receive the extra point, both player’s feet must be behind the line before shooting the ball.
According to MLL lacrosse rules, every quarter and overtime period must begin with a face-off, regardless of any man-up/man-down situation.
Major League Lacrosse games are always full of excitement right down to the final moment.
The buzzer-beater rule allows for a goal to be scored after the final horn to end a quarter as long as the shot was released before the horn sounded.
Each MLL game has two scheduled television timeouts per quarter.
They occur at the first “dead ball” stoppages under 9 minutes and then under 4 minutes remaining in each quarter. These stoppages could be a goal, penalty or change of possession.
Number of Players
Each team in the league is only allowed to dress a maximum of 19 players for regular season games.
New 2017 Major League Lacrosse Rules
MLL amended its rules for 2017 to punish those who break them. Players who receive five separate personal fouls or 10 minutes of penalty time in the same contest will face a game ejection. They may also face suspension from future games.
Another new rule impacts face-off play. Now referees will call “set” prior to stepping away from the face-off X. Then, they will blow their whistle one or two seconds after they step clear of the area. Previously, they would call “set” and blow the whistle simultaneously after stepping away from the X.
Although the rest of MLL rules are not much different from other lacrosse games, knowing about these key differences will help you enjoy a New York Lizards game even more.