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Boys’ lacrosse: Clarifications and corrections to 2012 High School Boys’ Lacrosse Rules

Thursday, 23rd February 2012

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School, Posted 2/23/12

US Lacrosse has received clarifications and corrections to the rules for high school boys’ lacrosse in 2012 from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). The NFHS is the rules-writing body for high school boys’ lacrosse.

From the NFHS:

Clarification for Rule 4-15 – Rules Once the Goal Area is Gained

Once the ball has been successfully advanced into the goal area, a team is provided the opportunity to run its offense on its offensive half of the field. If the offensive team carries or intentionally passes or propels the ball to its defensive half of the field and the offensive team was last in possession, the official will signal and verbally announce “get it in/keep it in” if the offensive team gains possession. The offensive team has 10 seconds to return the ball to the goal area, at which point it must “keep it in.” Once the goal area is gained, the officials will signal and verbally say “keep it in.” In all other situations in which the ball returns to the defensive half of the field, normal rules for advancing the ball will apply with the appropriate count starting upon possession.

Tape Rings

In a March 2011 memo, a situation was distributed regarding tape rings. Due to an oversight, that situation and ruling was not included in the 2012 Boys’ Lacrosse Rules Book. However, the interpretation is still valid and that situation follows:

1.6.1 SITUATION: During an equipment inspection, A1’s handle has a tape ring measuring more than 3.5 inches in circumference that is (a) within 3 inches or (b) more than 3 inches from the butt end of the handle. RULING: (a) Legal (b) Illegal. The tape ring must be removed before the crosse can return to play.

Revision to Rule 1-7-3 – End Caps

All hollow crosse handles must have their open end covered with a plastic or rubber end cap manufactured for a lacrosse stick.

When the rules committee adopted that language, it was believed that plastic and rubber were the only two materials used in the production of lacrosse end caps. It has since been determined that end caps are manufactured for use on a hollow stick using wood. As a result, the rule is further revised for the 2012 season as follows:

All hollow crosse handles must have their open end covered with an end cap manufactured for a lacrosse stick.


Due to this year’s 4-11 rule revision, “Not Offside,” the ruling for 4.10 Situation I on page 36 of the 2012 Boys’ Lacrosse Rules Book is incorrect. That situation and ruling should read as follows:

4.10 SITUATION I: Team A delays their substitution which causes them to have too few players on either end of the field. RULING: Illegal procedure if Team A gains an advantage by the delayed substitution. Ball is awarded at the spot of the foul (or laterally outside the goal area).

Delayed Substitution

Upon recognizing a delayed substitution situation, the official should employ a “silent play-on” mechanic.

4.11 SITUATION: During a special substitution, A1 delays his entrance onto the field. The trailing official sees the delay. RULING: Silent play-on. The official will raise an arm. If A1 gains an advantage by the delayed substitution, call illegal procedure on A1. If no advantage is gained, drop the arm and play continues.

Questions about rules may be directed to

About US Lacrosse

US Lacrosse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is the national governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse. US Lacrosse has 400,000 members in 64 regional chapters around the country. Through responsive and effective leadership, US Lacrosse strives to provide programs and services to inspire participation while protecting the integrity of the game. To learn more about US Lacrosse, please visit


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