Lacrosse Slashing Penalty: What You Need to Know

Lacrosse slashing penalties result from players swinging their sticks recklessly or viciously at their opponents. As a personal foul, this penalty is unreleasable, and the referee determines how long it should last. Despite lacrosse being a physically demanding sport, player safety remains paramount, so this penalty ensures that player checks are controlled.

Lacrosse Slashing Penalty:


Lacrosse slashing penalties result from players swinging their sticks recklessly or viciously at opponents’ bodies, heads, or legs. Despite being rare, slashing penalties are not always called when someone makes contact.

Slashing without contact is generally only called in youth leagues. When deciding whether a slash is vicious, reckless, or both, the referee must consider the severity of the slash. An opponent who isn’t wearing any equipment could be injured by a vicious swing.

Both hands are used to swing at the head of an opponent, for instance. Reckless swings are simply swings that demonstrate a lack of control on the part of the player. An example would be when a player wildly swings their stick against an opponent without seeming to have any aim.

It is also possible to consider these acts violent. The player’s inability to control his stick, however, makes it more reckless. Depending on the severity, slashing penalties can result in one, two, or three-minute penalties during play.

More severe penalties are usually imposed for slashing the head, neck, or legs. The ejection of a person may even be warranted in extreme circumstances.

Shooting follow-throughs aren’t considered slashes even if they hit the opponent since the player is considered to be shooting at the time of contact.

Related: Lacrosse Cross-Checking Penalty


All levels of lacrosse penalize slashing with one minute penalties. Depending on the severity of the slashing, the penalty can range from two to three minutes, or even result in an ejection.

The player must kneel in the penalty box during the period of penalty time determined by the official after committing a slashing penalty. It will be man-up time for the other team during the penalty.

Referee Signal

A referee must use their judgment when calling a slashing penalty to determine the length of the penalty. The severity of the foul determines the penalty. Slashing is usually penalized by a one-minute non-releasable penalty as a personal foul, and this is what the official usually calls. Referees cross their arms to signal slashing when they place their left hand over their right hand and signal the penalty length.


  • The ball is repeatedly swung at the body or head of an opponent without an attempt to dislodge it.
  • When they don’t have the ball, players swing at their opponents’ heads or bodies.
  • An aggressive swing without making contact with an opponent is rarely called.


Slashing in lacrosse is what it is called.

During a check, a player is penalized for slashing when he or she swings their stick recklessly or uncontrollably at an opponent. The only areas of the opponent’s glove and stick that can be touched are their gloves and sticks. There’s no requirement that a player make contact with the opponent in order for it to be a slashing penalty; however, it’s seldom called without contact.

Slashing in lacrosse carries what consequences?

An unreleasable slashing penalty is usually one minute in duration. The penalty time can be extended to three minutes if the referee determines that the slash was intentional or severe enough. Slashes that are deemed excessively violent and intentionally may justify an ejection.

Lacrosse players are allowed to hit each other with their sticks?

If you check the opponent’s stick or gloves with your stick, you are allowed to hit them with your stick. The reason for this is that defensive players can still cause turnovers without causing injury to their opponents. A slash is only considered if an injury can be caused by the swing, if it is reckless or misplaced.

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