How Many Players on a Lacrosse Team

When it comes to lacrosse, understanding the number of players on a team is essential. Whether you’re a fan, a player, or just curious about the sport, knowing the roster size is key to grasping the dynamics of the game.

In men’s collegiate lacrosse, a typical team has a roster of 35-45 players. This ensures that there is enough depth and talent to compete at a high level. On the other hand, professional men’s lacrosse teams, like those in the PLL, have rosters made up of 25 players. This allows for a more condensed and elite group of athletes.

In a men’s field lacrosse game, there are ten players in the starting lineup on the field. This includes three attackmen, three midfielders, three defensemen (with a maximum of four long poles), and one goaltender. Each position plays a crucial role in the team’s strategy and overall gameplay.

For women’s lacrosse, the roster size tends to be slightly smaller. An average collegiate program carries around 21-30 players. However, the exact number can vary based on the division, with Division I teams often having nearly 30 players on average, while Division II and III teams may have closer to 21 players.

Similar to men’s lacrosse, a women’s lacrosse game features twelves players in the starting lineup. This lineup consists of three attackers, five midfielders, three defenders, and one goaltender. With different positions and responsibilities, each player contributes to the team’s success.

Whether it’s men’s or women’s lacrosse, understanding the number of players on a team is vital for fans and players alike. The roster size affects the team’s strategy, depth, and overall gameplay dynamics. So next time you watch a lacrosse match, you’ll have a better appreciation for the number of players on the field!

Roster Size in Men’s Lacrosse

When it comes to men’s lacrosse, the roster size for a collegiate program typically ranges from 35 to 45 players. This ample roster size allows teams to have a deep bench and ensures that they have enough players to fill various positions and roles throughout the season. Additionally, it provides coaches with flexibility when it comes to making substitutions and adjusting strategies during games.

The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), a professional men’s lacrosse league, has slightly smaller rosters consisting of 25 players. While the roster size may be smaller in the PLL, the level of competition remains high, and every player must be prepared to contribute to the team’s success.

During an actual men’s field lacrosse game, ten players take the field in the starting lineup. This lineup includes three attackmen, three midfielders, three defensemen (with a maximum of four long poles), and one goaltender.

Having a balanced distribution of players in the starting lineup ensures that teams have both offensive firepower and defensive stability. Attackmen are responsible for scoring goals, midfielders contribute on both ends of the field, defensemen focus on stopping the opposing team’s attack, and the goaltender serves as the last line of defense.

To provide a visual representation of the men’s lacrosse starting lineup, here’s a table summarizing the positions:

Position Number of Players
Attackmen 3
Midfielders 3
Defensemen (with a maximum of four long poles) 3
Goaltender 1

Now that you have an understanding of the roster size and starting lineup in men’s lacrosse, let’s delve into the roster size and starting lineup in women’s lacrosse in the next section.

Roster Size in Women’s Lacrosse

In women’s lacrosse, the roster size can vary based on the division. On average, a women’s collegiate program carries 21-30 players. Division I teams tend to have larger rosters, with nearly 30 players on average. Division II and III teams, on the other hand, have closer to 21 players.

Within a women’s lacrosse game, there are twelve players in the starting lineup. This starting lineup consists of three attackers, five midfielders, three defenders, and one goaltender. Each position plays a crucial role in the game, contributing to the team’s overall strategy and success.

Position Number of Players
Attackers 3
Midfielders 5
Defenders 3
Goaltender 1

women's lacrosse starting lineup

Having a well-balanced starting lineup is crucial for a team’s success on the field. Each player’s unique skills and positions play a significant role in offense, defense, and controlling the flow of the game.

Roster Rules

When it comes to lacrosse team rules and roster regulations, there are a few key guidelines that teams need to follow. These rules ensure fair play, team composition, and competitive integrity. Let’s take a closer look at the roster rules in collegiate lacrosse:

Minimum Number of Players

In collegiate play, it is mandatory for a team to have a minimum of 10 players on the field at the start of a game. If a team fails to meet this requirement, they automatically forfeit the game with a score of 1-0.

Player Ejections

If a player is ejected from a lacrosse game, they are not allowed to reenter the game. This rule ensures that teams maintain discipline and fairness throughout the match.

Captains Requirement

Every lacrosse team must have at least one captain on its roster. Captains play a vital role in leading their team both on and off the field, providing guidance, motivation, and strategic direction.

Understanding and adhering to these roster rules is essential for lacrosse teams to participate in fair and competitive play. Let’s now summarize the key roster rules in the table below:

Roster Rules Description
Minimum Number of Players A team must field 10 players at the start of the game. Failure to do so results in a 1-0 forfeit.
Player Ejections Ejected players cannot reenter the game, ensuring fair play and discipline.
Captains Requirement Every team must have at least one captain on the roster.


