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Divisions and Rules - Field Lacrosse

For those unfamiliar with Field Lacrosse it is different from box lacrosse in terms of both the rules, number of players and amount of contact.

A field lacrosse team has 10 players on the field at any one time: 3 defensemen (called Big Sticks), 3 midfielders (called Middies), 3 forwards (called attack) and a goalie. The game is played on a field, that is similar in size to a soccer field, the net is 6 ft high by 6 ft wide (which is quite a bit bigger than the standard box lacrosse net). The game is divided into four quarters, each approximately 15 minute running time in length (slightly less for the youngest age groups). There is no shot clock so the offensive strategy is built around moving the ball around in the other teams end until you can get a good shot at the net, it also means ball possession is important.


Teams may only have 6 runners on one side of half at any given time. The Defensemen are permitted to use sticks with longer shafts (referred to as big sticks) in order to help defend the larger net. Generally field lacrosse is less physical from a contact point of view, while cross checking is not permitted in field lacrosse, body checking and pushing with the stick are permitted to some degree. Penalties can vary anywhere in length from 30 seconds to 1 minute and 30 seconds and are served on a stool adjacent to the scorekeepers. As with soccer, the game is played rain or shine.


Equipment for the sport is pretty much similar to box lacrosse: helmet, shoulder pads, gloves, elbow pads, stick, jock, mouthguard and cleats… while not mandatory the kidney pads should be used. There is some optional field lacrosse specific equipment players can use: helmet with brim (most will have seen players wearing a traditional blue and red helmet, the brim is generally to keep the sun out of the players eyes but in BC its for the rain – note however a hockey helmet is fine), lighter weight sticks (because of the less contact a lighter shaft wont tend to get bent or broken), turf specfic cleats (lighter weight than soccer and designed for different turf conditions).

Why Play?


After participation in a season of field lacrosse most players generally see an improvement in their stick skills and are more prepared conditionally for Box Lacrosse. Field lacrosse is especially popular at US colleges and High Schools, scholarships are offered to Canadians (Men & Women) by many US colleges.

U9, U11, U13, U15 & U18 Age Groups

While the registration is open to all, because of field allocation limitations on the North Shore we can only field a limited number of teams. Please be aware that because of the limited number of positions it does not mean that all that register will make it on to a team or that there will be teams at all age divisions, a waiting list may have to be set up for some teams. As in done in past years returning players who have been involved with the program (either within the North Shore or on release to another Association) in the last couple years will be given the first right of refusal over new registrations (i.e., this would only occur if we have more registered players than  open spots). Once all positions have been filled a waiting list will be formed and selection from this list will be determined by “best fit” to the team and position to be filled.

Tier 1 team rosters, should we declare ones (ie not necessarily a given this year), will be determined by tryout, the tryout is open to all interested registered players in that age division. Tryout dates will be announced at a later date. Last year we had three teams playing on the North Shore: 1 @ U9, 1 @ U15 and 1 @ U18; some of our kids were playing with Burnaby and New West as we didn’t have teams at these age groups.


Female Field Lacrosse 

The North Shore does not currently have a girls field lacrosse organization. Girls are welcome to play on the boys teams or you can contact the Girls Minor Lacrosse League if you are interested. Girls must register with the North Shore first and are then released to the league and assigned to teams. The principal difference between the boys and girls league is that there is no contact whatsoever permitted in girls field lacrosse.

Team Make Up

The max number of players on a field lacrosse team is typically 18 – 20 depending on make-up. If you are planning to register a player please make sure you understand the commitment required before you do. Details are provided below.

Referees & Coaches

For those that are interested in coaching or refereeing please let me know. The BCLA puts on coaching & referee clinics for field  lacrosse, the NSLMA will pay the fees for those that are interested in attending. 

Registration & Payment

As done with BOX Lacrosse this year, registration is done online [click here]



Season Length: September to Mid February – Christmas Break (Typically Mid December to 2nd week of January)

Provincials: For U13, U15, & U18  (Provincial bound teams may play to the end of February)

Tier Levels: Tier 1 (Rep Level – U13, U15, & U18  only), Tier 2 (House Level)

Games per Week: 1 (Home Games: Typically Saturday Evening or Sunday Morning  (youngest age groups only) at Ambleside Turf Field – Away Games: Sunday Anytime (location depends upon teams participating in age division, but similar to Box Lax)

Practice per Week: 1 @ Wed (7 – 8:30 pm) – All teams*

*Subject to change depending on Field Availability*

Note that the one game each week could be at home or it could be away it does not necessarily alternate. Most Associations have teams, although it varies as to age groups and levels, so like Box Lax you could end up playing anywhere from Mission to Delta (As in Tyke, U9 teams generally play more within a local zone).

Commitment is a big part of field lacrosse, given that teams must have a minimum of 10 players on the field at any given time it is important that all players show up for games (and practices as most of our players do not have a lot of field lacrosse experience) as it is impossible for a team to be competitive if we are only getting 11 – 12 players out. We recognize that players will have the occasional conflicts at this time of the year with other sports, but if it looks like its going to be more than an occasional conflict then it may be a problem.

The U9 or Tyke program was started for all Associations a couple of years ago and the structure and rules of this age group have been developing over the last few seasons. Contact is limited at this age group.

Online Registration Information

Go to the NSMLA website: Under the Registration header, select the “Player” from the drop down. Select Register Player for current season (Select “New” if you your child has never played before). – At this point parents will be asked to provide a user name and password (if you registered online during box season you can request or use your old one) in order to access the online registration site. Please fill in the Player and Contact info required (Note the following) if you are a “New” player and check it for accuracy if you are a returning player:

  1. At this point you can indicate whether the player is New to Field Lacrosse or Returning.

  2. If player is interested as working as a referee this year you can check the “Yes” box (Should be of PeeWee Age or older). They will be contacted prior to the start of the season.

  3. Rep team tryout are specifically aimed at those players who are interested in trying out to play for our Rep level Teams (A Division) Players may also be invited to tryout for a Rep level team if we are fielding one

  4. When it comes to contact email the second email address could be the players direct email (ie Bantam & Midget age players) or another guardian if desired (Format as follows:; Other contact email addresses can be provided in the parent/guardian info section of the registration form.

  5. While school information is not mandatory keep in mind it can be useful in placing players on house league teams. If you wish it to remain private select “Undisclosed” from the dropdown.

  6. In the Previous Experience section please indicate: Last Association Played for (North Shore for most), Division (Tyke, PeeWee, etc.), number of years player has been involved in lacrosse. You may also indicate the level at which they played last year (A, B, C), Team, Coach, etc.

  7. vii) Medical Info: While only Medical Care Card info is required, such information can be useful to the Coach (ie severe allergies etc.)

  8. Please fill in Parent / Guardian Information.

  9. Please fill in Emergency Contact Information. This can be changed at anytime, as some prefer to make other parents on the player’s team the emergency contact.


  11. For those paying by cheque please ensure that a copy of the invoice is enclosed with the cheque and mailed (or dropped off) to the address above. It is also helpful to put the player or players names on the cheque.

    • Note that changes to the player / contact info can be made at any time during the registration period. Just Login in the registration section (using  you username and password) and select the Change Player Information option.

Director of Field Lax

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