The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSH) is emphasizing safety on the lacrosse field next season. In August, the NFSH lacrosse rules committee made changes that aim to minimize players’ risk of injury.
High School Lacrosse Rules Changes
1) Crease Play
One of this year’s major rule changes was created to protect defenders.
Now, no defensive player — other than a goaltender — may enter the crease to block a shot or act in the capacity of a goalie. Previously, defenders could block shots or simply stand in the crease when a goalie stepped away from the net.
Defenders who violate this rule can now be called for a conduct foul. The second violation results in a releasable unsportsmanlike conduct foul.
The NFSH also changed the high school lacrosse rules regarding stalling at the end of a game. Under the new policy, neither team is forced to keep the ball in their zone when there is more than a five goal differential in final minutes of a game.
This high school rule was changed, because an “automatic stall warning” during the last two minutes of a game sometimes caused a dangerous situation where one team physically punished another.
Mouthpieces are another point of emphasis in 2017’s high school lacrosse rules.
Now, the failure to wear one in a game results in a technical foul. Players are not penalized if it accidentally falls out during the course of play.
4) The Face Off
Next season, players or teams who commit a foul before a face off will lose possession of the ball. The other team receives possession at the center of the field on the offensive side.
5) Stick Taping
Official high school rules now allow paint, a single wrap of tape or other material of contrasting color on the head on the handle of the lacrosse stick of players who take face offs.
This policy will allow face off specialists to use materials more durable than tape on their handles.
6) Ground Anchors
Flat-iron lacrosse goals on grass fields may now be fastened to the ground with anchors. These anchors, which were formally used on other surfaces, are allowed but not required.
Are there other high school lacrosse rules you think should change in 2018?