How Many Periods In Lacrosse?

A lacrosse game is divided into periods of play. There are four periods total in a regulation lacrosse game. Each period lasts for 15 minutes. After the first and third periods, there are 2 minute breaks. There is a 10 minute halftime break after the second period. 

How many periods in lacrosse? Most lacrosse games at the high school, college, professional, and international levels have four 15 minute periods, separated by short breaks. The number of periods can vary in youth leagues. But for regulation play, there are four quarters.

Lacrosse is played with four periods that each go for 15 minutes of game time. In between the periods there are 2 or 10 minute breaks. The periods and breaks allow for strategic changes, rest, and the teams switching ends of the field between the first and second and third and fourth periods. 

Understanding Lacrosse Periods and Quarters

Lacrosse is played with four periods total. Each period lasts for 15 minutes of play. Between periods one and two and periods three and four, there is a 2 minute break. Between periods two and three, there is a 10 minute halftime break. After periods one and three, the teams switch ends of the field before play resumes. 

The four periods of lacrosse are called quarters. You will often hear lacrosse players, coaches, and fans refer to the periods as quarters rather than periods. So the first 15 minutes is the first quarter, the second 15 minutes is the second quarter, and so on. 

Defining Periods and Quarters

A lacrosse game is made up of four periods of play that each last for 15 minutes. In lacrosse, these periods are interchangeably referred to as quarters. So the four 15 minute periods in a lacrosse game can either be called periods or quarters: the first period/first quarter, second period/second quarter, third period/third quarter, and fourth period/fourth quarter.

Duration of a Quarter

A lacrosse game is made up of four periods of play that each last for 15 minutes. In lacrosse, these periods are interchangeably referred to as quarters. So the four 15 minute periods in a lacrosse game can either be called periods or quarters: the first period/first quarter, second period/second quarter, third period/third quarter, and fourth period/fourth quarter.

Lacrosse Game Structure

Lacrosse Game Structure

A regulation lacrosse game has four periods of play. Each period, also called a quarter, is 15 minutes long. Between the first and second period and the third and fourth period there is a 2minute break. Between the second and third period there is a 10 minute halftime break.

The structure of a lacrosse game consists of four quarters lasting 15 minutes each. During the breaks between quarters, which last either 2 minutes or 10 minutes, the teams make strategic changes, substitutions, and get rested. The quarters allow the game to be played in segments, with halftime providing an extended break at the midpoint of the game. 

Traditional Men’s Lacrosse

Traditional men’s lacrosse is a version of lacrosse with different rules from standard men’s lacrosse typically played in high school, college, and professional leagues. Traditional men’s lacrosse has no protective equipment worn. It also has different stick regulations allowing deeper pockets. There are no referees or penalties in traditional men’s lacrosse either. 

Women’s Lacrosse

Women’s lacrosse is a version of lacrosse played by female players. The rules for women’s lacrosse differ from men’s lacrosse rules in terms of contact and equipment. Women wear protective goggles and mouthguards but no other padding or helmets. Sticks have shallow pockets. Contact is more limited in the women’s game. Teams have 12 players.

Lacrosse College Games

Lacrosse at the college level features fast paced, competitive play. College lacrosse teams have a roster of dozens of players. The best talent plays in top Division I NCAA programs. College games take place on campus stadiums before big crowds. Teams play full schedules culminating in their conference tournaments. The best teams compete for the NCAA national championship.

How Quarters Affect the Game of Lacrosse

Lacrosse games have four quarters. Each quarter lasts 15 minutes. Draw Control In Lacrosse depends on The quarters require players to pace themselves. Players conserve some energy for later in the game. Draw Control In Lacrosse Quarters also force coaches to think strategically about substitutions. Having four quarters impacts lacrosse games.

Coaches use the breaks between quarters to make adjustments. Players get short rests between quarters. The half time break midway allows for longer assessment and preparation for second half strategy. Teams also switch field sides between quarters, impacting game plans. Quarters divide the game up, leading to shifts in momentum. 

Overtime Rules in Lacrosse

In lacrosse, a game ending regulation tied in score goes to overtime. In college, there is a 5 minute sudden victory overtime period. First goal wins. High school lacrosse instead has 4minute overtime periods. The periods continue until a goal is scored. 

Lacrosse overtimes differ by level. In high school, four minute overtime periods with sudden victory format continue until a winning goal. College implements a shorter 5 minute sudden victory overtime. The first goal scored wins the game. If still tied after overtime, the result is a draw in college, while high school keeps doing more overtime periods. 

How many periods are there in high school lacrosse?

There are four periods in regulation high school boys’ lacrosse matches. The four periods in high school boys’ lacrosse are each 12 minutes long. Between periods there are 2minute breaks for teams to strategize and make substitutions or adjustments.  

High school girls’ lacrosse also has four periods per match. The periods for high school girls’ games are 25 minutes each instead of 12 minutes though. With the longer periods and requiring substitutes to enter from the team bench area, the pace of girls’ high school lacrosse can be a little slower.

What is a mercy rule in lacrosse?

What is a mercy rule in lacrosse?

A mercy rule in lacrosse is implemented when one team takes a commanding lead, usually by 12 or more goals. The mercy rule is a method to prevent unnecessary domination of a clearly overmatched team. Aspects of the mercy rule include:

  •  Running game clock that no longer stops outside of timeouts
  •  Once 12+ goal differential is reached, mercy rule goes into effect 
  •  Designed to shorten blowout mismatches rather than run up scores
  •  Maximum goal differential for mercy rule varies by state, often 1012
  •  Primarily seen in youth and high school lacrosse 
  •  Also called a “continuous clock” once margin reaches mercy limit
  •  Allows losing teams to end games with dignity rather than embarrassment


 What is 3X lacrosse?  

Level Game Length Field Size of Players
3X 3 x 15 min 1/2 of regulation 3 v 3 no goalies

3X lacrosse is a new fast paced, modified version of traditional lacrosse designed for developing fundamental skills. Teams consist of just 3 players per side on a small area field with no goalies. The shorter game times and game play on the smaller fields emphasise ball control skills and quick decision making.  

As an offshoot of standard lacrosse, 3X focuses purely on stick skills, conditioning, scoring, and having fun rather than rigid positions or set plays. The games help youth and pro players practise things like dodging, picking, passing, catching, and shooting in an informal setting.

Is 16 too late to start lacrosse?  

Starting lacrosse at 16 years old puts one behind in accumulated stick skills or athletic development compared to most teammates and opponents. However, picking up lacrosse fundamentals and rules from an older beginner age is still very possible to do.

With dedicated practice to develop familiarity and comfortability with stick handling, catching/throwing mechanics, physical conditioning, and overall game awareness, players starting lacrosse at 16 can still contribute to teams at school and future higher level play. Having a background as a skilled athlete from another sport also helps translate abilities. 


How many periods are there in box lacrosse?

There are four 15-minute periods in regulation box lacrosse.

How many periods in lacrosse female

There are four 25-minute periods in regulation women’s lacrosse games.

Is there a halftime in lacrosse?

Yes, there is a 10-minute halftime break after the second period in lacrosse games.


A regulation lacrosse game has four periods or quarters that each go for 15 minutes. Between each period there are breaks ranging from 2 to 10 minutes long. So when asking how many periods in lacrosse? The answer is four. Whether you say periods or quarters, lacrosse at all levels from youth to college to professional has four of them. 

Each period is an intense 15 minutes of nonstop action. Players race end to end during the four intense quarters before earning breaks between periods to catch their breath, hydrate, and strategize. Lacrosse games have four equally important quarters totaling 60 minutes of playing time.

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