2023 Tournament Rules

  • All rules are international (WL/FIL) unless otherwise specified below. International rulebook can be found at:
  • Playing Time: 2×15 minutes running time. During the last 2 minutes of every match the time is stopped with the whistle. The breaks between periods are 2 minutes. Men’s Semifinal Games, Championship Game, U-18 Championship Game & Women’s Championship Game – 4×10 minutes running time, the breaks between quarters and halftime are 2 minutes.
  • In the event of a tie score at the end of regulation, a single 15 minute sudden victory period will be played. Sudden victory, no timeouts (timeouts do not carry over from regulation), play until we have a winner. First goal wins. If both teams fail to score a goal in 15 minutes of overtime, the game is declared a tie and a coin-toss will determine which team advances.
  • Shot clock is 30 seconds, clear-up limit is 10 seconds.
  • Time-served penalties: A minor penalty 1 min. for personal fouls (cross-checking, tripping, slashing, holding etc.), a major penalty 3 mins for dangerous fouls (charging into the boards, butt-ending attempt etc.).
  • Time-served penalty releases: In the case that a penalty which impacts the manpower on the floor expires during a dead-ball situation (due to the running clock), the player may not exit the penalty box until live play is whistled in.
  • Coincidental minor/major penalties: When coincidental minor penalties or coincidental major penalties of equal duration are imposed against players of both teams, the penalized players shall all take their places in the penalty box and teams shall play 5 on 5. Such penalized players should not leave the penalty box until the first non technical stoppage of play following the expiry of their respective penalties.
  • Coincidental penalty releases: If a coincidental penalty expires during a dead-ball situation (due to the running clock), the player may not exit the penalty box unless the on-floor officials signal it is permissible. The release is at the sole discretion of the on-floor officials.
  • Two many men penalty inside 1:00 or in overtime results in penalty shot.
  • Maximum number of players on your team for the tournament is 23, including goalies.  All 23 players may dress for every game.  A player can play only for one team in the tournament. Violation of this rule will result in forfeit.
  • A Match Penalty involves the suspension of the player for the balance of the game and the offended shall be ordered to the dressing room immediately. The “in home” player is to replace the penalized player for the full three minutes of playing time regardless of the number of goals scored. A player incurring a Match Penalty shall automatically receive a one-game suspension. The Organizing Committee reserves the right to expel such a player from the tournament.
  • Fighting is not condoned in any form. All fighting will result in a major penalty, a game misconduct and immediate expulsion from the tournament. The Organizing Committee reserves the right, at its’ sole discretion, to assess further penalties to any player involved in the altercation or to the team of the offending player. including possible multi-year or lifetime bans from the tournament. Decisions by the organizing committee cannot be appealed.
  • Time-outs: each team shall be allowed a maximum of one 30 second time-out per game. Games on 4×10 timing = two 30 second time-outs per game. There are no timeouts in overtime under any circumstances, they do not carry over.
  • Teams are obliged to have proper and unified jerseys including shorts. Two sets of uniforms are welcome. In case that opponents have similar uniform colors, a set of jerseys will be provided to one of the teams (a toss will decide).
  • Per international rules, wooden sticks and large goalie sticks (Walls, or quads) are NOT allowed.
  • Goal size is 4′ by 4’9″ for mens, womens and youth divisions.
  • As the tournament is also a promotion of the game of lacrosse to the public and the media we ask all players to play fair and within the rules and spirit of sportsmanship.

Playing System
Mens 2023 playing system is below.

For the Men’s Division, the NAI has adopted the widely-praised tournament format of the Aleš Hřebeský Memorial, with teams competing in Gold and Silver pools/brackets. The winners of the Gold pools advance directly to the quarterfinals. The second/third place teams from the Gold pools and the winner of the Silver groups will advance to play-in games (winners to quarterfinals, losers to 9-16 bracket).

All 34 men’s teams will be guaranteed 5-6 games and will compete to a final ranking. The third place teams from the Gold pools will advance to the 9-16 bracket.

