Lacrosse originated in the US but is spreading rapidly throughout the world. A fast-paced athletic game that really pushes the players to their max limit. It has evolved over the years and now there are various types of the game, each with its own rules.
As a coach and veteran player, I have often been asked this common question “How long is a lacrosse game?” Well, there is no straightforward answer. The length of the game depends on multiple factors including area, rules, and level of the game.
In short, an average lacrosse game lasts around 60 minutes, which has 4 quarters of 15 minutes each. After the first and third quarters, there is a 2 minute break and at halftime, there is a 10 minute break. There are also timeouts.
So, an average game would last about 75-78 minutes, considering the game was settled and there was no overtime. Otherwise, the game can go on for about 90 minutes.
Let’s dive into the detailed structure of the game that will help you better understand how long the game can actually last.
|SKILL LEVELS||QUARTERS||AVERAGE TIME (REAL-TIME)|
|High School||4 Quarters, 12 Minutes Each||65 Minutes Without Overtime|
|College||4 Quarters, 15 Minutes Each||78 Minutes Without Overtime|
|Youth||4 Quarters, 8 Minutes Each||50 Minutes Without Overtime|
|Professional||4 Quarters, 12 minutes Each||65 Minutes Without Overtime|
|Premier||4 Quarters, 12 minutes Each||65 Minutes Without Overtime|
|National||4 Quarters, 15 Minutes Each||85 Minutes Without Overtime|
|Major||4 Quarters, 15 Minutes Each||65 Minutes Without Overtime|
|Women’s||4 Quarters, 15 Minutes Each||65 Minutes Without Overtime|
How Long Is A Lacrosse Game?
Lacrosse 101: Understanding the Game’s Structure
Understanding the structure of a lacrosse game is very important for figuring out how long the game is going to last.
There is no fixed time, as there are tons of variations in a lacrosse game. However, if you have the structure in mind, you can quickly estimate the total length of the game at any time.
It is very rare for a lacrosse game to be divided into halves. Most lacrosse games are divided into quarters. A game has 4 quarters and one can last from 8 to 15 minutes depending on the type and level of the game. You can check out our article for a full breakdown of how many quarters in lacrosse.
After the first and third quarters, there is a short break. The length of the break can vary from one and a half minutes to two minutes. These breaks help players get back in position, breathe and refocus themselves.
It is the break between the second and third quarters. The quarter is usually longer than inter-quarter breaks and lasts about 10-15 minutes. The intermission helps the team re-strategize and get guidance from the coach.
Each team is allowed 2-3 time-outs in the game. Time-outs are used when the coach has something to share with the players or to disrupt the game when one team is aggressively carrying the momentum.
If the game is tied after regulation time, then the game goes into overtime. Mostly, overtime is played on the rule of sudden death.
Sudden death is a rule that is implemented over time. It means whichever team scores first wins and the game will end, regardless of how much overtime is left on the clock.
Now that we understand the basics, let’s dive into the details of each type of lacrosse game, so you can know how long each game lasts.
High School Lacrosse Game
This is where every professional begins. A high school lacrosse game is divided into 4 quarters of 12 minutes each.
However, there are some high schools that play quarters of 15 minutes each.
There are 2-minute breaks after the first and third quarters and a 10 minutes halftime after the second quarter.
In some high schools, the second half of the game is played with a running clock, which means the regulatory clock won’t stop for usual things and will only stop for injury or a time-out. This is done to maintain a fast-paced game.
So, the game will last for about 65 minutes at max, excluding the overtime. If there is overtime, then the game may continue until the first player scores. Overtimes are played in periods of 4 minutes until a team finally scores.
The final length of the game can be estimated at 75 minutes.
College Lacrosse Game
College lacrosse is much similar to high school lacrosse and is basically the continuation of the same game.
It has 4 quarters of 15 minutes each, with 2 minute breaks, 10 minutes half-time, and 4 timeouts of a minute each. There are two timeouts per half.
If the game is tied at the end, then there will be periods of 4 minutes with a rule of sudden death. Whichever team scores first wins.
Without overtime, the game will last for a max of 78 minutes, and with overtime, it can last for 90 minutes.
Youth Lacrosse Game
The lacrosse game among younger athletes and kids is more fast-paced and shorter. It is to test the stamina of the youth to its maximum limit.
