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2017 NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Interpretation

It is an absolute given that coaches and players should know the rules of lacrosse. But knowing the rule and being able to interoperate the rule, in a game situation, is a totally different story.

1-3-2a: If a flat-iron goal is used on a grass field, it may be attached to the ground with ground anchors.

Rationale: Ground anchors are not typically used on grass fields.  This change will allow the rules to be aligned with standard practice.  The rule change would allow but not require ground anchors.

4-3-1 Exception 2: If a player or team commits a foul before any faceoff, the ball will be awarded to the offended team in its offensive side of the field at the Center.

Rationale: Currently there is a distance of 5 yards from all surrounding players and re-start from spot of the foul. This ruling of “a free clear” is no longer correct and should have been deleted in the current rules book in order to be consistent with Rule 4.4.2 SITUATION B, which calls for a re-start from “the spot where the ball was when play was suspended.”

4-3-3: Paint, a single wrap of tape, or other material of contrasting color to the head may now be used on the handle of the crosse for any player taking a faceoff.

Rationale: New handle materials are already in production and create a more durable solution than tape. The current rule only allows for tape; this rule change would allow for the emerging best practices.

4-18-4: No defensive player, other than a properly equipped goalkeeper, can enter his own crease with the perceived intent on blocking a shot or acting as a goalie. Penalty: Conduct foul on the defensive player. A second violation by the player will be enforced as releasable unsportsmanlike conduct.

Note: Officials will stop play as soon as they notice the situation. However, if a shot is already in flight when this is noticed, the shot will be allowed to come to its normal conclusion before the whistle blows to stop play.

Rationale: Risk minimization only the goalkeeper may be located within the crease.

6-5-2: Failure to wear the required mouthpiece (unless it comes out during play) is now a technical foul.

Rationale: Change brings foul into conformity with current trends in the sport and makes it more likely to be enforced and, therefore, should bring greater compliance for risk minimization.

6-10-3: During the last two minutes of regulation play, stalling rules are in effect for the team that is ahead by four goals or less.  When the score differential is five goals or more, neither team is forced to keep the ball in the goal area unless warned to “keep it in.”

Rationale: The current “automatic stall warning” in the last two minutes creates a dangerous situation where a team that is essentially “out of the game” is given more opportunity to “punish” the team that is ahead since that team is forced to “keep it in.”

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