The second place teams from the silver pools (and third place teams from the four-team silver brackets) will advance to the “Y Pool” featuring teams competing for final placements 17-26. Y Pool teams will play two randomly-selected games against each other. Following the two games, the top-four teams in the Y Pool standings will advance to the 17-20 bracket. Remaining teams will advance directly to final placement games based on the standings.

The last place teams from the silver pools will advance to the 27-34 bracket.

U-18 Division, 2023 format follows: teams are divided into three pools of three teams each.  Pool winners plus the top second place team (goals against is the primary tiebreaker) will advance to the Championship Semifinals. The two remaining second place teams will join the championship semifinal losers in the 3rd Place Semifinals. The three third place teams will compete in a round-robin for 7th place. All teams compete to a final ranking and will play four or five total games.

Womens Division, 2023 format follows: Each team will play two preliminary games. Following the preliminary games, the top four teams will advance to the championship semifinals while the bottom four will compete in the consolation (5th place semifinal) bracket. Goals against is the primary tiebreaker. All teams compete to a final ranking and will play four total games.

U-18 Division TBD, 2022 format follows: teams are divided into two pools of three teams each.  Pool winners get a bye to the semifinals.  2nd/3rd place teams compete in play-in games.  All teams compete to a final ranking and will play four or five total games.

In all games across all tournaments/divisions requiring standings, the winning team gets three points. If the score is tied after regulation, each team gets one point, and the team winning the overtime receives the additional point. If necessary, the following tiebreakers are used in order of priority:
1. number of points;
2. head-to-head record between all tied teams;
3. fewest goals allowed;
4. fewest penalty minutes;
5. coin toss.

Note: In the event of more than two tied teams, only one team earns a playoff seed in any tie-breaking step. Remaining tied teams revert to the first step of the tie-breakers.

To be clear, there is never a benefit to “running up the score” on an opponent.

Roster Deadline, Waiver and Check-in process
2023 roster deadline, waiver and check-in process is below.

We ask all teams to provide their preliminary roster (non-binding) via e-mail to the tournament director by September 25th.

Teams will be permitted a maximum of 26 all-access wristbands for the tournament (23 players + 3 staff maximum). Players will be provided wristbands at the check-in desk following the signing of their tournament waiver. Security service will ask to display the wristband upon entrance to the venue and player-specific areas.

When players check in, they must declare their team which is binding.

At your teams’ first game, all players for the tournament must be declared on the gamesheet. The roster on the gamesheet for your teams’ first game is binding.

Players who are not declared on the gamesheet (even if they are inactive) as of your first game are ineligible to participate for your team in the tournament. Players may only play one team in the tournament.

The minimum age in the men’s tournament is 18, however, dispensation to 16 may be granted upon application to the Organizing Committee. Players under 18 must have parent/guardian on-hand to co-sign waiver.

Age cut-off dates for the youth tournaments are outlined on the teams page, click here for further detail.

Game Protocol
There is no line-up at the beginning of the game, with an exception of the final game, when players are introduced individually. Players shake hands after each game. Teams on next are permitted to warm up immediately after the preceding game ends (OK to warm up around handshakes).

Locker Rooms
All locker rooms are shared and will be cleaned before and after your use throughout the day. You may enter the locker room 25 minutes before your scheduled gametime. Your room must be cleared 65 minutes after your scheduled gametime. Look on the screens when you enter the venue and the locker room doors for your assignments.

Playing Surface
The three rinks at Nexus Center are indoor arenas with astoturf surface (no sand). Turf shoes are recommended.

Water Supply
Water coolers are available in the bench areas. Please bring your own bottles. The tap water is safe.

First Aid
There will be professional first aid service during the tournament to help in case of an injury or health problems. Sport massage is also available for a nominal fee. In the case of more serious problems, costs of ambulance and related medical care must be covered from players individual insurance or paid by player. Health insurance is every players’ own responsibility.