Restarts by the defensive team no longer will be required to take place outside the goal area in high school boys lacrosse, so long as any player is not within 5 yards of the ball carrier.
This revision in Rule 4-22 was one of 11 changes recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee at its July 21-23 meeting in Indianapolis. The committee’s recommendations were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
On a violation by the offensive team where the defensive team is to be awarded the ball, the defensive team no longer has to restart play outside the goal area. With this revision, the defensive team could now restart play from the goal area or in the crease.
“This change will allow the defense to restart play more quickly and will keep the game moving,” said Kent Summers, director of performing arts and sports and liaison to the rules committee. “It also addresses risk minimization by maintaining the requirement for all players to be at least 5 yards from the ball carrier on the restart.”
Other changes concerned with minimizing the risk of injury include Rules 1-7-3 and 2-1-3. In Rule 1-7-3 concerning the crosse, any strings or leathers will be limited to a hanging length of 2 inches. In addition, any additional strings or laces (e.g., shooting strings, V channels) must be located within 4 inches of the top of the crosse. No more than one side-wall string on each side is allowed.
“This revision will allow the ball to become dislodged more easily, thus reducing the risk of slashes and cross-checks used to dislodge the ball,” Summers said. “This rules change will create more active play and improve passing.”
With a revision in Rule 2-1-3, a game no longer can be continued if a team has fewer than seven on-field players because of lack of available players, injuries, penalties, etc. The result of the game shall be determined by the state association or appropriate sponsoring authority.
Another change approved by the Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee involved the duties and authority of the Chief Bench Official (CBO). Rule 2-7-2 now states that the CBO “shall supervise and have complete jurisdiction over the timekeeper, penalty timekeepers, scorers, coaches, substitutes and any other persons within the bench areas, the special substitution area and the penalty box.”
This rule also will now include the procedure for the CBO to call violations and apply appropriate penalties, as well as how to inform the on-field officials when violations occur.
Following are other changes approved by the NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee (rule references are from the 2014 NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Book).
- Rule 1-6-2: Added the following procedure to check to make sure the ball can easily roll out of the head of the crosse – “ . . . With the ball in the crosse, horizontal to the ground at the deepest point of the pocket, tip the crosse forward 90 degrees to ensure that the ball rolls out of the top end of the head.”
- Rule 2-10-1: Balls on the bench side are needed only at the table and not along the sideline.
- Rule 3-1-2: More clearly defined when the running clock begins in those games where the score differential reaches 12 goals or more.
- Rule 5-5: A player using a crosse found to be illegal for not meeting any required specification other than a deep pocket will receive a three-minute non-releasable penalty (except hanging string length and end caps as in Rule 1-7-3). Also, any crosse ruled illegal and resulting in a three-minute penalty will remain in the table area for the remainder of the game.
- Rule 6-4: Added “with his feet no wider than shoulder-width apart” to the section on illegal offensive screening.
- Rule 6-5-2e: The 30-second penalty has been erased in situations when a goal is scored by the opponent.
- Rule 6-5-2w: “Take a dive or feigning a slash to the head or body in order to deceive the official and draw a penalty” was added to the examples of illegal procedure.
A total of 101,687 boys participated in lacrosse during the 2012-13 season according to the NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey.