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WPLL Announces Rules for 2018 Season

By Jon Bird, 06/01/18, 8:45AM EDT


Rules include four 15 minute quarters, 60 second shot clock, new field size, and double overtime shootout

The Women’s Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL) is pleased to announce the rules that will be featured during the inaugural season this summer. Lacrosse is constantly evolving, and this summer the WPLL’s rules will embrace several recent additions to the collegiate rules while also adding several exciting changes. Most noteworthy, the WPLL will feature quarters instead of halves, a smaller field size, fewer players on the field at a time, a 60 second shot clock, and no matter where an inside the 8-meter foul takes place, all free possession shots will be taken from the center hash. Designed for the game to be played at the highest level, the WPLL’s new rules will highlight the athleticism and skill of the elite players in the league.

Similar to recent college rules, the WPLL will allow for the use of mesh pockets. The league will also allow goalies to score. In the case that regulation ends in a tie, a sudden death 5 minute long 6v6 full-field overtime period will be played. If no score takes place during the 5 minutes a shootout will take place. Each team will choose 5 players to participate in the shootout.

In addition to playing with the WPLL’s established rules included below, the WPLL also plans on holding an exhibition game that will push the rules of the game to a new level.

“As a league we are committed to the growth and exposure of our sport at the highest level,” explained WPLL Commissioner Jen Adams.  “We value the opportunity to be at the forefront of innovation and create a platform that highlights our amazing athletes and the game itself. The rules play a pivotal role in that. As we continue to push the envelope and inch closer to Olympic inclusion, we see a version of our sport that will potentially move away from the center draw. Because we want to help lead the way in showcasing variations to our game that could aid in our pursuit of the Olympics, we plan to hold an exhibition-style game in the near future that will trial several of these exciting new rules.”

Please see a full list of rules below. Rules that differ greatly from current college/international rules are underlined. View the full WPLL schedule here.


The Women’s Professional Lacrosse League will follow the NCAA Women’s Rules with International card penalties and additional implemented rules and procedures for women’s lacrosse that are specific for the WPLL and outlined below.


  1. The WPLL field size will be 60yd (sideline to sideline) x 80 yd (goal line to goal line) with 15 yds behind
  2. The restraining line, a solid line at the midfield 35 yards up field from each goal line that will extend across the width of the field
  3. The 8M will be lined with 3 hashes: Center hash, and the two hashes on each side of the center hash for the crashing defenders. Distance from the center hash to the side hashes will follow NCAA collegiate measurements
  4. The Substitution box will be 20 yards in width, with the 50 yard line serving as the middle of the box


  1. WPLL will dress a maximum of 19 players per team for regular season games.
  2. Each team will field 10 players at a time. There will be only 6 players allowed on either end of the restraining line.


  1. WPLL will play with 4-fifteen minute running halves.
  2. WPLL will use a 60-second shot clock in order to keep the game fast and exciting for fans and players. The shot clock is reset after a goal is scored, a shot hits the post, is saved by the goalie or there is a change of possession. If the clock runs out, possession is granted to the other team. Teams have no time limit when clearing the ball across the midfield line.
    1. The shot clock resets when there is a clear change of possession anywhere on the field. This could be off of a goalie save or a caused turnover/ground ball resulting in a change of possession.
  3. Any foul that occurs in the 8m extended no matter where the foul occurs will receive a center hash shot.
    1. If there is an 8M penalty and the game/shot clock expires as the foul shot is being set up, the 8M will still take place with 3 seconds on the clock.
  4. WPLL will have a 2-point goal for any shot outside of the 8m extended. Players must have both feet outside of the arc in order for the 2-points to be scored. The ball must be completely released from the stick when both feet are outside the 2-point line.
    1. After the release, the player’s momentum may take them inside the 2-point line, however, they must have already released the ball. Stepping over or on the line while shooting will not result in a 2-point goal
  5. The 2-point scoring line is from the corners of the 8m and down to the end line.
  6. If fouled when taking a shot inside the 8m the goal will count and no additional 8 meter will be taken.
  7. The exception is shooting space: normal penalty administration and everyone clears out (doesn’t matter where they go).
  8. Goalkeepers may score.
  9. Each team is alloted 2 time-outs total. Timeouts will be 1 minute each.


