The Boston Box Lacrosse League plays by National Lacrosse League rules – which you can find here: -- with the following exceptions/additions:

-- 24-minute halves, 3-minute halftime

-- Running time; stop-time at/inside the last two minutes of regulation provided the score is within 3 goals.

-- 1 time-out per half. Time-outs will last no more than one minute.

-- Goaltenders will start the game in the goal furthest from their own team’s bench.

-- 10 seconds to advance the ball past midfield once a team gains possession in its defensive zone

-- Due to running time, all minor fouls are 90 seconds; major fouls are 3 minutes. Game misconduct is 3 minutes and ejection from the game; a player earning two game misconducts earns a one-game suspension, while three game misconducts removes a player from the league for the remainder of the session, pending league review.  (If a penalty is called during stop-time at the end of a close game, a minor foul would be for 60 seconds, while a major is two minutes, effectively putting the penalized player out for the game.)

-- Players’ feet must be on or in front of goal-line extended – and the head of their stick must be in front of GLE – for a goal to count. (So there are no shots from behind the cage – off the goalie’s back -- and no dunks; quick-sticks from no-angle where the shooter’s feet are close to GLE are allowed.)

-- Face-offs after every goal until one team has a 6-goal lead. Once the lead is six goals, the team that was scored upon gets the ball whenever the leading team scores; the ball is awarded at midfield, with defense no closer than five yards away. When the 6-goal rule is in effect and the trailing team scores, there is a face-off at midfield. If the lead shrinks under 6, face-offs resume normally.

-- When face-offs are in play, each team must be ready – with its faceoff man at the X ready to go – within 10 seconds of when the goal is scored. The aim is to re-start play within 20 seconds of when a goal was scored. If your face-off man is not out and ready to go, a delay-of-game whistle will award the ball to the opposing team.

-- If the ball hits the roof or any building obstructions, it is out of play.

-- If the ball touches the netting behind goal-line extended, it is out of play. If it touches the side-netting but lands in play, it is live. If the ball gets tangled or caught in the netting or drops outside of the boards, it is out of play; the team that touched it last – or caused it to go into the netting – loses the ball.

-- If the ball touches the stick or body of a player in the bench area and remains in-bounds, it will be ruled interference; the ball will be awarded to the opposing team. If a ball goes through an open door or hits a player in the bench doorway, it is a technical foul against the team that left the door open, ball awarded to the opposing team.

-- On substitutions: Lacking a fully marked substitution area, players must be a stick’s reach from the boards on the same side of the field as the bench (at midfield) or the back end of the bench before a substitute can come on the field. A player leaving the substitution area – or playing the ball inside of the substitution area – is on the field for the purposes of a too-many-men call.

-- On timeouts: Officials will approximate remaining time left on the shot clock, based on any active counts. (Note: On timeouts in the defensive zone, the clearing team gets a fresh 10-second count when play restarts.)

-- All penalties are time-serving, even if a goal is scored during a slow-whistle situation.

-- Cleats are not allowed at the South Shore Sports Center. Any player found wearing cleats will be removed from play until his shoes are changed; the opposing team will be awarded the ball. If a player only has cleats, the league will allow him to continue, but only after serving one three-minute penalty; if he commits the same violation again during games later in the session, the penalty will be increased to a five-minute major.

-- To be eligible for the playoff rounds, a player must appear in two of a team’s regular-season games.

Here are a few rules that we want to emphasize, largely because most players who are new to box – or who play in other box leagues – may not know them:

-- If the ball is in the crease, attackers must establish possession to score. (No hockey goals. Loose ball in the crease, guy swings a stick at it, hits it in with the side of the stick … no goal. Player scoops the loose ball and flips it in … goal. Loose ball outside of the crease, attacker golfs it into the net … goal.)

-- Stick checks are not allowed of a goalie with possession of the ball in the crease. Checking the goalie who has one foot in the crease, or entering the crease to hit a goalie who is in legal pick position, are mandatory fouls. When a defender has possession of the ball inside the crease, he has goalie privileges; stick-checking a defender who has the ball and is grounded (both feet) in the crease is an automatic foul.

-- The ball cannot be passed or intentionally batted/directed from the field to a goalie in the crease. If the goalie touches a ball passed into the crease, it is a technical foul; the ball will be awarded to the offense (a pass to a defender in the crease is the same as a pass to the goalie, as defenders in the crease have goalie privileges). A defender who gains possession of the ball while standing inside the crease can give the ball to the goalie, so long as they make the pass with their stick inside the crease.

-- On a face-off, a player MAY cross the center line if they are in the act of gaining possession of the ball; a back-court violation is only warranted if -- in the discretion of the referee – a player “has established possession and forward direction” and then changes that direction to cross the line behind them.

-- Players with the ball when the whistle blows to stop play and change possession may not throw the ball away. Failure to drop the ball where you stand is a delay-of-game minor penalty, subject to 90 seconds in the box. Throwing the ball away in advance of the whistle (on a 30-second count, for example) remains legal; delay of game applies only when the ball is flipped away after a whistle.

-- Too many men on the field is a time-serving penalty (and not just a change of possession), regardless of whether it occurs when a team is on offense or defense. If a player leaves the bench early – creating a too-many-men situation – in order to stop a breakaway, a penalty shot will be awarded. If “too many men” occurs inside the last minute of the second half, a penalty shot is awarded.