First ever Patch of the Month - You Can't Make Shots You Don't Take!

Signals from officials

Asked by: Renae who is a fan

Question: I am not very familiar with lacrosse, so I am curious as to how many referees/officials are present at a game and what different types of penalties can occur throughout a game/how are those penalized? 

Answer from Nick: Hi Renae!

Thank you so much for your question and I hope I am able to help!

Let me first start with the penalties. We have had a recent question about penalties (which you can fine by clicking --> here) and we've also got some great US Lacrosse rules summarized on our sister publication under the 'what's that?' tab. Together both of these summaries should really help explain the two types of penalties (personal fouls and technical fouls) as well as help identify what constitutes each.

So let's talk instead about referees!

When it comes to referees the number can change based on the level of competition. In the youth game the referees can be the coaches themselves (at the youngest levels) or  1-2 referees for a typical youth game. In the high schools game their are normally 2 referees, and as many as 3 for a higher profile situation.  In college games, international, and professional levels there are three referees so they are certain to cover all views of the field.

In general, the referees are responsible for keeping the players safe and keep them in check while playing while also ratifying the final score. As a fan, it's helpful to know what signals are most often used by officials during a game.  In 2016, US Lacrosse mailed a cheat sheet out with their magazine that showed these signals for both the men's and women's games.  Those images are attached below.

US Lacrosse mailing 2016 girls


I hope this helps you keep track of what's being called by the referees during the next game you watch Renae.  And remember to keep on laxing!

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