Minnesota Boys Youth Lacrosse Timer Guidelines


Game time

  • Four 12-minute periods.

  • Start clock at scheduled game time or when

    whistle blows to start qtr., whichever is first.

  • Stop timer at end of quarter or when official

    signals timeout.

  • OT for playoffs/tournaments only

  • Halftime is 5:00, or less if teams are ready.

    End of period (if no visible clock)

  • All periods: Notify officials verbally when

    there are 20 seconds left, then count down

    loudly from 10, sounding horn at zero.

  • Fourth period only for U15 and U13: notify

    at 2:10 and 2:00.

    Clock malfunctions

  • If clock malfunctions during play, count in your head while someone notifies officials.

  • Sound double horn at next dead ball.

    Signaling of penalties

  • Official signals color, number, and foul.

  • A “T” formed with the arms indicates a

    30-second technical foul.

  • Holding 1, 2, or 3 fingers overhead indicates

    a 1:00, 2:00, or 3:00 personal foul.

  • Hands clapped over head means penalty is

    nonreleasable (NR).


  • Sound the horn twice at the next dead ball upon coach request, if a penalized player leaves early, or if you need the officials’ help.

  • Never sound horn when ball is in play except at the end of a period.

  • Sound horn at 0:00 unless automatic.

    Timing of penalties

  • Write down the player’s team color and number, the length of the penalty, the game clock time the player should be released, and an “NR” if the penalty is nonreleasable.

  • Penalty time begins when the whistle blows to restart play.

• If a player’s penalty expires during a dead ball, player is not released until the whistle.

• If a penalty expires during a face-off, do not release the player until possession is called. • If Team A scores, all players serving releas-

able penalties for Team B are released.
• If Team A scores, Team A penalties are not

• NR penalties always serve the full penalty

time no matter how many goals are scored. • Player has multiple penalties: NR time is served first, regardless of order of fouls.

• Penalty time carries into the next period. Let officials know if the period expires with a player still serving a penalty.

• Keep players serving penalties at the rear of penalty area until about 5 seconds remain. At that time, a sub may take the place of the penalized player (who must go to the bench when the penalty expires).

Fouling out

• Notify officials if a player is assessed 5:00 of personal foul penalties, regardless of the number of fouls.

• Notify officials if a player receives 3 separate personal fouls or 2 NR unsportsmanlike con- duct penalties, regardless of penalty time.


• If a team has more than 3 penalties at once, they will play with 3 players serving penal- ties and 7 players on the field.

• Additional players serving penalties will stand outside the sub area by the timer until there is room for them in the penalty area.

• When the first penalty releases, the releas- ing player exits to the bench and is replaced by one of the waiting players.

• Players with NR penalties serve first.
• A goal by Team A only releases releasable

penalties from Team B players actually serv- ing penalties (and not players waiting to serve outside sub area).


Record keeping. The scorer keeps a written record of goals, assists and other statistics. This record is kept in the official score book, which is provided by the home team.

Time-outs. Record the period in which each timeout is taken and the time remaining when it is taken. Time-outs between periods are charged to the previous period. Varsity teams get 2 time-outs per half and one per OT pe- riod; JV teams get one timeout per game.

Penalties. The scorer keeps an accurate record of the number of each player to whom a penalty is assessed, the type of violation, the time and the quarter when the foul occurred and the duration of the penalty. The scorer works with the timer in this effort. If a penalty is assessed against a coach or a bench player, be sure to note that in the score book even though the in-home player will serve the pen- alty (the bench player cannot enter the game until the penalty expires).

Goals. For a goal, record the number of the player scoring the goal, the period, and the time remaining in the period. Note that if a team puts the ball into its own goal, it is cred- ited to the opponent as a “team goal” and not to any specific player on that team.

Assists. You may award an assist if a player makes a direct pass to a teammate who then scores a goal without having to dodge or evade an opponent other than the goalkeeper.

Only one assist may be awarded on any goal, and many goals in lacrosse are unassisted. Saves. When the goalkeeper stops or deflects a shot that otherwise would have entered the goal, a save is awarded. A shot that misses the goal on its own is not recorded as a save.

Shots. Whenever the offensive team propels the ball toward the goal with the intent of scoring, a shot is awarded (even if the ball is kicked, flipped directly from the ground with a stick, or intentionally deflected toward the goal). A shot may miss the goal entirely with- out being saved. A goal scored by the defen- sive team is not credited as a shot.

Fouling out. Under both NCAA and NFHS rules, if a player accumulates 5 minutes of personal fouls (regardless of the number of fouls), that player has fouled out of the game. Notify the nearest official immediately; the player will serve his penalty but then must exit to the bench area and another player will take his place on the field. Technical fouls have no bearing on fouling out of a game.

Under youth rules, players also foul out if they have a certain number of personal fouls (4 un- der US Lacrosse rules but 3 under Minnesota youth rules).

For NFHS lacrosse only, a player or coach receiving two nonreleasable unsportsman- like conduct fouls is expelled from the game. Notify the officials when a player receives his second non-releasable USC penalty. 


Created by Harold Buck. Some portions ©1999-2016 by the NCAA. Last revised May 4, 2016.