Boys Lacrosse 2016 Rule Changes Overview

The 2016 High School Lacrosse season is almost upon us. With the new season come various changes or additions to the rule book, which we’ll cover here so you’ll be ready for the new season.

The rule changes going into effect this season for high school boys mostly mirror rules that have been implemented the past few years at the collegiate level. The three main changes are regarding shooting strings, faceoffs, and over-and-back.

Shooting String Limit: pockets are not allowed to have shooting strings below 4 inches from the outside top of the head. This effectively disallows “U” and “V” shooting strings.

Faceoffs: the new procedure for faceoffs is having the players go down before the ball on the “down” call, followed by adjustments made to the players bodies or sticks by the referee and the ball being put down at “set” and finally the referee backing away and blowing the whistle. This is different than in the past, as players used to go down after the ball was already on the ground.

Over-And-Back: essentially basketball’s “backcourt violation”, if a team enters their offensive box and then throws the ball back onto their defensive half without a tip from a defensive player, it will be an immediate turnover. If this occurs due to a shot hitting a post, it is not a backcourt violation. If the ball is rolling towards the defensive side, players may bat the ball with their long poles to keep it on the offensive side, so long as the ball stays on the offensive side and the player’s feet stay grounded on the defensive side. In the event that a ball goes back to the defensive side of the field and the opposing attack have a clear path to pickup the ball and have a fast break, play may be allowed to continue without interruption.

For a full presentation on the rule changes and points of emphasis, including a rules interpretation video, please see the notes from the Officials and Coaches Meeting.