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Women's Lacrosse Rules and Fouls

Lacrosse - women's1- History & Object
2- The Essentials (Offense & Defense, Scoring, Etc.)
3- Field Diagram and Positions
4- Fouls
5- Glossary of Lacrosse Terms

Common Referee Signals

Two or three umpires govern the game to ensure fair and safe play. When a foul is committed, the referee blows the whistle to indicate a penalty and the players must stand, or remain still. The penalty for fouls in most areas of the field is free position. The team who committed the foul is moved four meters away from the fouled player and the fouled player is given possession of the ball. Play resumes on the referee’s signal (whistle blown and hand gesture), at which point the player may run, pass, or shoot. The position of the player who committed the fouls differs for “minor” and “major” fouls. For minor fouls, the defender is moved four meters away in the direction from which she approached the player; for major fouls, the defender is placed four meters behind the fouled player. Minor fouls include cradling the ball too close to the body and face, touching the ball with a hand, and intentionally forcing the ball out of bounds. Major fouls include violating an opponent’s sphere, slashing, blocking, three-second violation, illegally picking, pushing, tripping, charging, and dangerous shooting. For severe rules violations, such as dangerous play or unsportsmanlike conduct, a player receives a yellow or red card. A yellow card is a warning; a red card results in the ejection of the player from the game. Fouls have special circumstances when they are committed close to the goal (see diagram on reverse side for field references). For major fouls committed within the critical scoring area, the player is granted free position and a penalty lane is cleared between the player and the goal. If the offensive player was on a scoring play when this type of foul occurs, a slow whistle is issued and play continues, in order to allow the offense to maintain its advantage. If the team loses possession of the ball, the penalty is enforced at the spot of the foul; if the team shoots the ball or takes it beyond the plane of the goal during the scoring play, the foul is void and play continues. For major fouls committed within the 8-meter arc, all defenders are cleared from the arc and the player gets a free shot from the closest hash mark on the eight meter arc. For minor fouls committed within the 12-meter fan, the fouled player is moved to the nearest spot on the fan and is granted an indirect free position.

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