Rule 5—Personal Fouls
Tripping is a personal foul. If tripping is called during a loose ball, it must be a time-serving penalty. There is no such thing as a loose-ball trip resulting in possession being awarded but no penalty time being assessed.
If a player turns his back just before contact and that turning causes the contact to be from behind, there is no foul on the play. However, if there is an additional action taken after the player turns, that additional action may be deemed “from behind.” In general, if a player sees an opponent and turns his back just before the contact, that will not be construed as a blind-side hit or hitting a defenseless player, but it still could be a penalty depending on exactly what the defender does.
A body check against a player who is waiting to catch a high pass is now considered to be a hit against a defenseless player and will result in a minimum 2:00 non-releasable penalty (and could be a 3:00 NR penalty or an ejection foul). A stick check of the player when the ball is within 5 yards is still legal.
At the youth levels of play, a body check of a player in this position could easily result in an ejection, as take-out body checking is not legal in youth lacrosse in the first place.
The minimum penalty for a body check, cross check, or targeted slash to the head at the varsity level is a 2:00 NR penalty. At youth levels, it will likely be 3:00 NR or an ejection.
At the varsity level, a 3:00 NR or ejection should be issued for a body check or cross check which violently contacts the head or which is deliberate.
A 1:00 penalty is no longer an option for these checks as of 2014.
At all levels, a garden-variety slash to the head is releasable, but if a slash to the head is deliberate, excessive, violent, or uncontrolled it is non-releasable and will likely be 2:00–3:00 and could be an ejection.