How Does Scoring Work in Lacrosse? The Best 2023 Guide for All Players!

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Are you a lacrosse player looking to deepen your understanding of how scoring works in the sport? If so, then this is your lucky day! We’ve put together an indispensable guide to teach you everything there is to know about lacrosse scoring.

From techniques for hitting the back of the net with precision and accuracy to knowing when a goal may be overturned and much more, this blog post has all the information you need as an up-and-coming player.


Take away key points:

  • Scoring is crucial in lacrosse as it decides the winner of the game
  • Each goal is worth a point, but in the PLL a goal can be worth two points due to the two-point line shots
  • Each player can score a goal, even defenders and goalies, but once the players violate the rules, the goals will be canceled

Lacrosse rules about scoring: All you need to know

If you want to know more about scoring a goal, the shooting procedures, and how the goals count, you can refer to the guide below for a bigger picture. Let's start.

Lacrosse basics: Revision

Professional lacrosse includes two lacrosse teams, each consisting of ten players, utilizing a ball, a lacrosse stick, and two goals. Each team's goal is located on the opposite side of the lacrosse field. The field is 110x60 yards for the men's lacrosse, similar to a football field. After four quarters of the play, the field lacrosse team with more goals will be declared the winner. The duration has different high school quarters, college, and professional lacrosse duration.

Women's professional lacrosse also includes two teams with twelve players for collegiate-level lacrosse - including goalie, divided into different positions, with the main goal of shooting at the opponent's net to score more goals and become a winner. The play lasts for sixty minutes, divided into four quarters, on the 110-120x60-70 field to size. Once the fourth quarter time runs out, the first team that scored the most goals is the winner.

lacrosse scoring system

Scoring rules in professional lacrosse

Lacrosse scoring rules are the same for all professional players. During a lacrosse game, the lacrosse players score by shooting the lacrosse ball into their opponent's goal.

Lacrosse is similar to other "ball and goal" sports. As the main objective is to get the ball into the netting, lacrosse is played everywhere on the field. Once the offensive team gets possession of the ball, their midfield line and attacking player will try to pass by the defensive team and their defensive players to score a goal. Defensive players of the other team must protect the goalie and netting.

Players can score anywhere on the field, except in the opposing team's crease. The referees can call a crease violation, one of the technical fouls in lacrosse penalties.

Who can score a goal in lacrosse?

Any player can score a goal, but three midfielders and three attackers (offensive players) are the main ones shooting at the goal. However, defenders and goalie can also score goals if they have an opportunity to do so. Even though it might be rare to see such a phenomenon, defenders and goalies might also score points t back up the players who cannot score at a given time.

What happens when the lacrosse ball crosses the point line?

Once the offensive team sends the ball past the point line, and the ball gets inside the goal, the offensive team earns one point, regardless of the shooting position.

Generally, each goal is worth one point, except in the Premier Lacrosse League, which also provides a two-point goal, if an offensive player shoots behind the determined two-point line on the field.

To score points, the offensive players will perform various techniques leading to shot attempts. Ideally, an offensive player will gain possession and shoot past the opposing team to make his goal counts.

To gain the most points, the teams rely on their strategies, communication, and other movements, screens, and other factors to be successful on the field.

Even if the ball enters a goal unintentionally - without a player shooting it, or if defensive players or a goalie touch the ball with their lacrosse sticks, the goal will count for the opposing team.

Exceptions to the Major League Lacrosse

The former MLL, now the renewed Premier Lacrosse League - PLL has a goal worth two points instead of one point, as is the general lacrosse rule. A player with possession of the ball can score two points if he shoots from the two-point line.

The two-point line is a narc placed fifteen yards away from the goal, and each goal behind the line is worth two points, but inside the line one point. The feature has never been a part of college or youth lacrosse but has been implemented in the professional sport since 2019.

When is a goal nullified?

The goal can be nullified if a player enters the crease. The crease line is set in front of the goal and surrounds it in a nine-foot radius. No one is allowed to shoot from inside the crease.

If a team scores from the crease, the offending player will violate the rules, and the goal won't count. But, attacking players are allowed to jump and shoot through the crease, and defensive players to cross the crease.

