Girls Lacrosse Field
Women’s lacrosse field dimensions vary, and natural boundaries or visible guidelines are used to determine the perimeter of the playing area. Common characteristics include:
Restraining line: Divides area where a maximum of seven offensive players and eight defensive players (including the goalkeeper) are allowed; otherwise, a team foul is called.
Goal: Points are scored when the ball passes through this six-foot by six-foot square.
Critical scoring area: Unmarked area 15 meters in front and to the side of the goal, and 9 meters behind it. Includes the “fan” and the “arc.” Defenders must allow free space to goal when the offense is inside this area. Also, penalties within this area have special consequences.
Twelve-meter fan: 12-meter semi-circle used in the administration of minor fouls. Also called the “fan.”
Eight-meter arc: Line inside which defenders must be within a stick's-length of their attackers. Used to administer a free shot. Also called the “arc.”
Hash marks: Five marks on the eight-meter arc used for a free shot. Play resumes from the closest hash mark to the foul.
Goal circle: Circle that surrounds the goal and indicates the area in which only the goalie can enter. Also called the “crease.”
Center circle: Circle in the middle of the field where a draw is held.
Team substitution area: Area where substitute players may enter the field on-the-fly.
Two teams compete with 12 players each: a goalkeeper, 5 attackers, and 6 defenders (can also be categorized as goalkeeper, 3 attackers, 5 midfielders, and 3 defenders).
Attackers include the first home, second home, third home, and two attack wings. The first home is highly skilled with the stick and is relied upon to score. The second home is a versatile playmaker who must get open to set up scoring opportunities. She possesses a great shot and knack for finding an open teammate. The third home is an all-around player who is a key to transition from defense to offense. She must be able to quickly change from an offensive mindset to marking. The attack wings are often involved in finishing a fast break. These speedsters need to be strong passers and shooters. They are often first to gain possession off a draw.
Defenders include the point, coverpoint, third man, center, defense wings, and goalkeeper. The point marks the first home. Decision-making, positioning, and shot blocking are key skills. Thecoverpoint is usually the best one-on-one defender who relies on speed and footwork to mark the second home. The third man is a multi-dimensional athlete whose primary duty is disturbing the attack in the midfield. On defense she looks to intercept passes and quickly pick up an open attacker. Also has occasional scoring opportunities. The center is a pivotal player in transition from defense to offense. She also controls the draw. The defense wings need to match the speed and endurance of the attack wings and possess a good outside shot. The goalkeeper attempts to save each shot with her stick, but can also use any body part to keep the ball out of the goal. Lightning-fast reflexes, quick decisions, and courage are required to stop a barrage of high-velocity shots.