Newcomers to lacrosse probably want to know how scoring works when they are first introduced to the sport. There is no such thing as too much certainty, even though it seems fairly simple to understand.
When the ball is put in the opponent’s net, the team receives one point, known as a goal. A 2-point arc is only present on the field at the professional level of lacrosse. There are two points awarded to teams that score a goal behind this 2-point arc.
In lacrosse, that’s how you score. In the following sections, we will shed further light on this basic scoring system. Watch how the world’s best lacrosse players score their goals right up to the very end!
Scoring Systems for Youth, High Schools, and Colleges
Lacrosse associations at all levels, from youth to high school and college, use the same scoring system.
Lacrosse Goal Scoring
When the ball enters the interior of the goal, 1 point is awarded to the winning team. Until the ball passes through the cage’s framework, it needs only to travel over an imaginary plane. In other words, it doesn’t have to touch the net physically.
Consider a situation where the ball hits the top pipe and ricochets across the imaginary plane at a severe angle. A ball with extreme backspin bounces out of the goal when it hits the ground. Despite not touching the net, is this a goal?
Yes, that is correct. In spite of the ball staying in the goal interior for a short while, it doesn’t affect the outcome of the shot. A goal is still considered when the ball passes the imaginary plane created by the cage’s framework.
Where does the shot come from affect the score?
The player who scores a goal at these levels receives one point regardless of where he or she shot the ball. Thus, even if an offensive player makes a low angle shot with a very low probability of success, it is only worth one point. The extra street credit may be worth it, though.
The reason offensive players do not try to shoot from 15 to 20 yards out is because there is no real reason for them to do so. There are no extra points awarded for these low percentage shots. It is common for coaches to bench players who take these kinds of shots during games.
Scores are affected by where the ball crosses the goal line?
Additionally, it doesn’t matter from what direction the ball crosses into the goal. A single point is awarded for all shots crossing the cage’s imaginary plane.
It is treated the same way as a rinky dink shot that sneaks its way into the goal when it burns past the goalkeeper up into the top corner. I cannot ignore the fact that street credit has increased.
At the professional level, there is a scoring system
The professional level of lacrosse chose a different scoring system from youth, high school, and collegiate lacrosse.
The Major League Lacrosse (MLL) and the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) are the two professional lacrosse associations at present. These leagues decided to use a two-point scoring arc instead of the old scoring system.
It is equivalent in basketball to the 3 point arc. Every two points on the 2 point arc, the cage is 15 yards away (source). When a player shoots behind this arc and scores, they receive 2 points instead of 1. A player must position his or her feet completely behind the arc to earn 2 points.
In professional lacrosse, a successful two-point goal is rare. Two-point arcs are most often used to score points. The scoring is certainly amplified by this new variable.
What are the chances of a team scoring in lacrosse?
My analysis of the data showed that D1 collegiate lacrosse teams score 12.01 goals per game on average. A 17.94 goal per game average was posted by Penn St., while a 6.23 goal per game average was posted by St. Bonaventure.
High school and college lacrosse teams generally score more than 10 goals per game. At the youth level, players do not often reach double digits because they haven’t mastered the fundamental skills of lacrosse yet.
As a result of numerous rules promoting a fast-paced, dynamic scoring style, professional lacrosse averages well beyond 10 goals per game.
The PLL has a 52 second shot clock, as well as a shorter field and 2 point arc. When all three rules are combined, it’s no big deal for one lacrosse team to score 20 goals in a single game.
2 Point Lines in Professional Lacrosse: Why Did They Introduce Them?
There may be a reason why lacrosse scoring systems at the professional level differ from those at the amateur level. 2 point arcs certainly caught my attention when I first heard about them.
Increases viewership of the sport
As a result of this rule, viewers are more likely to be interested in lacrosse. Professional lacrosse is still struggling to gain traction. The team had to experiment with some fresh, original ideas in order to appeal to casual sports fans.
The 2 point arc was one of the first ideas that came to mind. There is no doubt that the three point arc forever changed the world of basketball.
For lacrosse, the two point arc has been a strong desire of the professional rules committee. There is no doubt that it adds another layer of suspense to the game, as it has so far been praised by a great many fans.
Kyle Dixon scores three 2-point goals in the clip below to show that the 2 point goal is possible!
If a team is down by four goals, they are practically out of the running. Professionals have a completely different experience. Due to the possibility of the 2 point arc, no lead is safe here. It only takes a couple of two-point bombs to overcome a four-goal deficit!
Even if the 2 point arc adds a slight amount of intrigue to games, the rules committee considers it a win. As they want the game to grow more than anyone else, this rule change seems like a logical step.
Increases scoring opportunities by spreading the field
As a side benefit of the two-point arc, the defense must spread out and respect players far from the goal, which is often missed.
This isn’t a problem at the lower levels of lacrosse. Due to the lack of incentive, offensive players will not try to shoot from 15 yards out. Take a moment to consider it. Can you earn the same amount of points by taking a shot from 5 yards out instead of 15 yards out?
Two-point arcs keep the defense on its toes. Their goal is to avoid a swing of two points. Simply put, it poses too much of a threat. Defenders fear hedging off their assigned man and providing defensive support if needed.
Therefore, dodgers have a bit more time and space to work with since there is no help available. As a result, more goals are scored.
Do the other levels of lacrosse plan to adopt the 2-point line as well?
As a result of all these benefits, it raises the question of whether 2 point lines will eventually be adopted by all levels of lacrosse.
Although no one is capable of predicting the future, I highly doubt that this will be implemented in the near future. It’s true that the two-point arc adds dynamic and suspense to the game at the professional level, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it translates to lower competitive levels.
This task may be beyond the capabilities of some professional lacrosse players. Regardless of what the lacrosse community believes, I’m not sure the youth and high school programs are ready for this step yet.
Lacrosse fundamentals must be mastered by younger players as soon as possible. When two-point arcs are suddenly introduced at youth and high school levels, I am concerned players will attempt low percentage shots far beyond their capabilities.
It will be more difficult for them to jump to 15 yards out before they are ready than shooting from 8 yards out. As a result, they may never achieve their true shooting potential in the long run.
College lacrosse is the level most likely to follow professional lacrosse’s lead out of all levels. Even so, I think there is little chance of it happening.
Basic Rules of Lacrosse
- The field is allowed to have 10 players – three attacking players, three midfielders, three defenders, and one goalie.
- A point is awarded to the scoring team for each goal scored in boys lacrosse.
- The maximum number of long poles per team is four.
- Goalies are the only players allowed to touch the lacrosse ball.