It is played in 4 quarters of 8 minutes each, which estimates the regulation time of the game to be 32 minutes. Including the 2 quarter breaks of 2 minutes each, a 10-minute half-time, and timeouts of 4 minutes in total, the game lasts for about 50 minutes.
However, if the game is tied in the end, both teams will play in overtime, until one team scores. Overtime is played in periods of 4 minutes each.
So, in case of overtime, the game can last for more than an hour, but most of the time it ends in a max of 55 minutes.
Professional Lacrosse Games
Professional lacrosse is a bit different. The league games have a specific set of rules designed to make the game more organized and strategically challenging.
However, the basics of the game remain the same. Let’s discuss some details about the length of professional lacrosse games.
Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) Games
The Premiere Lacrosse League (PLL) Games are fast-paced and the quarters in this game are shorter. Each quarter only lasts about 12 minutes, which brings the regulation time to 48 minutes.
Each team is allowed 3-time outs throughout the game which add up to 4 minutes. Other than that, there are 2-minute breaks after the first and third quarters and 10-minute halftime after the second quarter.
All of these add up to 65 minutes in total. If the game is tied at the end, overtime is played with the sudden death rule. The overtime can last about 12 minutes, but as soon as a team scores, it wins and the game ends.
So, with the overtime included the game will last for 78 minutes which is shorter compared to college and high school lacrosse games.
National Lacrosse League (NLL) Games
National Lacrosse League (NLL) games are played at both college and professional levels. The professional level has 4 quarters of 15 minutes each, while the college game has 12 minutes of quarters.
To maintain a faster pace of the game, it is played with a running clock, which means the clock does not stop even if the ball leaves the field. The clock only stops for timeouts and injuries.
Both teams are allowed only 1 timeout per half, which lasts for only 45 seconds. Adding to this, there are two-minute breaks after each quarter and there is no halftime.
So, the professional level will last for 85 minutes while the collegiate level will last hardly for 65 minutes.
However, if the game ends on time, overtime will be played with the sudden death rule. So, whoever scores first wins the game. The overtime can last about 15 minutes.
Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Games
Major League Lacrosse (MLL) games are very similar to college and high school games. 4 quarters of 15 minutes are played with 2 minutes break and 15 minutes of half-time.
The intermission or halftime is a bit longer in these leagues which also allows the players to use the restroom and plan carefully for the next half.
If the game ends in a tie, the overtime is played for 10 minutes with the sudden death rule. If the overtime still ties, another overtime will be played.
So, the overall game will last about 2 hours.
Women’s Lacrosse Games
The NCAA also has Women’s lacrosse games at both high school and college levels. The women’s lacrosse games are a bit different from the men’s lacrosse games.
These games are played usually in halves instead of quarters. There is no particular reason for this rule.
Women’s college lacrosse games are played in two halves of 30 minutes each. If the game is tied in the end, the players will play overtime of 6 minutes which is divided into two halves of 3 minutes.
The NCAA also has a women’s high school lacrosse game which is 10 minutes shorter and is played in two halves of 25 minutes each.
The overtime rule is still the same, in which two halves of 3 minutes are played.
These games are usually shorter and last for hardly more than an hour. The breaks in women’s lacrosse games are a bit longer, but the rules differ from place to place.
Frequently Asked Questions
To sum it all up, although the regulation time of a lacrosse game is only from 32 to 60 minutes, it does not define the total length of the game.
During the game, the balls go out of court and go into the goal, there are breaks, timeouts, halftimes, injuries, and overtimes.
On average, we can say that a lacrosse game lasts about 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours in total.
So, if you are planning on watching or playing lacrosse then that is the time you should keep in mind.
In case of any questions, drop them in the comments section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Also see: Best Bowling Ball For Straight Bowlers
Hello, I am Amber Zoe. I have liked to play lacrosse since my childhood. I like to play with different teams. I have also been a coach because of guiding the team members well. Not only do I provide athletic guidance, but people know my preference for picking up lacrosse accessories. Because I always read everything very deeply and give a proper review. I have played almost every type of lacrosse ball and sticks. Millions of people liked my advice to get the best lacrosse accessories. So I have decided to write lacrosse reviews for a decade. The information I placed on my review is practical and authentic. You can buy anything which I prefer without any hesitation.