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NFHS, PIAA boys’ rules changes, PIAA comments

Wednesday, 20th February 2013

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School, Posted 2/20/13
From The PIAA

The following are 2013 NFHS BOYS’ LACROSSE RULE CHANGES:

Rule 1-2-6: A point on the center line, equidistant from each side, shall be marked with an “X” or a 4-inch square that is a contrasting color and shall be designated as the center.
Rule 1-5: The ball shall be white, yellow, orange or lime green and meet the current NOCSAE lacrosse ball standard. White balls shall be used unless both coaches agree prior to or during the
game to use a yellow, orange or lime green ball. Game balls shall be supplied by the home team.
The ball shall include the NFHS Authenticating mark.

Note: Beginning in 2014, all game balls must include
labeling which states “Meets NOCSAE Standard. NFHS”

Rule 1-6-2: A ball stop is not required. If a ball stop is used, only one may be used, and the dimensions shall be a maximum of 2 inches in length, 1 ½ inches in width and ¼ inch in thickness.

Rule 1-8: Any strings or leathers are limited to a hanging length of 2 inches.

Rule 1-9-2e New: A protective cup is recommended for all players.

Rules 1-12 and 6-5-2s: 1-12 . . . At the beginning of the game, the home team is required to provide a scorebook, a timing device, a table and a working horn (hand-held or as part of the scoreboard) to be used at the table to signify substitutions and the end of periods. Failure to provide any of these items is penalized as illegal procedure.
6-5-2s . . . Failure to provide an acceptable horn, a scorebook, timing device, table and working

Rule 2-5-2: The recommended uniform for officials shall include:
(a) a black baseball-style cap with white piping; (b) a black-and-white 1-inch vertically striped
long- or short-sleeved shirt with Byron collar (any undergarments, if visible, should be
black); (c) black or white shorts (minimum 6-inch inseam) or full-length solid black pants;
(d) a black belt (1¼ – 2 inches in width); (e) black stirrup socks with white over-the-calf
crew socks on top or knee length one-piece white with 4-inch black top; (f) solid black shoes with black laces; (g) jacket (if worn) black-and-white 1-inch vertically striped; (h) gloves, if worn, shall be solid black. The uniform should fit properly and be clean and neat. All officials working the game are to be dressed the same.

Rule 4-3-5: stating the word “set.” The official shall vary the cadence of sounding the whistle
for each faceoff. At the sound of the whistle…

Rules 4-3-6 New and 5-10-1d New: ART 6 . . . It is illegal for a player to deliberately use his hand or fingers to play the ball. This shall be enforced immediately as an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. It is illegal for a player to grab an opponent’s crosse with the open hand or fingers. This shall be enforced immediately as an unsportsmanlike con-duct penalty.

Note: Inadvertent touching of the ball when the hand is grasping the stick should not be called as an unsportsmanlike conduct foul. 5-10-1d Deliberately use his hand or fingers to play the ball or grab an opponent’s crosse with the open hand or fingers.
Note: Inadvertent touching of the ball when the hand is grasping the stick should not be called as an unsportsmanlike conduct foul.

Rule 4-15-2: ART. 2 . . . The requirement for advancing the ball into the goal area is met when the ball touches anything within that area or a player in possession of the ball touches the line or is in-side the goal area. A player shall be in contact with the ground in the goal area to satisfy this requirement. An airborne player not in contact with the ground is not interpreted to be in this area.

Rule 5-4: ART. 1 . . . A player shall not initiate contact to an opponent’s head or neck with a cross-check or with any part of his body (head, elbow, shoulder, etc.) or stick. Any follow-through that contacts the head or neck shall also be considered a violation of this rule.
ART. 2 . . . A player shall not initiate an excessive, violent or uncontrolled slash to the head/neck.
ART 3 . . . A player, including an offensive player in possession of the ball, shall not block an opponent with the head or initiate contact with the head (known as spearing).
PENALTY: One-, two- or three-minute non-releasable foul, at the official’s discretion, for violation of Article 1, 2 or 3. If the contact to the head/neck is considered deliberate or reckless, the penalty shall be a minimum two- or three-minute non-releasable foul. An excessively violent violation of this rule may result in an ejection.

Rule 6-5-2v New: When no player from the team awarded possession picks up the ball and moves to the position of the restart within five seconds of when the officials are ready to restart play. (Note: This only applies to situations in which Rule 6-5-2f does not apply.)
6-6-3b A coach or player may leave the bench/coaches area while play is suspended and enter the table area for the sole and distinct purpose of seeking information from the timer, score-keeper or chief official and enter the table area only (1) To exchange a crosse with a player on the field in the opposite end of the field from that team’s bench during a live ball or dead ball; or (2) To seek information from the timer or scorekeeper during a dead ball.
Rule 7-3 Exception : For live ball simultaneous fouls where time is to be served by each team…
Rule 7-13: ART 2 . . . Inadvertent Whistles – …The team with possession or entitled to possession when the whistle was blown

Rule 2-6-1 Note Editorial: Revise the second sentence of the note as follows: State associations may intercede in the event of unusual incidents that occur before, during or after the officials’ jurisdiction has ended or in the event that a contest is terminated prior to the conclusion of regulation play.