By following these roster regulations, lacrosse teams create an environment of fairness and integrity, allowing players to showcase their skills and compete at their best.

Total Number of Players on All Lacrosse Teams Combined

The total number of lacrosse players across all teams varies depending on factors such as the level of play, age group, and gender. However, let’s explore the general range of players to give you an idea of the scope.

On average, lacrosse teams have around 22 to 28 players. This includes both men’s and women’s teams across different levels, from youth leagues to professional organizations. Of course, this number can fluctuate based on various factors, such as the size of the league, the resources available, and the specific team’s strategies.

It’s important to note that when it comes to actually playing on the field, each team has 10 players. This applies to both men’s and women’s lacrosse. These 10 players, consisting of attackers, midfielders, defenders, and a goalkeeper, work together to score goals and defend their territory.


Factors Affecting Roster Size

The size of a lacrosse roster is influenced by several factors, including the level of play, age group, and gender. These factors determine the number of players that teams at different levels and in different categories can accommodate. Let’s explore how these factors impact roster sizes in more detail:

  1. Level of Play: The level of play has a significant impact on roster sizes. College and professional men’s lacrosse teams typically have larger rosters of 35-45 players. This is because higher-level competition requires more depth and versatility in the team lineup. In contrast, women’s lacrosse teams generally have smaller rosters, reflecting the differences in gameplay and the emphasis on skill and strategy.
  2. Age Group: Roster sizes can vary based on the age group of the players. Youth and high school lacrosse teams follow specific league rules regarding roster limits. These rules consider the developmental stages of young players and aim to provide them with ample playing opportunities. As a result, roster sizes for youth and high school teams may differ based on the age groups they cater to.
  3. Gender: Gender also plays a role in determining roster sizes. Men’s and women’s lacrosse have distinct variations in rules and gameplay, which in turn affects the number of players in each team. As mentioned earlier, men’s lacrosse teams typically have larger rosters compared to women’s lacrosse teams. This discrepancy arises from the inherent differences in the way the game is played at the collegiate and professional levels.

Considering these factors, it is evident that roster size allocation is a strategic decision that takes into account various aspects of the lacrosse landscape. Now let’s continue exploring other aspects of lacrosse team composition and strategy.


Comparison of Roster Sizes in Lacrosse

Lacrosse Level/Category Expected Roster Size
College and Professional Men’s Lacrosse 35-45 players
PLL 25 players
College Women’s Lacrosse (average) 21-30 players
Youth and High School Lacrosse (varies based on age group) Varies

Position Breakdown on a Lacrosse Team

A lacrosse team is composed of various positions, each with its own responsibilities and roles on the field. Understanding the different positions and their breakdown is crucial for players, coaches, and fans alike. Here’s a breakdown of the key positions typically found on a lacrosse team:


In the game of lacrosse, goalies play a crucial role in defending the team’s goal. They are responsible for stopping shots and making saves. A lacrosse team usually has 2 goalies who rotate throughout the game, providing essential protection for the team’s defensive efforts.


The defensemen in lacrosse are tasked with preventing the opposing team from scoring. They work together as a unit to disrupt the offense, block shots, and force turnovers. A team typically has 5-6 defensemen, each specialized in their defensive skills and strategies.


Midfielders are versatile players who play both offense and defense. They occupy the middle of the field and contribute to both ends of the game. Midfielders are involved in face-offs, ground ball battles, and transition plays. Most teams have 8-10 midfielders to ensure ample coverage and flexibility in gameplay.


Attackmen are primarily responsible for scoring goals. They work in close proximity to the opposing team’s goal and are skilled in shooting, dodging, and creating scoring opportunities. A lacrosse team usually has 5-6 attackmen who coordinate with the midfielders to execute offensive plays and put points on the board.

Now that we’ve looked at the different lacrosse team positions, let’s visualize the breakdown with a table:

Position Number of Players
Goalies 2
Defensemen 5-6
Midfielders 8-10
Attackmen 5-6

Having a balanced roster with players specialized in each position is vital for the success of a lacrosse team. It allows for effective gameplay, strategic coordination, and the ability to adapt to different situations on the field.


Benefits of Having a Large Roster

A large roster in lacrosse offers numerous advantages, enhancing the overall team performance and dynamics. One of the key benefits is the depth it provides. With a larger number of players, teams have more options to choose from, allowing them to field the most skilled and fit athletes for each game.

Furthermore, a large roster offers greater flexibility in terms of strategy and substitutions. Coaches can adapt their game plans based on opponents’ tactics and adjust the lineup accordingly. This flexibility allows for quick and effective changes during the game, ensuring the team maintains a competitive edge.

Another advantage of a large roster is the increased substitution options it offers. With more players available, teams can rotate them more frequently. Regular substitutions not only prevent fatigue, but they also keep the players energized and ready to give their best performance throughout the entire game.

Scroll to Top