Man-up situations

Players might commit technical or personal fouls during the game, so they will be sent to serve either a releasable or non-releasable penalty in the penalty box.

While they are away, the opponents will play man-up, while the offending team plays the man-down game. Thus, an opposing player might have a better chance to shoot and score more points since various teams secure victories in penalty situations.

Overtime scoring rules

The rules will change in the overtime period. The overtime period includes the sudden-death feature when the first team scores a goal in overtime. This creates intensity in the game.

College lacrosse has teams playing four-minute intervals, as many as possible to decide the winner, with two-minute breaks in between each period. Box lacrosse has fifteen-minute-long overtime periods.

Women's lacrosse scoring rules

Women's lacrosse has the same rules for scoring as men's lacrosse. Each goal is worth a point, but the post-goal procedure and penalty shots differ.

The critical scoring area includes specific penalties, and they result in a free-point shot on the eight-meter arc. After each goal, the attacker in women's lacrosse must drop their stick for an official to examine the stick.

The referee will place a ball inside the pocket to check its depth and determine the legality/illegality of the stick and goals shot.

Lacrosse scoring statistics

how do points work in lacrosse

Lacrosse scoring statistics are important for evaluating the performance of both teams and players. Knowing the number of shots made, goals scored, assists given, turnovers committed, and other key metrics can help coaches better understand how to improve their team’s overall strategy and track individual player development.

Scoring statistics also provide sports analysts with more data points to create meaningful conclusions about a lacrosse game’s outcome.

By keeping tabs on the numbers, teams can make well-informed decisions that may indirectly affect their future success or failure. Tracking the statistical trends in lacrosse can have a significant impact on judging play styles and improving performance.

1. Points

Points in professional lacrosse are a statistic kept separately from the goals. Assists and goals count towards a team or player's point total on the stat sheet.

Statistical points do not affect an individual game's score, and they are different from the in-game points. They are only a valuable tool to estimate a player's offensive performance and for tie-break situations.

2. Shooting percentage

Shooting percentages are statistical parts measuring a player's accuracy. The percentage is calculated by the number of goals scored divided by the number of shots on the goal.

3. Points per each game

These statistical analyses measure the player's offensive strength. It's a division of the number of points scored by the total number of games during a lacrosse season.

4. Goals against average - GAA

The GAA is a statistical report measuring the number of goals allowed divided by the number of minutes during regular play. The GAA estimates the defensive ability.


How many points can you score in lacrosse?

You will score as many points as you can with each calculated goal. Each goal from each lacrosse position is worth a point, and the rule refers to all leagues and levels of the game.

However, there is an exception in the PLL where you can score two points from the two-point line. This is a new rule invented in 2019 to add more excitement to the game. In the end, once the fourth quarter runs out, the team with the most goals will win the game.

What is a 2 point shot in lacrosse?

The two-point shot is a new regulation in the PLL where a player shoots from the fifteen-yard arc away from the goal and scores two points for one goal.

Are lacrosse points called goals?

Yes, lacrosse points are called goals, and they are valid only when the ball travels and fully crosses the opponent's goal line under the crossbar and between the posts.

How do points work in lacrosse?

The points work in the following way: every goal counts a point, but only the MLL has the two-point shots from the two-point line, and that's a newly invented rule when the new PLL was founded in 2019.

However, if a team commits a penalty during the game, the goal will be canceled and they will lose a point. Also if a player violates the crease line rule and scores a goal, the officials will nullify it, and the team will lose the point.

Final thoughts

Scoring is an integral part of lacrosse, as it is the main indicator of victory or defeat. Each goal is normally worth one point, but in a Professional Lacrosse League (PLL) game, two-point shots are taken into consideration. In essence, the team with the most points will be crowned the winner.

Consequently, players should always strive to make more offensive plays and increase their chances of scoring opportunities so that their teams would have a higher chance of winning each match. The accumulation of many small points is what makes big wins achievable.

Freddy Woods

Freddy is the heart and soul of Lacrosse Runner. As a former athlete, Freddy is very passionate about Lacrosse. He keeps up with the sport's changes and innovations and often tests the new equipment released by the leading manufacturers. Read more here