All articles Sport scoring

How does lacrosse scoring work?

Explore lacrosse scoring with this guide. Learn about goals, assists, and two-point shots in the PLL, and discover variations like indoor and intercrosse. Perfect for new enthusiasts!


Two lacrosse players on a pitch

Lacrosse, a fast-paced and thrilling sport, is known for its athleticism, strategic plays, and of course, its high-scoring games. But for the uninitiated, deciphering the intricacies of lacrosse scoring can be tricky.

For all of you aspiring lacrosse enthusiasts, we’ve developed this comprehensive guide. In this article, we’ll explore the world of lacrosse scoring touching on all of the fundamentals and some lesser-known facts.

How To Play Lacrosse

To cover the basics, lacrosse is a team sport played with a netted stick and a small rubber ball. Two teams of ten players each (six on the field for indoor) battle to shoot the ball into the opponent's net. The objective? Score more goals than the opposing team.

Games typically consist of four quarters for men's field lacrosse and high school boys' lacrosse, while women's field lacrosse features two halves. Players use their sticks to catch, pass, and cradle the ball while adhering to specific rules regarding contact and movement within the field. The team with the most goals at the end of regulation time wins.

Lacrosse Scoring Rules

Understanding lacrosse scoring involves three key components: goals, assists, and (in a specific league) two-point shots.

Two lacrosse players on a pitch


The bread and butter of lacrosse scoring, a goal is awarded when a player successfully shoots the ball past the opposing team's goalkeeper and entirely within the net. Each goal is worth one point for the team. This also credits one point for the player’s individual stats.

While goals can be scored from anywhere on the field, a designated area near the opponent's goal holds special significance: the critical scoring area. This area, typically marked by a crease or a line on the field, restricts the amount of contact defenders can make with offensive players. Restricted contact within the crease allows for more offensive opportunities and often leads to high-scoring games.


An assist is credited to a player who passes the ball to a teammate who then scores a goal. While not directly adding to the scoreboard, assists play a crucial role in recognizing excellent teamwork and offensive strategy. Therefore, they also credit one point to a player's individual points.

2 Point Shots (only in PLL)

The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) adds an exciting twist to scoring with the introduction of the two-point line. Shots scored from behind this designated line on the field are worth two points, raising the stakes and adding a strategic layer to offensive plays.

Different Types of Lacrosse

The world of lacrosse extends beyond the traditional field game. Let's explore some variations and how scoring differs:

Indoor Lacrosse (aka Box Lacrosse)

Played on a smaller field with rigid boundaries, indoor lacrosse or box lacrosse features a faster pace and often results in higher scoring games compared to field lacrosse. With only six players on the field per team, box lacrosse prioritizes quick transitions, tight stick skills, and aggressive plays. The smaller field and limited ability to clear the ball out of bounds keeps the action constant, often leading to higher-scoring games compared to its outdoor counterpart.

Outdoor Lacrosse (aka Field Lacrosse)

Field lacrosse, also known as outdoor lacrosse, is the most widely recognized version of the sport. Played on a large field with a full ten players per team, it emphasizes athleticism, strategic passing, and powerful shooting. This high-scoring outdoor game allows for more physical contact compared to indoor lacrosse and features a designated "crease" area near the goal where defenders have limited contact to create more offensive opportunities.


Intercrosse offers a unique twist on the traditional lacrosse experience. This co-ed sport combines elements of lacrosse and field hockey, utilizing a flat, solid stick and a harder ball. While the core scoring rules generally align with field lacrosse, intercrosse emphasizes agility, quick passing, and strategic maneuvering in tight spaces. The non-contact nature of the sport makes it a great option for beginners or those looking for a less physically demanding alternative to lacrosse.

Boys and Men’s Field Lacrosse vs. Girl’s and Women’s Field Lacrosse

While the core scoring principles remain the same, there are slight equipment and rule variations between men's and women's lacrosse.

The men's game allows for more physical contact, including body checking, which is illegal in the women's game. This difference is reflected in the equipment – men wear helmets and protective padding, while women typically wear eye protection and minimal padding. Despite these variations, both versions emphasize teamwork, strategic passing, and powerful shooting to score goals.

A game of women's lacrosse

The Highest Scoring Lacrosse Game In History

Lacrosse boasts some incredibly high-scoring games. One that stands out is the 2007 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) championship game between the Rochester Rattlers and the Chesapeake Bayhawks, where a staggering 40 goals were scored (Rattlers 21, Bayhawks 19). It's important to note that the MLL has since disbanded, but the record remains impressive nonetheless.

What information is on a Lacrosse scoreboard?

A lacrosse scoreboard displays crucial information for players, coaches, and spectators alike. Here's a breakdown of the typical elements:

  • Team Names/Logos: Identifying the competing teams.
  • Period: Indicating the current quarter or half of the game.
  • Score: The current point total for each team.
  • Penalty Time: Tracking any penalties incurred by players.
  • Remaining Time: Displaying the time left in the current period or game.

Using an Online Lacrosse Scoreboard

Many leagues and teams have embraced the convenience of online scoreboards, accessible through their websites. These digital displays often mirror traditional scoreboards, but offer a much more budget-friendly way to keep fans informed.

Creating your own lacrosse scoreboard is surprisingly simple. With the right software and a readily available setup like a big-screen TV or projector, you're good to go. This is a perfect option for leagues and teams working with tighter budgets, providing a cost-conscious alternative to pricey dedicated scoreboards.


We, at, are proud to offer one of the top online scoreboard solutions. Our user-friendly platform makes setup a breeze. In less than a minute, you can have your scoreboard up and running, without needing to sign up or pay anything.

Get started and create your universal lacrosse scoreboard now! It’s completely free to get started, no download or installation required, perfect for live streams, and it’s fully customizable.

To get started, click the button below 👇


Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding lacrosse scoring:

  • How many points is a goal in lacrosse? Each goal is worth one point, except in the PLL where two-point shots exist.
  • How do you score 2 points in lacrosse? Only in the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) can players score two points. This is achieved by shooting the ball from behind a designated two-point line on the field.
  • What is the highest scoring lacrosse game? The 2007 MLL championship game holds the record for the most goals scored in a professional lacrosse game, with a combined total of 40 goals.
  • How many points are usually scored in a lacrosse game? Scoring can vary depending on the level of play and specific league rules. Generally, high school and collegiate games average around 10-15 goals per game, while professional games might see slightly higher scores, especially in faster-paced leagues like indoor lacrosse.
  • What is the scoring area called in lacrosse? The designated area near the opponent's goal with limited defensive contact is called the critical scoring area or the crease.
  • Is lacrosse a high-scoring game? Compared to other sports, lacrosse can be considered high-scoring, especially at the professional level and in indoor variations. The emphasis on offensive plays and limited defensive contact within the crease contribute to this.
  • What is a lacrosse target called? The lacrosse goal is not referred to as a target, but simply as a goal or net.