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Major Fouls in Women's Lacrosse

Learn what constitutes a major foul in women's lacrosse from coaches at Gameday Lacrosse in this Howcast video.


Hi, my name's Liz Kittleman Jackson, I'm the head coach at Columbia University. I'm Joined by Katie Chrest Erbe, who's an assistant coach at Columbia with me, and Caitlin Jackson with Gameday Lacrosse. Today, we're gonna talk about major fouls. If Katie is bringing the ball down the field and Caitlin is not in proper position, proper position being just to the left of her shoulder or a step in front. A major foul is if Caitlin brings her stick above shoulder width, comes across the top of Katie's head, and goes for this stick check.

That's considered a major foul, because it is unsafe play. You cannot bring your stick head over the top of somebody's head. Caitlin would be told to come four meters behind, Katie would maintain possession, and the ref would continue play.

Another example of a major foul, is within eight meter play. If Katie has possession of the ball, and Caitlin does not bring her body close enough to Katie's, but instead just extends her arms straight, knocking Katie off balance. That is most likely gonna be considered a major foul. The referee will blow the whistle, and Katie will be awarded a free position shot on one of the eight meter hashes. In order to avoid the foul, Caitlin needs to make sure that she is a safe distance from Katie, her knees are bent, and if she is to put contact or pressure on Katie, her elbows remain bent. She does not extend them, locking her elbows, again knocking Katie off balance. Another example of a major foul is a check towards the body.

Caitlin's in good defensive position here, but Katie has her stick within the sphere of her head. If Caitlin is to check the stick towards Katie's head, that's gonna be considered a major foul. Again, anything coming towards the head, over the head, within the sphere of the head, is gonna be considered a major foul. Katie would be awarded an eight meter hash for a free position shot to goal. To make this legal, Caitlin would need to step to this side of Katie and make sure that Katie, she does not go for the check, until Katie's stick is away from her body and Caitlin can make the check away from Katie's body. Another example of a major foul is checking across somebody's body, when you're out of position. if you remember from the earlier example, in order to make this legal, Caitlin needs to be next to Katie's shoulder or a step ahead. If she is behind Katie, and is going for the check across her body, that once again will bring the stick into the sphere of Katie's head, making it an illegal major foul, because it's unsafe.

Katie would be awarded the ball, Caitlin would be asked to go four meters behind, and the play would resume with Katie's possession. So, those are a few examples of major fouls. Keeping in mind that the referees are trying to keep the game safe, that we have a sphere around the head of every player, that the referee's making decisions on. Is your stick coming within that sphere, is it coming across somebody's body, is it coming too close to somebody's head. That's what's gonna get you a major foul.

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