  1. There will be no stick checks after a goal.
  2. After a goal, the teams will set up for the draw
    1. If there is a card on the goalscorer, the ball will be awarded back to the scoring team instead of going to a draw.


  1. With any possession inside the goal circle (off of a save, groundball, or after a goal), once the ball exits the goal circle, the ball may not re-enter the goal circle unless there has been a change of possession. If there is a violation, the opposing team will receive the ball at goal line extended to the side of the goal cage.
  2. Once the ball exits the goal circle, it may not re-enter the goal circle unless there has been a change of possession.
  3. Should a goalie get possession of the ball with one foot in the crease and one foot outside the crease, the outside foot may not re-enter the crease.
  4. Attacking players may reach their sticks into the crease to shoot while keeping their feet outside of the goal circle. Once the ball crosses the goal line, the player may step inside the goal circle. Entering the goal circle before the ball crosses the goal line will be considered a goal circle violation. 
    1. ​​​​​​​A shot where a player leaves her feet and simultaneously enters the goal circle will be considered a dangerous shot. (ex. diving)


  1. Each quarter will begin with a draw control.
  2. For each draw, players will start behind the NCAA restraining line but will play the
  3. 50 yd restraining line for game play upon possession.
  4. Each team will be required to match three players behind the NCAA restraining line.


  1. WPLL uses free movement to ensure the increase in the pace of play.
    1. Quick starts may happen anywhere on the field with 2 exceptions:
      1. When the officials are administering a card
        1. A whistle is required to restart play after the card is administered
      2. On an offensive 8M free-position foul
  2. Intentional fouls: cross checks or displacement of a player will be an automatic yellow (2 min man down releasable) Can be upgraded into a penalty of a yellow / red after 3 cross checks or displacement (5 min man down).
  3. WPLL will use a self-start after any major or minor foul. The defense may not engage the offensive player for 4m.
  4. A Major Foul is designated as dangerous stick checking/dangerous play/intentional dangerous play/ check to the body.
  5. Any foul that occurs within the CSA, a center hash will always be awarded. There will no longer be any other hash positions.
  6. When taking an 8 meter the offensive player may step back off of the 8m to take a 2 point shot, however, the defensive player that is 4m behind does not need to be moved back.
  7. The defensive players will have the right to the hash’s next to the shooter.
  8. Restraining line fouls:
    1. If a player illegally crosses the restraining line to engage a player on the opposite team this will result in an automatic non-releasable card. (1min)
    2. Regardless of whether or not there is contact with that player. This card will be a team foul.
    3. The 50 yd restraining line will go into effect immediately after the draw and possession has been gained by one team and entered into the offensive box.
  9. Back-field violation: if a team passes a ball or a ball cross back over the 50 yd restraining line after crossing into the offensive box it will be a turnover. The ball will be awarded to the opposing team where the ball crosses the restraining line.


  1. Unsportsmanlike conduct: 2 min man down non-releasable
  2. Card rulings:
    1. Yellow Cards: 2 min releasable
    2. Yellow/Red Card: 2 min releasable (player committing foul may not return)
    3. Red Card: 5 min non-releasable (player committing foul may not return)
    4. If a player enters game before timed penalty is up, the player must re-serve the entire penalty and play short for another 2, or 5 minutes.
    5. If penalty happens with less than 2 minutes in the first half the timing will carry over into the second half or overtime when played.
    6. Offsides: 1 minute Non-releasable
    7. After 4 yellow cards (not including off-sides) have been given to a team, all cards then become non-releasable.


  1. Coaches certify that all sticks are legal.
  2. Officials only need to check pocket depth prior to the game beginning.
  3. Between quarters officials will conduct one random stick check per team. Any stick on the field or bench is eligible. If stick is illegal…stick is tossed and player serves a 2 minute non-releasable penalty. The illegal stick may be corrected and checked by the official prior to the second half. If illegal stick is found in 2nd half the stick is removed but may be corrected and checked by official prior to any overtime that would take place.
  4. Coaches may not make stick check requests.


WPLL overtime rules: 6v6 full field for 5 minutes sudden death. If no score takes place during the 5 minutes a shootout will take place. Each team will choose 5 players to participate in a shootout. They will be placed at the center hash against the opposing teams GK. Shot must be taken by the 8m. Player may run in from the 12m but may not cross or touch the 8m line. Teams will alternate shots.