One of the most important position in lacrosse is the goalie. The goalie's job is to keep his opponent's team from scoring goals. However, because goalies have this unenviable task, they must be allowed some protection from the other side. This protection that a goalie gets is the goal crease.
What Is The Goal Crease?
The goal crease exists in both men's and women's lacrosse. The crease is a circle that has a radius of nine feet, which is intersected by the goal line. This means that the crease goes in front of and behind the net with an 18-foot diameter.
Rules For the Crease
Only the goalie is allowed to stand or be in the crease. An attacking player is allowed to try to scoop the ball from the crease, but may never enter the crease with his or her body. If an attacking player is caught in the crease, it is ruled a crease violation. The referee then stops play, and awards possession to the defending team.
Goalie's Rules For the Crease
The goalie may exit the crease at any time. The goalie may also not be checked while he is in the crease. However, if the goalie has possession of the ball in the crease, he has four seconds to exit or pass the ball off to his teammate. If the goalie does not do this in the four seconds, possession is awarded to the attacking team. In women's lacrosse, the rule is the goalie has 10 seconds to clear the crease. Also, once the goalie has possession, he may not return to the crease with possession of the ball. If he does that, possession is awarded to the other team.