How Long is a Lacrosse Game

Many lacrosse aspirants or sports fans, in general, are intrigued to learn how long a lacrosse game is. Well, just like any team sport, the length of lacrosse also varies across different playing levels and governing bodies. 

Almost 900 years ago, modern-day lacrosse, previously known as ‘Stickball’ was played for days. All age groups would play in the same game. A 7-year-old boy would be playing alongside a 35-year-old man and hundreds of others.

As the game progressed through the annals of history, the rules and regulations changed. Governing bodies, different tiers, rules, and regulations were introduced.

how long is a lacrosse game
How Long is a Lacrosse Game (https://laxdrip.com)

Read More: Where Did Lacrosse Originate? 

Lacrosse Tiers

Now lacrosse is divided into the following four tiers based on the age and level of play.

Lacrosse Different Age Groups
Lacrosse Different Age Groups (https://laxdrip.com)

All four tiers have different lacrosse game duration.  

Lacrosse Game Time Clock

There are two types of lacrosse clocks used to determine the length of a lacrosse game.

Lacrosse Game Watch
Lacrosse Game Clock (https://laxdrip.com)

Lacrosse Game Time Categorization

The lacrosse game is based on two categories for the determination of the playtime.

Lacrosse Game Categorization
Lacrosse Game Categorization (https://laxdrip.com)

Read More: Master Lacrosse in 10-Days

How Long is a Lacrosse Game of Youth

Youth lacrosse is the entry-level tier. Young boys and girls are categorized into different segments based on their age and skills (U6, U6-8, U8-10, etc.). 

Youth Lacrosse Duration

Youth lacrosse game duration is based on these segments.

Game Type 4 Quarters
Game Setup 8 Minutes/Quarter
Total Play Duration 32 Minutes
Quarter Breaks 2 Minutes for the first and third quarter
Halftime Break 8-10 Minutes
Coach Timeouts x 3 1-2 Minutes 
Clock Type Running 

For youth lacrosse, the game duration of lacrosse is 32 minutes. These 32 minutes are divided into four quarters where each quarter is 8 minutes long. There is a maximum of 2 minutes between the first and third quarters. Whereas an 8-10 minute half-time break is also added. 

In youth, coaches get three timeouts of 1-2 minutes each. 

For halftime setup, the game duration is usually 30 minutes. The play duration is 15 minutes for each half with added time for halftime break and coach timeouts.  

However, as we move up to older youth players, these time ranges increase.

At the highest youth segment, the game duration of lacrosse is increased to 12-15 minute quarters or 20 minutes per half-time setup.

Game Type 4 Quarters
Game Setup 12-15 Minutes/Quarter
Total Play Duration 48-60 Minutes
Quarter Breaks 3-4 Minutes for the first and third quarter
Halftime Break 10-12 Minutes
Coach Timeouts x 3 2 Minutes 
Clock Type Running 
Spectator Time Considerations 80-100 minutes

However, it is worth-noting that lacrosse game durations can vary based on the modified rules, governing bodies, and local rules.

Strategies for Managing Youth Lacrosse Game Duration

The following are some of the strategies coaches, officials, and parents to manage the length of a youth lacrosse game. All concerned parties should engage to create a strategy.

  • Modify game formats
  • Use running clocks
  • Focus on skill development (preferred positions and playing styles)
  • Organize mini-games
  • Include strategic time-outs
  • Set clear pace guidelines
  • Consider the weather and endurance of players
  • Collaborate for age-appropriate durations

Youth Co-ed Lacrosse Game

The youth co-ed lacrosse duration is identical to gender-based most of the time. The overall play time can range from anywhere between 32-60 minutes. 

Youth Lacrosse Spectator Timing Considerations

The game duration for youth lacrosse games is between 32-60 minutes of playtime. However, if we add the breaks, timeouts, overtime (set times or sudden death), and any unforeseen stoppage like injury or bad weather, the game can take up to 80-100 minutes.

Read More: Best Lacrosse Sticks for Youth and Beginners

How Long is a Lacrosse Game for High School

As we move up to the high school tier, the lacrosse game duration also increases.

In most cases, the length of the lacrosse game for high school boys and girls remains the same but the game setup is different.

The following tables are based on the most commonly practiced lacrosse game duration for high school boys and girls.

High School Boys Lacrosse

Game Type 4 Quarters
Game Setup 12 Minutes/Quarter
Total Play Duration 48 Minutes
Quarter Breaks 2-3 Minutes for the first and third quarter
Halftime Break 10-12 Minutes
Coach Timeouts x 3 2-3 Minutes 
Clock Type Start-Stop
Spectator Time Considerations 80-120 Minutes

Ideally, the high school lacrosse total game duration is 48 minutes. With added breaks, timeouts, overtime, and unforeseen stoppages, the overall game duration increases to 80-120 minutes. 

However, there are instances where the total game duration is 60 minutes and each quarter is 15 minutes long.

High School Girls Lacrosse

Instead of a quarter-game setup, high school girls' lacrosse prefers two halves.

