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US Lacrosse passes rule changes for high school girls and non-varsity college women’s lacrosse

Friday, 30th September 2011

Categories College, Girl's/Women's, High School, Posted 9/30/11
From US Lacrosse

BALTIMORE — US Lacrosse has announced rule changes for high school girls’ and non-varsity college women’s lacrosse. The changes take effect for the 2012 season following their approval by the US Lacrosse Board of Directors at its September meeting.

Age-appropriate, national rules for youth girls’ lacrosse were previously announced here. The US Lacrosse Women’s Game Rules Subcommittee researches, develops and authors rules for all levels of women’s lacrosse played in the United States with the exception of NCAA and international competition.

A summary of the major changes and points of emphasis for high school girls’ and non-varsity college women’s lacrosse rules:

• A player may not check towards the body. (In 2011, checks towards the body were allowed as long as the check was deemed controlled and did not cause the crosse or ball to go into the sphere, which is defined as the roughly 7-inch perimeter around a player’s head).

• Defensive players may not reach into the sphere to make a check.
• Offensive players will not be permitted to hold their crosses in the sphere so that a check cannot be made. (This is not a rule change, but a change in emphasis).

Cross Checking
• A point of emphasis in 2012 will be that the use of a player’s shaft to hit, push or displace an opponent will not be permitted. (Previously, this foul was included under the Illegal Use of the Crosse section, but will now be stressed in its own category.)

Carding Changes
• Any player or coach receiving two yellow cards will be suspended from the rest of the game. They may both participate in the next game. (Under the 2011 rules, anyone receiving two yellow cards would have been ineligible to participate in the team’s next game).
• A suspended player must remain in her team’s bench area for the entire game, including on-field, pregame, game or postgame activities. If a player is suspended from her team’s next game because of a red card, that player may not be dressed in her game uniform for the next game. (Previously, a two-game suspension was served for a red card.)
• When a card has been issued, a player must leave the field for two minutes. Her team must play short in both the offensive and defensive ends of the field. This penalty is non-releasable.
• Upon receiving a fourth yellow card, a team must play short in both their offensive and defensive ends of the field for the remainder of the game. (Previously, a team played short upon receiving a third yellow card.)

Team Foul for Offsides

• When the offensive team commits an offsides violation, the defender closest to the ball will be awarded a free position at that spot (no closer than 8 meters to the goal circle). The attack player that had the ball will go 4 meters behind, and the attacker closest to the restraining line will move back onside. Previously, the defensive team was awarded the ball 4 meters outside of the restraining line.

For more information about girls’ and women’s lacrosse rules, including a PDF listing all rule changes, visit

US Lacrosse encourages member coaches and umpires to attend the annual rules interpretation meeting, a part of a comprehensive lineup of educational sessions at the US Lacrosse National Convention, presented by Champion, Jan. 13-15, 2012, in Philadelphia. For more information or to register, visit


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