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NFHS Boy's Rules



A team may not have more than 10 players on the field at any time.

No more than 4 “long poles” may be on the field at any time.

A legally equipped goalkeeper must be on the field.




Ball: May be white, orange, yellow, or lime green (yummy!)

Crosse: Short crosse shall be between 40” and 42” in length; long crosse shall be between 52” and 72” in length; goalie crosse shall be between 40” and 72” in length

Crosse Head: There are many measurement requirements to determine the legality of a crosse head.  Head coaches should know all of them, or you can always ask an official (before the game!)



Protective Gear:

Helmet: All players shall wear a protective helmet which has been certified by NOCSAE.

Mouth Guard: All players shall wear a mouth guard which covers all of the upper teeth OR all of the lower teeth.

Pads: All players shall wear protective gloves, shoulder pads, and arm pads. (Goalies are not required to wear shoulder pads)


 (Click above image for a larger view)         

Game Administration

Length of Game: A game consists of four 12 minute quarters

Overtime: Teams play periods of 4 minutes until a goal is scored, deciding a winner (sudden death)

Restart after ball goes out of bounds: If the ball goes out of bounds, it will be given to the team who did not cause the ball to go out of play (similar to soccer).

Restart after a shot on goal: When a shot on goal is taken (shots vs. passes are determined by the on-field officials), the ball is given to the team who had an inbounds player closest to the ball at the point which it became an out of bounds ball.

No opposing player may be within 5 yards of the player with the ball on any restart.

No player may touch the ball with their hands except for the goalkeeper in the act of making a save (cannot “catch” the ball).



Advancing the Ball

Once a team gains possession of the ball in their defensive end (think: goalie makes a save), they are required to advance the ball to the offensive half of the field.  This takes place in two parts: First, they must advance the ball beyond the centerline within 20 seconds. The time for this is kept with an electronic beeper, worn on the official’s belt.

After moving the ball across midfield, the officials will begin a visual ten-count and the team must move the ball “in the box” (a square area around the goal).  Once this requirement is met, the offense is permitted to move about the entire offensive half of the field, to set up scoring opportunities.

A failure to advance the ball results in an immediate whistle and the ball is awarded to the opposing team.



The ball must completely pass through the imaginary plane formed by the rear edges of the goal line, the goal posts, and crossbar.

Goals are disallowed for many reasons, some of which are:

          Game horn sounds before the goal is scored

          An offensive player was within the crease area before the                   goal was scored

          Contact is made with the goalkeeper (stick or body)                           before the goal was scored

          Offensive player jumps, dives, or leaves their feet and                       lands in the crease area