Game Type 2 Halves
Game Setup 25 Minutes/Half
Total Play Duration 50 Minutes
Halftime Break 10-15 Minutes
Coach Timeouts x 3 3 Minutes 
Clock Type Start-Stop
Spectator Time Considerations 80-120 Minutes

Boys vs Girls High School Lacrosse Game

High School Lacrosse Game Duration
High School Lacrosse Game Duration (https://laxdrip.com)

How Long is a Lacrosse Game in College

College lacrosse is the closest thing to the professional lacrosse rules. Since most of the professional players are picked from the college level. College lacrosse applies the highest level of game duration.

The following durations might alter due to the modified rules, governing bodies, and local college rules. 

College Men’s Lacrosse Game Duration

Game Type 4 Quarters
Game Setup 15 Minutes/Quarter
Total Play Duration 60 Minutes
Quarter Breaks 2-3 Minutes for the first and third quarter
Halftime Break 10-15 Minutes
Coach Timeouts x 3 3 Minutes 
Clock Type Start-Stop
Spectator Time Considerations 90-150 Minutes

College Women’s Lacrosse Game Duration

Like high school, the college women's lacrosse also follows two halves. Only the duration is increased by 5 minutes.

Game Type 2 Halves
Game Setup 30 Minutes/Half
Total Play Duration 60 Minutes
Halftime Break 10-15 Minutes
Coach Timeouts x 3 3 Minutes 
Clock Type Start-Stop
Spectator Time Considerations 90-120 Minutes

Men vs Women College Lacrosse Game

College Lacrosse Game Duration
College Lacrosse Game Duration (https://laxdrip.com)

How Long is a Lacrosse Game at Professional Level

The duration of the lacrosse game at the professional level is the same as at the college level. Further, there is rarely any difference between men's and women's professional lacrosse duration.

Professional Men Lacrosse Game

There are two well-known professional lacrosse leagues around the world. The National Lacrosse League (NLL) and Premier Lacrosse League (PLL).

League Year Established Setting
National Lacrosse League (NLL) 1986 Outdoor
Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) 2018 Indoor

The following is the professional lacrosse game duration for men:

Game Type 4 Quarters
Game Setup 15 Minutes/Quarter
Total Play Duration 60 Minutes
Quarter Breaks 2-3 Minutes for the first and third quarter
Halftime Break 10-15 Minutes
Coach Timeouts x 3 3 Minutes 
Clock Type Start-Stop
Spectator Time Considerations 90-150 Minutes

If both teams are in a tie at the end of the regulation time, they move on to a sudden death overtime where the first team to score wins the game. 

They play for 4-5 minutes per extra time and get a 1-minute break. This continues until a winner is decided. 

Professional Women Lacrosse Game

Like men’s leagues, women also have two well-known lacrosse leagues. The United Women's Lacrosse League (UWLX) and Women's Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL).

League Year Established Setting
United Women's Lacrosse League (UWLX) 2016 Outdoor
Women's Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL) 2018 Outdoor

Despite having the same length of game duration as men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse game setup prefers halves instead of quarters.

Game Type 2 Halves
Game Setup 30 Minutes/Half
Total Play Duration 60 Minutes
Halftime Break 10-15 Minutes
Coach Timeouts x 3 3 Minutes 
Clock Type Start-Stop
Spectator Time Considerations 90-120 Minutes

If both women's teams are in a tie at the end of the regulation time, they move on to a sudden death overtime where the first team to score wins the game. 

They play for 4-5 minutes per extra time and get a 1-minute break. This continues until a winner is decided. 

Sometimes, instead of a sudden death, 2-extra periods are played for the designated duration and the team with more goals at the end wins it. 

Men vs Women Professional Lacrosse Game

Professional Lacrosse Game Duration
Lacrosse Professional Game Duration (https://laxdrip.com)

People Also Ask

How Long is a Lacrosse Game for Youth Players?

For youth players, the duration of a lacrosse game typically ranges from 32 to 60 minutes. This duration includes game segments divided into quarters lasting 8 to 15 minutes each, with breaks and timeouts.

What is the Duration of a High School Lacrosse Game?

High school lacrosse games usually last between 80 to 120 minutes. For boys, the game consists of four quarters lasting 12 minutes each, while girls play two halves, each lasting 25 minutes.

What is the Total Play Duration of a College Lacrosse Game?

College lacrosse games have a total play duration of 60 minutes for both men and women. Men play four quarters of 15 minutes each, while women play two halves of 30 minutes each.

How Long Does a Professional Lacrosse Game Last?

Professional lacrosse games, whether for men or women, have a total play duration of 60 minutes. This comprises four quarters for men and two halves for women, with additional time for breaks and timeouts, lasting between 90 to 150 minutes.

What Happens if a Lacrosse Game Ends in a Tie?

In the case of a tie at the end of regulation time, teams proceed to sudden death overtime. During overtime, teams play additional periods of 4 to 5 minutes until one team scores, deciding the winner. Alternatively, some leagues may opt for 2 extra periods of designated duration, with the team scoring more goals declared the winner.

By now, we know how long is a lacrosse game depending on factors such as gender (men's or women's), level of play (youth, high school, college, professional), and specific league rules.

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