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Explaining Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse – What to Look For

FLN: Last night, Athletes Unlimited started their third season of lacrosse, and is basically where you watch Woman’s lacrosse if you are looking for their version of PLL. But like PLL, the game has their differences from traditional lacrosse. For the PLL, it’s the lack of a city tag to the teams (albeit that will change next year), the 2-point shot and a few other things. For AU, it’s about how the winners are not crowned at the team level, but at the individual level, in a sort of hybrid scoring system not seen anywhere else in the sport.

To enhance the viewing experience, here’s a breakdown of how AU plays the game and their unique scoring approach to determine who will lead the four squads each week, as well as the players who are crowned as the champion of the season. (The photo appears in USA Lacrosse Magazine, credit to Kait Devir)


HOW WE PLAY: LACROSSE (via the AU website)

Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse will play a short form, fast paced format consisting of 10-minute quarters, 10v10 gameplay and a 60-second shot clock all housed on an 90yd x 60yd playing field. Play will begin with draws at the beginning of each quarter as well as after every goal.


Win points are all about team performance. In all Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse games, teams will play four quarters. Win points accumulate after each quarter and for game wins. Each quarter is worth +20 points and game wins are worth +45 points.

If the game is tied at the end of a quarter, points will carry over to the next quarter and will be awarded to the winner of the next quarter.


If the score is tied at the end of the game, there will be a three-minute sudden victory overtime. If it is still tied after the overtime period, there will be a shootout. The shootout will consist of three rounds followed by sudden-victory rounds if necessary. Any player can shoot again in the sudden-victory format. 


In addition to team points, individual players can earn points. All players, including defensive players, can earn individual points based on their performance. The breakdown for individual points is as follows:

  • Goal: +12 points
  • Assist: +4 points
  • Ground Ball: +2 points
  • Draw Control: +2 points
  • Turnover: -10 points
  • Caused Turnover: +14 points
  • Save: +5 points
  • Goals Against : -2 point
  • Shot Saved: -2 points
  • Two-point Goal: +16 points
  • Yellow Card: -4 points
  • Red Card: -8 points
  • Shot Clock Violation: +2 points to Defensive Team; -2 points to Offensive Team (including Bench)
  • Change of Possession on Shot Out of Bounds: +14 points to Defender awarded possession
  • Caused Turnover from Yellow Card on Offensive Player: +14 points

If a goalie has eight saves, five goals against and two ground balls, they will be awarded 34 points.

8 saves (x 5 points per save) = +40

5 goals against = -10

2 ground balls (x 2 points per ground ball) = +4

40 – 10 + 4 = 34


After each game, the players and members of The Unlimited Club will vote for three players who they feel had standout performances.

These points will be added to the player’s individual total. Points will be awarded as follows:

MVP 1: +45 points

MVP 2: +30 points

MVP 3: +15 points


After the last match of every week, the top four point scorers will be named team captains. Each captain will be assigned to a team color based on their standing.

  • No. 1: Gold
  • No. 2: Orange
  • No. 3: Blue
  • No. 4: Purple

Team captains can consult with anyone they want prior to the opening of the draft, including any Athletes Unlimited staff, former coaches, and teammates.

Each week during the draft every captain will be allowed up to two minutes per pick. Once a player is selected their captain may consult them for further decisions. Once all 56 players have been selected to a team, it will be time to prepare for the upcoming slate of matches and get ready to play.

Then, an exciting new week of competition will begin.