"Tri Lax" 3 v 3 Games

Are you an experienced player but want more touches on the ball and a fun way to practice?… “Tri Lax”!


Have you never played lacrosse before, but want to get started?... “Tri Lax”! 

Game Objectives / Philosophies:

-When played correctly, one offensive player will often be open (Offense, all three players are involved… Defense, one player is in goal and the other two are defending).  In this case, pass the ball to an open player to score.

-Many passes in the game of lacrosse are not perfect.  The best players in the game know how to adjust to catch bad passes.  Playing goalie in this game is an amazing way to work on controlling bad passes.  Tri Lax uses a tennis ball, so you don't need to worry about getting hit with the ball.

-Catching a tennis ball works on ​having "soft hands" needed for a normal ball.  A player that is used to playing with a normal ball may be frustrated at first, but they will adapt and be better for it when transitioning back to a normal ball.

-Playing in a small setting like this, maximizes involvement on offense, defense, and in transition both ways. PRO Players use these types of settings to train and have fun with the game, so you should too!  

-Let the players play!  This is the time to trying something new (non-dominant hand, fakes, one hand pass / shot, behind the backs, around the worlds, shovel shots, etc.).  

Game Skills:

-Scooping through ground balls.    



-Dodging (when needed).

-Defense (similar to basketball). 

Court / Field:   

-20 Yards Wide x 40 Yards Length. 

-Goals 5 yards in from each endline.  

-Midline (or flat cone to show midfield).  

-Substitution / Field Supervisor Box at midfield, 10 yards wide.

-NO Crease.  


-Tennis Ball

-Girls or boys ("short" only) sticks, but ideally all field players are using the same type of stick.  Girl's sticks do NOT need to be what would be considered "legal" for the normal field game, but can be no deeper than what is considered legal for a boy's stick.  

-Goals should be the same on both ends and can be 3x3, 4x4, or the bottom triangle of a 6x6.  

-Uniforms (dark / light colored tees, reversibles, etc.) that define two different teams.  

-Mouth guards.

-Optional - goggles, (sun)glasses, lightly protective gloves, padded shirts or shorts.  Only very light contact is allowed.  


-Teams should be attempted to be made even based more on skill and less on age or gender.  

-Games can be boy's only, girl's only, or coed, but all rules are (and sticks should be) the same.

-Ideal number of players per team is 5 - 6.  3 players on the field at a time.

-All 3 players are encouraged to play offense, and (only) 1 defensive player is allowed to play goalie.  

-No coach is needed and fans may cheer, but not coach.  If a team has a coach, the are not allowed to coach during games and they must sit in spectator area and cannot instruct.  Instruction can be offered before and after the games.  

-Field Supervisor - Keeps the game going and is the final say on any conflicts.  

-If keeping score, a time & score keeper are allowed (with no commentary) in the substitution box.  

-If there is a ball chaser for one end-line, there must be one for both.  



Time & Scoring:

-An ideal match time is a total of about 24 minutes long...  3, 6 minute, periods with 1-2 minute breaks in between periods.  Periods are short to encourage a fast pace.  Games are short to encourage multiple games. 

-No Timeouts.

-A 10 second shot clock can be implemented by the Field Supervisor at any time if they feel one team is stalling.   

-First possession is decided on by representatives of each team playing Rock, Paper, Scissors, or by the Field Supervisor if there are time constraints.

-Team that loses first possession automatically chooses first side and has first Alternate Possession (AP) if one is needed.  

-Tie games result in a Shootout (similar rules as NHL Ice Hockey)... offensive player starts at mid-court must keep moving once they start... they may not touch the goal or the defensive player... they must be "in control" of the ball at all times and must shoot in a "controlled" manor.  Both offense and defense players must rotate, and go in the same order if needing to go through the roster more than once.  A shootout is won on the FIRST unmatched goal.  

Play of game:

-The game (and each period) starts with the all players on the end-line and the ball is placed on the goal line extended (GLE) of the team with the first possession.  

-After goals, the play is restarted when a player from the team that was just scored on, circles around the back of their own goal.  

