Lacrosse Goalie Rules

Lacrosse goalie blocking a shot

The goalie on a lacrosse team takes on the responsibility of stopping shots from the opposing team. The goalie is responsible for keeping the defense updated on play as it unfolds on the field, as he has the best overall view. The goalie also is an important part of the offense because he needs to deliver the ball to the most advantageous spot after making a stop.


The goalie uses a different stick than other members of the team. His stick is 10 to 12 inches wide instead of 6 1/2 to 10 inches wide. Goalies can keep their sticks moving and bait offensive players, such as by holding the stick high to make a low shot look like a good option.

Goal Crease

The goalie is only allowed to touch the ball with her hands when standing inside the goal crease. The goalie and the goalie’s deputies are the only players allowed to be in the crease or to even break the plane of the crease. The deputy can enter the crease when there’s a turnover, the defense has clear control of the ball and the goalie is out of the crease. When the ball becomes either loose or goes back into the control of the attackers the deputy immediately has to leave the crease.


Whenever a goalie makes a stop and gains control of the ball the goalie has four seconds to either move out of the crease with the ball or to pass the ball. No player is allowed to touch the goalie during these four seconds. In youth lacrosse, this time frame may be bumped up to 10 seconds.

Re-Entry of Crease

If the goalie goes out of the goal crease with the ball, the goalie is not allowed to re-enter the crease until the ball has been given to or taken by another player.