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Boys Lacrosse Revision Addresses Misapplication of Rule

Date: 8/18/06

INDIANAPOLIS (August 18, 2006) — Effective with the 2007 high school lacrosse season, new rules will dictate the circumstances under which a head coach may discuss a misapplication of a rule. In addition to this change, 10 other rules revisions were approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee at its July 16-17 meeting in Indianapolis, and then were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

“Among the changes to Rule 7-13-1, the timekeeper shall sound the double horn at the request of the head coach,” said NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee Chairman Ron Belinko, athletic director of Baltimore (Maryland) County Schools. “The previous wording specified that the timekeeper was to sound the horn at the request of the head coach when there was no significant action. The timekeeper is normally not trained sufficiently to understand ‘when there is no significant action’ and may inadvertently kill a fast break or advantage situation. The double horn makes this procedure consistent with Rule 2-8-2e. The second revision under this rule clarifies that the use of video monitoring, replaying of equipment or personal wireless communication devices by the officials is prohibited.”

Rule 4-5-9 was revised to include a definition of a shot as a ball propelled toward the goal by an offensive player, either by being thrown from a crosse, kicked or otherwise physically directed. The revision also delineates under what circumstances a shot is no longer considered a shot by stating that a shot or deflected shot remains a shot until the ball comes to rest on the field of play, a player gains possession of the ball, the ball goes out of bounds or a player causes the ball to go out of bounds.

“Rule 4-5-9 now provides a clear definition of what is considered a shot and will assist in determining when a ball that is shot ceases to be considered a shot,” said Kent Summers, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee.

In another change, Rule 1-6-2 specifies the required guard stop at the throat of the crosse must be a minimum of 10 inches from the outside edge of the head to the farthest unexposed edge of the stop. This revision standardizes lacrosse stick specifications with those of other rules codes.

Rule 4-6-3b specifies that when a ball that has not crossed the defensive-area line goes directly out of bounds on a face-off, it shall be refaced when it is not known which team caused the ball to go out of bounds and when it is not known who last touched the ball prior to going out of bounds.

Another rule change (Rule 4-29) states that restarts following a time-out must be nearest to the spot where the ball was at the time the whistle was blown. A ball in the goal area shall be restarted closest to the spot, outside the goal area. A shot that has crossed the end line shall be restarted at that spot.

“This rule was revised because previous wording of Rule 4-29 would potentially have allowed a re-start two yards in the front of the goal,” Summers said.

Inadvertent whistles and flags are addressed in Rules 7-13-2 and 7-13-3. The rules now state that in the event of an inadvertent whistle, play shall be suspended immediately. The team with possession when the whistle was blown shall retain possession. If the ball was loose, possession shall be awarded by alternate possession. In the event of an inadvertent flag, play shall be suspended at the earliest opportunity that does not interfere with an imminent scoring opportunity. The team with possession when the flag was thrown shall retain possession. If the ball was loose, possession shall be awarded by alternate possession.

In addition to these rules changes, the committee approved eight major editorial changes. Among them, Rule 2-8-2e6 states only a head coach can request a time-out to check the number of long crosses in the game.

The committee also identified Points of Emphasis for the 2007 season. Among those are crosse dimensions, mouthguards, risk minimization for defensive players, flagrant misconduct, revised jersey rules, NFHS authenticating mark on game balls, stick measurement and slashing by riding attack players.

Boys lacrosse had 59,993 participants at the high school level during the 2004-05 season, according to the High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the NFHS, and was sponsored by 1,334 schools.

Click here for detailed rule change descriptions

This article was written by Colleen Merkel, a summer intern in the NFHS Publications/Communications Department from Franklin (Indiana) College.

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