We are often asked this question when it is time to lay out and paint lines for a new field. It’s a good question, and a quick easy answer would be to check the US Lacrosse rule book or the diagram on their website. The more complete answer though begins with “well that depends…” Looking at the diagram in the rule book, you’ll notice that there is some flexibility in the overall dimensions. The beauty of the dimensions rules laid out by US Lacrosse is that they are flexible enough to accommodate a variety of fields, but specific enough to keep the critical scoring area consistent regardless where you play.
In addition to the complex connected curves and straight lines needed for the Women’s Lacrosse field, there is also a “variable” set of overall field-size parameters. The field boundary does not have a fixed absolute Width-by-Length rule, but rather a minimum / maximum. This is to accommodate varied field locations.
The following table provides an example of maximum and minimum size fields per the rules.
|Field Size||Length between end-lines||Width between side-lines||Distance between Goals||Distance behind goal-line to end-line||Distance goal-line to restraining-line|
|Maximum size||140 yard or 128 meters||70 yards or 64 meters||100 yards or 91.4 meters||20 yards or 18.3 meters||30 Yards or 27.4 meters|
|Minimum size||110 yards or 100.6 meters||60 yards or 54.9 meters||90 yards or 82.3 meters||10 yards or 9.1 meters||30 Yards or 27.4 meters|
Of course, in between the minimum and maximum, there can be any number of different overall combinations. Note also that there is variability not only on the overall outside dimensions, but also in the distance between the end-line and the Goal Line. All of this flexibility makes it impossible to say “layout the field precisely like this: x,y,z”. Having said that, the critical scoring area is the same no matter what the overall field dimensions are. The distances from Crease to 8 to 12 to the Restraining Line are all fixed and specific. This is true for Youth, High School and College fields.
The most important thing to keep in mind when laying out a new field are the 3 critical dimensions that must be kept right, regardless of the overall field size:
The following diagram depicts a typical field which has the maximum distance between goals (100 yards), the minimum distance between goal Line and End-line (10 yards), and 60 yards side-line to side-line. This is a good setup that can be accommodated by most fields, such as most High School football fields.
This next Diagram shows a shorter field which is still in “regulation” because the distance between goals is 90 yards. Notice that the only dimensions that change are between the goals and between the restraining lines (the middle of the field). The critical distances we talked about before are exactly the same.
If you find yourself faced with a field that is too small to accommodate the minimums either in length or width (or both), it does not mean you can’t still have a workable/playable field; you just have to get creative. We’ve found that the best way to accommodate a short-length field is by reducing the size of the middle of the field. This means in essence moving the scoring areas of each end of the field closer to the Center Circle. Keep the dimensions between end-line, goal line, 8, 12 and especially from the Goal line to the restraining line to the correct distances. If you do this, the field will be short for the transition game, but in the critical scoring and defense areas, the game can be played within familiar and correct confines.
In a situation where you have a field that won’t accommodate this “minimum” length, you would just continue to reduce the mid-field distance until the scoring areas fit. Of course, you can’t reduce this infinitely, you’d end up with no field, but you get the point. We have set up fields before where the restraining lines actually fell “inside” the Center Circle area. We just made the Center Circle a little smaller and still ended up with playable fields, albeit short ones with some exciting Draw action!
Accommodating a narrow width field is much easier. Just paint the side-lines it as narrow as required. Keep everything centered between the sidelines, and you’re good to go. Hopefully, the 12 will not be wider than the field itself; the distance from one “corner” of the 12 to the other is about 32 yards so a field less than 40 yards wide might be problematic.
The bottom line is this; the US Lacrosse rules allow some leeway in the overall field dimensions allowed, but you have to be smart about how you do your layout to still have a reasonable playing area.
So, what are the dimensions of a Women’s Lacrosse field? You decide!
Have fun out there!