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7 Major League Lacrosse Rules You Need to Know

7 Major League Lacrosse Rules

From high school to college to the pros, the game of lacrosse has universal similarities but a few key differences. For instance, Major League Lacrosse is the only league that awards 2 points for long-distance goals. 

The 60-Second Shot Clock

Major League Lacrosse’s 60-second shot clock keeps play moving at a fast pace.

The shot clock starts after:

  • A change of possession
  • A save by the goalie
  • A shot hits the goalpost

If the 60 seconds expire, the team on defense is awarded possession.

Each team has 20 seconds to clear the ball across the midfield line.

No Restraining Box

Since MLL’s shot clock already speeds up play, there is no restraining box rule in professional lax.

The 2-point Shot

Much like basketball’s 3-pointer, the 2-point shot can be a difference-maker in professional lacrosse.

Players may score two points instead of one by shooting from behind an arc on the field. To receive the extra point, both player’s feet must be behind the line before shooting the ball.


According to MLL lacrosse rules, every quarter and overtime period must begin with a face-off, regardless of any man-up/man-down situation.

The Buzzer-Beater

Major League Lacrosse games are always full of excitement right down to the final moment.

The buzzer-beater rule allows for a goal to be scored after the final horn to end a quarter as long as the shot was released before the horn sounded.

TV Timeouts

Each MLL game has two scheduled television timeouts per quarter.

They occur at the first “dead ball” stoppages under 9 minutes and then under 4 minutes remaining in each quarter. These stoppages could be a goal, penalty or change of possession.

Number of Players

Each team in the league is only allowed to dress a maximum of 19 players for regular season games.

New 2017 Major League Lacrosse Rules

MLL amended its rules for 2017 to punish those who break them. Players who receive five separate personal fouls or 10 minutes of penalty time in the same contest will face a game ejection. They may also face suspension from future games.

Another new rule impacts face-off play. Now referees will call “set” prior to stepping away from the face-off X. Then, they will blow their whistle one or two seconds after they step clear of the area. Previously, they would call “set” and blow the whistle simultaneously after stepping away from the X.

Last modified: November 24, 2022