How Long Are Lacrosse Games?

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By Jack Miller

Lacrosse, a thrilling and fast-paced sport, has captured the hearts of many athletes and fans around the world. Whether you’re a player, a parent, or a fan, understanding the duration of a lacrosse game is essential. In this article, we’ll dive into the various levels of lacrosse, explore the different game formats, and provide insights into the factors that contribute to the length of lacrosse games. Let’s lace up and get started!

Lacrosse, a game with Native American origins, is played between two teams using a small rubber ball and long-handled sticks with netted pockets. The primary objective is to score by shooting the ball into the opponent’s goal. Lacrosse games are known for their high-energy gameplay, strategic moves, and swift transitions.

Different Levels of Lacrosse

High School Lacrosse

High school lacrosse games are often a showcase of young talent and dedication. The duration of high school lacrosse games typically varies between 48 to 50 minutes, divided into four quarters. Each quarter is 12 minutes long.

College Lacrosse

College lacrosse takes the intensity up a notch. The game consists of four quarters, just like high school lacrosse. However, each quarter in college lasts for 15 minutes, resulting in a total game duration of 60 minutes.

Professional Lacrosse

Professional lacrosse, whether in Major League Lacrosse (MLL) or the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), maintains the four-quarter structure. The game lasts for 60 minutes, with each quarter spanning 15 minutes.

Understanding Game Formats

Field Lacrosse

Field lacrosse is the most common format and is played outdoors. The playing field is larger, leading to more running and strategic plays. The longer field dimensions can contribute to a slightly longer game.

Box Lacrosse

Box lacrosse is played indoors, in an arena that is significantly smaller than a field. The tight playing area leads to faster action and quicker transitions. Box lacrosse games are usually shorter than field lacrosse games.

Factors Influencing Game Duration

Game Format

As mentioned earlier, field lacrosse games tend to be longer than box lacrosse due to the differences in playing field size.

Time Regulations

Lacrosse games adhere to strict time regulations. The clock stops during timeouts, injuries, and penalties, which can impact the overall duration.

Stoppage of Play

The nature of lacrosse, with its physical contact, can lead to stoppages in play. Referee decisions, penalties, and injuries can contribute to additional game time.

Overtime Rules

In the event of a tie at the end of regulation, lacrosse games often head into overtime. Overtime periods vary based on the level of play and can extend the game significantly.

Breaking Down Game Length

High School Game Duration

High school lacrosse games, lasting around 48 to 50 minutes, provide an exciting showcase of young talent and emerging skills.

College Game Duration

College lacrosse games, with a 60-minute duration, give players more time to showcase their advanced techniques and strategies.

Professional Game Duration

Professional lacrosse games, also lasting 60 minutes, bring together elite athletes whose skill and speed are on full display.

The Thrill of Fast-Paced Action

Lacrosse games, regardless of level and format, offer a dynamic and action-packed experience. The swift pace, combined with strategic gameplay, keeps players and fans engaged from start to finish.


In the world of lacrosse, game durations vary based on levels, formats, and regulations. From the youth playing fields to the professional leagues, lacrosse continues to capture the attention of sports enthusiasts with its speed, skill, and excitement.


Q. Are there any variations in game length for women’s lacrosse?
Women’s lacrosse generally follows similar game durations and formats as men’s lacrosse, with some minor differences.

Q. How long do lacrosse overtime periods typically last?
Overtime periods in lacrosse usually last for 6 to 10 minutes, providing an intense sudden-death showdown.

Q. Can a lacrosse game end in a tie?
While ties are possible in some leagues, many lacrosse games implement overtime rules to ensure a winner is determined.

Q. Are there any differences in game duration between indoor and outdoor lacrosse?
Yes, indoor box lacrosse games are typically shorter than outdoor field lacrosse games due to the variations in field size and gameplay.

Q. What happens if a lacrosse game is still tied after overtime periods?
In professional lacrosse, extended overtime periods or shootouts are often used to determine the winner in case of a tie.

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