Chumash – More than just a Native American tribe

Chumash is certainly a term that most of you know, but not in connection with lacrosse. Some of you may have heard of a Native Amercian tribe, called Chumash, but that is not our point today. Chumash is also a type of lacrosse game and it is often used as an effective training session. If you look for new inspiration or for a new, cool lacrosse game, then Chumash is perfect for you.


The facts about Chumash

Chumash was invented by the Rock-it Pocket founder Flip Naumburg at the beaches near Santa Babara in the early 90s. Basically, it is a 3 on 3 lacrosse game with special goals and without goalies. The game is played by two teams of three players each. In addition, the teams can (and should) have prepared two substitutes per team. In the middle of the field there is a goal without a goalie. The aim of the game is to get the ball on your right side in the goal. It is important to know, long sticks are illegal. In this game the players learn to improve many skills. The precession of the shots will be trained, because scoring is very difficult. The cooperation within the team is hugely trained, because teamwork is everything in a small team. Without teamwork, the game is lost. The two-man game in situations of attack can be greatly improved, because there are often two players, who have to play an attack.


Like any sport Chumash needs rules as well. Even if it is only a training session. This is why we have prepared a little summary of rules.

The Field

The field is 45,74 m long and 27,43 m wide. The goal is 1,80 m tall and 30,5 cm wide and is located in the center of the crease. The net is jammed, so that you can score a goal from both sides. The smaller crease has a diameter of 2,75 m and the larger crease has a width of 2,75 m and a length of 18,3 m. The game begins with a face-off, but because the goal is in the middle of the field, the face-off will be held next to the larger crease or in the larger crease. At both ends of the field, there is a 4,5 m long area for each team, which is designated as a safe zone. The line, which identifies this zone is a “take back”-line. Within these areas the Face-off Wings A and B are located on the face-off side. Special features of the field are only guidlines. It can just as well be played with modifications based on skills.

Rules in the Crease of Chumash

Source: shutterstock

Rules in the Creases

There is no goalie in the game and it is forbidden to “protect” the goal. No one is allowed to be in the smaller crease, except the ball lays there, then the player may pick it up and have to leave the smaller crease immediately. Another exception is that, if the ball is in possession of Team A, then it is allowed that a defensive player of Team B is in the smaller crease, as long as he moves continuously and only as long as his opposite man has the ball. It is allowed to run through the larger crease. They may not stop nor may they shoot from inside the larger or smaller crease. They may not dive or land in the smaller or the larger crease after a shot. Players may only catch a pass in the larger crease, when they can leave  it with a single step. It is prohibited to shost in the larger crease or on the line of the larger crease.

Personal Fouls

The personal fouls are touching the head, illegal body-checking, slashing, tripping and cross-checking by the NCAA rules. However, there is no “brush”- call, any contact with the head or the face is a personal foul. After a foul, the ball is brought back to the restraining/back line. The offended team does not have to clear the ball. In a personal foul, a player is sent off, so that only 3 vs 2 players play, until the the team of 3 shoots twice or scores, or if the defense gets control of the ball and takes it to the take back line. Then the player is released from a tiny substitution box at midfield.

Technical Fouls

Technical fouls are disorders, holding, illegal screen, warding off, withholding the ball, pushing, crease violations and other technical fouls by the rules of the NCAA. On a technical foul, the ball is awarded at the extended goal line, and just inside the sideline. The ball must then be cleared to the restraining line.


The game always begins with a face-off. The face-off can be held in the large crease, but does not have to be. But it has to be outside of the smaller crease. In every clear ball possession change, any sort of extended scrum and a face-off, the ball must be fitted or carried to the “take back”-line. If returning the ball does not succeed, then it is a  technical foul. Each team has a player behind this line in the wing position. They can run the wings on the whitstle, but may not enter the crease area until possession is determined.

We hope we were able to tell you everything about the training method Chumash. Have fun trying this exercise.

Sticks up!

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