Mastering the Lacrosse Basics: Lacrosse Halftime Rules! (Best 2023 Expert)

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The lacrosse game usually lasts for sixty minutes. However, the NCAA rules for collegiate games and US Youth lacrosse have different lacrosse rules for the game durations.

So, ensure you find the exact lacrosse rules and halftime rules before you decide to watch the next lacrosse game. Let's begin!


Take away key points:

  • Lacrosse halftime rules differ from one level of play to another
  • The rules in the men's lacrosse state that halftime lasts for ten minutes, but in NCAA collegiate men's and women's levels the rules are different
  • High school lacrosse also has different rules, so ensure you know all of them before your next big game

When you are not sure how exactly the halftime rules function in lacrosse games, please refer to the guide below to understand the rules of the game better.

How long does a game last?

On average, lacrosse matches last for sixty minutes of the regulation time and the game is broken into four quarters, fifteen minutes each. But, between each quarter is a two-minute break and halftime of a ten-minute break. Timeouts add up to four more minutes, so the game will take up to twenty-eight minutes.

But, the rules may differ from one level of play to another. Let's see.





4x12-minute quarters

65 minutes without overtime


4x15-minute quarters

78 minutes without overtime

High School

4x12-minute quarters

65 minutes without overtime


4x8-minute quarters

50 minutes without overtime

What are the lacrosse halftime rules?

Halftime in lacrosse is the period between the first and second half, when the official pause the play, and the teams gather on the sidelines to discuss the strategies and rest a bit.

Halftime structure rules

does lacrosse have halftime

Halftime is an obligatory pause between the first and second half of the lacrosse game. When the clock reaches the end of the first and second quarters or the first half, the players will leave the field and move to the sidelines until the second half - third and fourth quarters start.

The NCAA rules declare fifteen minutes of halftime for men's and women's collegiate-level players. In the MLL, halftime is ten minutes long. The timekeeper will track the remaining time, and signal the end of the halftime.

In box lacrosse, there is no halftime, but a stoppage of the game after the end of the first period and the second period. The break between each period lasts for two minutes.

Halftime strategy

During halftime, the opposing teams will group at their respective areas on the sidelines. Players are allowed to exit the field, and the players on the bench can enter the field. The head coach will address players and discuss the change of strategies to continue with better performance in the second half of the game.

The coach can make substitutions during halftime. The players who showed an advanced performance in the first half of the lacrosse games can rest, rehydrate, refuel, and indicate possible health issues - muscle cramps, etc. The coach can even change a goalie, or add more tricks to secure a victory for his team.

Restarting the game

Once halftime is over, the players return to the field. The opposing team will change their side and goal with the other team, allowing both teams to defend and attack the same field halves.

Changing sides is crucial in extreme weather conditions so there is no advantage or disadvantage to one or another team.

When the players are in the appropriate positions behind the restraining line and wing areas, a face-off at the center line will resume the play.

Who will gain possession of the ball in the face-off?

A face-off starts at the beginning of each of the four quarters, or after each goal. While playing lacrosse, the players will stand on the central line and place their sticks in such a position to get the ball.

The first team to get the ball will have a higher chance to score and win the game.

What is a sudden death overtime period?

When the regular game in lacrosse ends with a tie result, the officials will stop the game and announce the sudden death overtime period. The sudden death overtime periods serve to decide the winner of the game. The first team that scores the goal in the overtime period ensures a sudden victory for the players.

The overtime periods differ from one league to another. For instance, for men's and women's college lacrosse, the periods last for four minutes and have a two-minute pause for teams to change goals. The MLL lacrosse games include ten-minutes long periods. But, box lacrosse has fifteen-minute long periods with a two-minute break in between.

What is a Braveheart in lacrosse?

Braveheart is a method of tie-breaker where one versus one sudden victory takes place as a form of overtime. One field player and one goalie from each team are sent to the field.

After the faceoff, the team to score first will win the match.


How long is halftime in men's lacrosse?

how long is halftime in lacrosse

In men's lacrosse - the MLL lacrosse the halftime is ten minutes long.

Does lacrosse switch sides at half?

Yes, the teams will change sides at halftime.

How many timeouts are given per half in a lacrosse game?

Each team is allowed three time-outs during the game, but only two during the half of a play.

What is a mercy rule in lacrosse?

A mercy rule is called upon to the fifth and sixth divisions if there is a four-goal deficit in pool play, but not in playoffs. Teams lacking four or more goals gain a free position on the center line after each goal. However, this rule does not apply to playoff games.

How long are the breaks in lacrosse?

Each lacrosse team is provided with a two-minute minute break between the first and the second quarter, and between the third and fourth quarters.

Final words

As you can see, there are various rules regarding the lacrosse halftime.

Ensure you know the rules for each league and lacrosse level before you start playing or watching the next game, to understand each break and duration better. You will be able to follow the flow of the games better.

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