-An opposing team defender may not cross the GLE until (the player with) the ball comes across GLE.   

-A player who starts the possession of the ball may not score until another player on their team has also possessed the ball (A good strategy is to start with two players behind the goal and make an uncontested first pass (if the ball did go out of bounds, it would be the other team's ball).   

-Substitutions may occur at any time, but there are no more than three players from each team allowed on the court at any time during play (which includes after goals).  A player on the court must come off through the substitution box before a new player can go on to the field, also through the substitution box.  

Boundary play (similar soccer or basketball):

- When a ball goes out of bounds for any reason (passing, shooting, or stepping), the opposing team will earn possession of the ball.  

- The lines are considered "hot", so players with possession of the ball may not step on a boundary line.  

- To restart the ball, a player must pass the ball from out of bounds on to the field.  On the side lines, a player may take 1-3 steps to inbound the ball.  A player on the end-line may run the entire end-line to inbound the ball. 

- An inbounding player has 5 seconds to inbound the ball.  

- A defending players must give a one-yard boundary to the player inbounding the ball and may not touch them.  Failure to follow this rule once, resets the 5 second count.  Failure to follow this rule more than once can result in the team in possession of the ball to get a "free clear" and start the play at mid court.  

- A player inbounding the ball may not score until another player on their team has had possession.  

Rules & Management:

- The spirit of this game is to safely and fairly compete in a way that helps all individuals and teams improve and encourage overall growth of the sport.  

- Physical play should be limited to accidental contact and defending one's own space (like basketball).  

- The field supervisor has full control of each game.  Their job is to keep the game safe, moving, and fun, and only be involved if needed.  They are not officials and should not be judged by spectators or players).  

- Players may be removed from the court when they:

1.  Are (repeatedly) not in control of their body, stick, or ball (accidentally or on purpose).

2.  Purposefully do not follow the guidelines or spirit of the game (safe, fun, positive attitude, and make each other better).  

3.  Do not follow the instruction of the field supervisor (accidentally or on purpose) / repetitive fouls. 


- All fouls result in turnovers.  These fouls are not limited to:

1.  Crosschecking (a defender has their hands apart on the stick and is using the stick to stop a player from moving).

2.  Pushing - Any form of moving another player out of their current space, including "unequal pressure" when two players are not the same size.

3.  Tripping (accidental or on purpose).

4.  Checking a player's stick when it is above their shoulders.

5.  Slashing - Starting, what would be a legal stick check otherwise, above the shoulders.

6.  Illegal Follow Though - A players who passes or shoots the ball hits another player with their follow through.  

7.  Charging - A player with the ball may not force through a defender.  

8.  High Sticking - any contact from one player's stick to another player's body above their shoulders.  

9.  Detaining - moving your feet to impede another players movement (pick's are legal).  

10.  Hand Ball - No player may touch the ball with a free hand.

11. Illegal Substitution.

12. Kneeling to play goalie - players must stand to be in goal. 

13. "Plugging" the goal - no player is allowed to be in the goal. 

14. Multiple goalies - only one player at a time on the defensive team is allowed to be the goalie.    

15. Goalie Interference - A player playing goalie may cover the ball, only when within one foot, in any direction, of the goal.  A player may not touch the goalie's stick when the ball is legally covered.     

16. Covering / Raking the ball (except the goalie) - players may not cover the ball to protect it from an opponent picking it up.  The only way to pick up a ball is to scoop through. 

17. Cherry picking - players must attempt to play defense.  

18. Playing without a stick - all players must play with a stick.  

19. Warding - using one hand off the stick to gain an offensive advantage.

20. Stalling - teams must attempt to go to the goal.

21. One pass - On any change of possession, one pass must be made before a goal can be scored.  Even after one pass has occurred, players are encouraged to pass to open players as often as possible.  

22.  Shooting before mid court.  

23.  Illegal inbounds (see Boundaries).  

24. Poor Sportsmanship -

A.  Foul Language / Swearing.

B.  Arguing calls with the Field Supervisor.

C.  Fighting or Over-physical play.  

D.  Not adhering to the spirt of the game.