A parent’s first girls lacrosse game can be a pretty foreign sight with players lined up on both ends of the field – unlike soccer, and unusual markings down near the goal – more like basketball than a field sport. I have put together a little cheat sheet version of a basic explanation of positions for download. Girls Lacrosse Positions and Diagram. Also here are diagrams of the arc and fan; one with dimensions and the other including the sidelines and restraining line to sketch out concepts. Arc and Fan Dimensions and Arc and Fan with Boundaries
Without getting too specific in dimensions, a women’s game lacrosse field is similar in size to a football field or soccer field. Interestingly, it also has markings similar to a basketball court, making it significantly different from a men’s game field.
Twelve players, including the goal keeper, take the field. A typical player arrangement includes four defensive players, four offensive players, and three midfield players. While lacrosse is a fairly fluid game, each player, or set of players, has a basic role.
Key Areas on the Field
Critical Scoring Area – An area that includes the eight-meter arc and 12 meter fan and extends behind the goal to the end line. While not specifically lined out, in this area penalty administration is different than in other parts of the field. In other words, the same foul is penalized differently when committed in the critical scoring area, than the middle of the field. An eight-meter arc and 12 meter fan are marked within this area.
Goal Circle – The circle around the goal with a radius of 2.6 meters (8.5 feet). No player’s stick or body may “break” the cylinder of the goal circle.
12 Meter Fan – A semi-circle in front of the goal used for the administration of minor fouls.
8 Meter Arc – A semi-circular area in front of the goal used for the administration of major fouls. A defender may not remain in this area for more than three seconds unless she is within a stick’s length of her opponent. For more detail see the post on the three seconds rule.
Restraining Line – There are two restraining lines; one on each scoring end, thirty yards up from the goal line. Only seven players can be attacking to score between the goal and the restraining line; thus four players and the goal keeper need to remain at least thirty yards out (on their defensive side of the line).
Goal Keeper – Protect the goal, have a lot of confidence and thick skin.
Low Defense – Typically charged with marking the opposition’s better scorers. They need to be quick on the slide and protect the goal keeper.
High Defense – The first line of defense responsible for picking up attacking wings in transition, killing fast breaks, and also the opposite role of transitioning the ball back to her attacking teammates. This is a tough fast player.
Wings (Right and Left Midfield) – These girls pretty much play the whole field and need to be complete players skill-wise both offensively and defensively and are critical in transitioning the ball from defense to attack , but most importantly need endurance and speed.
Center – Another midfielder with the same role as the wings, but this player has a special skill – taking the draw. Draw control is important and a big factor in getting scoring chances.
High Attack – The high attackers are also responsible for transitioning the ball from defense to attack, typically receiving the ball from the midfield wings and setting up the attack.
Low Attack – The primary responsibility of a low attacker is to score. They work all around the goal cutting to receive a pass for a shot or cutting to make room for another player. Good stick skills and good shooting technique are essential.