Lacrosse Terms

Attack Goal Area

The area around the goal defined by the endline, the Goal Area Line and the two broken lines located 20 yards on either side of the goal. Once the offensive team crosses the midfield line, it has 10 seconds to move the ball into its attack goal area.

Contact with an opponent from the front – between the shoulders and waist – when the opponent has the ball or is within five yards of a loose ball.

An area between the two team benches used to hold players who have been served with penalties, and through which substitutions “on the fly” are permitted directly from the sideline onto the field.

A face-off maneuver executed by quickly pushing the back of the stick on top of the ball.


Running or passing the ball from the defensive half of the field to the offensive half of the field.


A circle around the goal with a radius of nine feet into which only defensive players may enter. Defensive players may not take the ball into the crease.

Defensive Clearing Area

The area defined by a line drawn sideline to sideline 20 yards from the face of the goal. Once the defensive team gains possession of the ball in this area, it has 10 seconds to move the ball beyond the Goal Area Line. Once beyond the Goal Area Line, the defensive team may not pass or run the ball back into the Defensive Clearing Area.

Extra Man Offense

A one-man advantage that results from a timeserving penalty by the other team.


A technique used to put the ball in play at the start of each quarter, or after a goal is scored. The players squat down and the ball is placed between their crosses.

Man Down Defense

The situation that results from a timeserving penalty which causes the defense to play with at least a one-man disadvantage.

On-The-Fly Substitution

A substitution made during play.


An offensive maneuver in which a stationary player attempts to block the path of a defender guarding another offensive player.


A face-off move in which a player sweeps the ball to the side.


The act of trying to prevent a team from clearing the ball from the offensive half to defensive half of the field.

Glossary of terms for boys’ lacrosse from U.S. Lacrosse

Unsettled Situation:

Any situation in which the defense is not positioned correctly, usually due to a loose ball or broken clear.

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