Hits to the Head/Neck: In response to the growing evidence of the long-term effects from concussions, the NFHS has revised and clarified the rules relating to contact or blows to the head/neck. These rules revisions are intended to better define when multiple minute penalties, non-releasable penalties or even ejections are warranted. Officials must call such violations strictly and impose appropriate penalties as described in the rules. Coaches must instruct players on how to avoid such contact and support officials when these calls are made. Players, coaches, officials, parents and fans must all work together to minimize risk for all players in this area.

Field Dimensions: The first criterion in providing equitable conditions is to provide proper field conditions. Concerns have been raised regarding improper field size and/or markings. It is the responsibility of the home administration to provide a legal size playing field that is marked correctly. That includes, but is not limited to, proper length and width, complete and correct field markings, coaches area, bench area, penalty area, limit lines and placement of pylons. The preferred width for a lacrosse field is 60 yards. The rules, however, allow games to be played on fields that are 53 1/3 yards wide (the football dimension). If a field has both football markings (53 1/3 yards in width) and soccer markings (63 yards in width) but no lacrosse lines available (60 yards in width), the foot-ball markings should be used as the 63 yard width is illegal. If both football lines (53 1/3 yards) and lacrosse lines (60 yards) are present, obviously, the lacrosse lines are to be used.

Properly Worn Equipment: The rules require players to wear a number of items of protective equipment including a helmet with a face mask, a mouth guard, protective gloves, shoulder pads, shoes and arm pads. Further, the rules state that these items must be professionally manufactured and not altered. Coaches, officials and players are reminded that these items must be properly fitted and properly worn to maximize protection. Items of protective equipment that are improperly fitted increase the risk of injury for players. Likewise, items that have been altered from the original manufacturer’s specifications reduce the protective characteristics of the product.

Sideline Sportsmanship: Coaches, both head and assistants, must be positive role models in all aspects of sportsmanship. Coaches are in a position to have the greatest effect on the teaching of good sportsmanship and one of their “fundamental responsibilities is to inspire players to conduct themselves in a manner which best represents the values of high school sports. Certainly, the most effective way to accomplish this is through modeling this positive behavior. Coaches must consistently show respect for officials and opposing players and expect the same from their players. Both head and assistant coaches must maintain the highest degree of sportsmanship and integrity at all times.

Adopt the 2013 NFHS Boys’ Lacrosse Rules Book.

Modify Rule 4-28-7 (Concussion Rule), to clari-fy that “an appropriate health-care professional” is a licensed physician of medicine or osteo-pathic medicine (MD or DO).


Rule 1-2-6: The previous rule specified that an “X” was to be used to designate the location of the faceoff. Collegiate rules specify a 4-inch contrasting color square to designate the loca-tion of the faceoff. This revision was adopted to facilitate play on existing facilities that have the 4··inch contrasting color square already in place instead of the “X.”

Rule 1-5: This revision adds lime green to the allowed ball colors and also specifies a procedure if coaches disagree at any point during the game on the color of ball to use.

Rule 1-6-2: The previous wording of this rule allowed a ball stop to be used; however, it did not specify the dimensions of the stop. This revision adds maximum dimensions for a ball stop if a player chooses to use one.

Rule 1-8: This revision simply reduces the maxi-mum length of hanging strings or leathers from 6 to 2 inches.

Rule 1-9-2e: This revision was added to encourage players to wear protective cups to minimize risk of injury.

Rules 1-12 & 6-5-2s: Previously, these rules simply required the home team to provide a working horn. Since both a timing device and a table are needed to conduct the contest, this re-vision was adopted to ensure that these two necessary items are provided.

Rule 2-5-2: This revision was made to allow officials the option of wearing black shorts instead of white if they so choose. To maintain the professional appearance necessary of all officials crews, however, the stipulation was added that all officials working a game are to be dressed the same

Rule 4-3-5: This revision was added to facilitate the faceoff and to prevent players from anticipating the whistle, which has sometimes been problematic.

Rules 4-3-6 & 5-10d: This revision simply stipulates the penalty for action during the faceoff that was previously illegal but not consistently penalized.

Rule 4-15-2: This revision more clearly stipulates when the requirements have been met to bring the ball into the goal area and brings it in line with other situations that involve crossing a boundary line.

Rule 5-4: The penalty for hits to the head/neck was revised again this year to discourage this type of contact and to minimize risk for players.

Rule 6-5-2v: This rule revision was adopted to prevent unnecessary delays in restarting play after dead-ball situations to maintain reasonable standards for pace of play.

Rule 6-6-3b: Previously, coaches were allowed to enter the table area only to seek information from the timer or scorekeeper. This revision allows the coach to enter the table area to exchange a crosse as well.

Rule 7 3: This revision clarifies that all restarts fol-lowing simultaneous fouls when both teams are to serve penalty time will be at the spot where the ball was when the whistle blew or laterally outside the goal.

Rule 7 13: This revision specifies that, in the event of an inadvertent whistle, the team with possession or entitled to possession when the whistle was blown retains possession when play is resumed.


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