How Many Players Are on a Lacrosse Team?

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The sideline of a lacrosse team may appear to be crowded with players to a casual observer. It is challenging to determine the precise number of players on one lacrosse squad.

The roster for a lacrosse team of typical size lists 22 to 23 players. However, there might be anything from 18 participants at the low end to 26 players at the high end. For each team during a game, a maximum of 10 players are allowed on the pitch. There are now a total of 20 players on the pitch for the two teams.

Coaches of lacrosse do not choose the number of roster positions at random. The number of players on a lacrosse team is greatly influenced by a wide range of factors. The next paragraphs go into further information about these elements.


What Are The Factors That Determine The Size Of A Lcrosse Team?

Teams fluctuate in size for a number of reasons, including the level of play, effective playing time, allowance for injuries, team strategy, and finances.


  • Level of play

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, as you can see in the preceding section, depending on the program’s level. Teams tend to hold onto as much talent as they can at the high school and college levels since there are more athletes to choose from. The majority of the players can stay on the roster even if there is a limit on the number of varsity players, according to lacrosse coaches.

However, teams need a lot fewer players to remain competitive and effective in professional lacrosse. There are fewer options available each year, hence fewer college players are selected to play professionally.


  • Efficient playing time

Large lacrosse teams have a significant drawback in that there is not enough playing time to distribute among the players. Coaches must keep the number of players on the squad to a minimum in order to provide each player an equal opportunity to play and demonstrate his or her skills.

Coaches don’t take this decision lightly because playing time is important for players who want to advance in their careers. All players will participate in tryouts at the start of the season to showcase their abilities in an effort to promote fairness. The greatest approach to determine whether a player has the ability to play varsity lacrosse is through this.


  • Room for injuries

The biggest enemy that teams can’t avoid is injuries. Injury is an outside factor that affects the results of the games, particularly during a busy season. Teams must be prepared to fill up the slots when injuries do occur.

Every lacrosse team has several players available to fill a particular position in the event of injuries as a result. This explains why there are typically far more players than necessary for each position on the field at once. The best thing teams can do is to be ready because nobody can foresee when injuries would occur.


  • Team Strategy

The aforementioned elements are based on objective considerations; this aspect, however, is significantly affected by the team coaches. Different coaches have various coaching philosophies, which influence their choices for roster organization.

Players must move swiftly up and down the field during transitions for coaches who like to execute aggressive offensive tactics. This gives the side the advantage over the opposition that enjoys playing more slowly. The team needs enough middies to switch in and out so they can execute this tactic and run at full speed without tiring.

This is but one instance where a team’s strategy could have an impact on the composition of the roster. Additionally, since the coach makes this choice, it provides insight into how various strategies affect the size of the teams.


  • Budget

For NCAA lacrosse teams, this is less of an issue, but for MCLA and Professional leagues, budget is a key factor. Generally speaking, the size of the crew depends directly on the amount of the budget.

After all, managing a lacrosse team is similar to managing a company. It needs money to function. Players must pay dues in order to participate, especially in the MCLA, as they are essentially clubs.

If a club or amateur team has more than 50 players, this could be a potential red flag that they are milking the players and pocketing the money.

Why Is It That Lacrosse Teams Have So Many Players?

The short answer is that there are many different ways to score in lacrosse, and each team has a better chance of scoring when there are more people on the field.

The size of a lacrosse team has changed throughout time as the sport has developed, but ten players seem to be the perfect number for the majority of teams today.

What Are The Main Lacrosse Positions?

Lacrosse has four primary positions: attack, midfield, defense, and goalie. We’ll go over each position’s specifics while using pictures to illustrate them! In boys’ lacrosse, each team has an equal number of attackers, midfielders, defenders, and goalies on the field at any given moment There are 12 players on the field at once in girls’ lacrosse; the differences will be covered in another article.

– Attack: Receiving the ball from the midfielders in transition and establishing the offense is the responsibility of the attackers. Because the team must always have three players on the offensive side of the field to avoid penalties, the three attackers must remain there.

An exception to this rule is when an attacker crosses the midfield line; however, a different member of their team, typically a midfielder, must take their place on the offensive side until the attacker returns. Attackers must possess the best stick skills because they handle the ball more than anyone else on the team when shooting, passing, and defending their stick from defenders.

– Midfield: The three midfielders, sometimes known as “middies,” are permitted to play wherever on the lacrosse field. They face off to begin the game, playing both attack and defense. Since midfielders go up and down the pitch as soccer players do, they need to be quick and strong. Similar to hockey, any player on the pitch has the ability to substitute at any time, however, midfielders tend to do this the most. The midfielders on a squad must be particularly adept at grabbing ground balls.

– Defense: Since there must be four players (three defenders and a goalie) on this half of the field in order to avoid a penalty, the three defenders must remain on the defensive side of the field. The only exception to this rule is that, similar to an attacker if a goalie or defender crosses the halfway line, a second player from their team must cover them until the defender returns. Defenders have a responsibility to stop the opposition from scoring. Defenders use longer lacrosse sticks so they can intercept passes from attackers and throw better checks. They are typically some of the biggest players on the field and guard the three attackers from the other team.

– Goalie: The goalie is one of the most crucial positions in lacrosse, just like in all sports. To block shots, the goaltender uses a larger head and net on their stick. The crease, a concentric circle surrounding the goal where the goalie stands, is off-limits to members of the opposing side. Since shots are arriving at them so quickly, goalies need to have the best hand-eye coordination possible to block them. Goalies must also be exceptionally tough athletes because even though they are protected by protective pads, they occasionally take shots.



As discussed earlier, lacrosse teams often feature 22 to 23 players. This does not mean that this figure is the final word. Many lacrosse teams can function just as well with a few fewer or a few more players than this usual number.

Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor

"I live and breath Lacrosse"

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