US Lacrosse announced rule changes and revisions for women’s lacrosse, effective for the 2017 girls’ high school lacrosse season. US Lacrosse writes the rules for high school girls’ lacrosse, and those rules are endorsed by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
“The rule changes and approved revisions are a continued effort to minimize the risk of injury in girls’ lacrosse,” said Kathy Westdorp, chair of the NFHS girls’ lacrosse rules committee and a member of the US Lacrosse Women’s Rules Subcommittee. “Several of the rule revisions will reinforce that effort.”
US Lacrosse also authors separate rules that govern youth girls’ lacrosse. Those youth rule sets, also effective January 1, 2017, will be announced in mid-September.
The approved 2017 high school rule changes include updates on eyewear and headgear equipment certifications, the allowance of some ball contact by players, and clarifications on the requirements for the Obstruction of Free Space penalty.
Arguably the most noteworthy revision involves the rule governing the draw. Beginning in 2017, players below the restraining lines on the draw may not cross the lines until possession has been established. This rule change was influenced by concerns that the number of players contesting the ball, either in the air or on the ground, following the draw often leads to a scenario where an excessive number of players were competing in close physical contact.
“By limiting the number of players attempting to put the ball in play after the draw, we trust that there will be fewer fouls and that the ball will more quickly be put into play,” said Laurette Payette, a member of the US Lacrosse Women’s Officials Subcommittee. “The focus of the officials will be on the six players (three for each team) between the restraining lines.”
A player leaving the restraining line early, before possession is established, shall be penalized.
“The rules that govern the game play an important role in both safety and growth,” said Kristen Murray, chair of the US Lacrosse Board of Directors and a girls’ high school coach. “We continue to look for opportunities to simplify the rules to make it easier for officials to make calls and to improve the flow of the game. We want lacrosse to be a safe, fun and enriching experience for everyone who plays.
“We appreciate the efforts of the volunteer officials and coaches who spearheaded the comprehensive rules review and approval process. This process included a thorough review of suggested rule changes submitted to US Lacrosse and NFHS, as well as a review of pertinent injury surveillance statistics.”
A closer look at all the rule changes approved by the US Lacrosse Women’s Game Committee is below. Rule references are from the 2016 US Lacrosse Rule Book and will change for 2017.
Rule 2, Section 9: Outlines the certification changes to eyewear protection.
Rule 2, Section 10: Outlines the ASTM certification changes to headgear.
Rule 5, Section 1: Players below the restraining lines on the draw may not cross until possession has been established.
Rule 5, Section 28: Stick checks may only be requested during a stoppage of the game clock.
Rule 5, Section 28: Stick checks may be requested immediately following regulation or overtime.
Rule 6, Section 1: Adjusted the “note” to remove ‘looking to shoot’ from the Obstruction of Free Space criteria.
Rule 6, Section 2f: Added the wording “except with a kicking action on a non-shooting attempt” to the rule that ‘players may not use their bodies to play the ball.’
Rule 7, Section2: Penalty administration for dangerous shot and illegal shot to be aligned, with the ball being given to the closest defender no closer than 8m to the goal.
In addition, secondary material has been further defined in the Manufacturers Specifications, and the alternate officials duties are now stated within the Appendix.
Suggestions for future rule changes and modifications may also be submitted here at any time. All submissions are reviewed by the US Lacrosse Women’s Game Rules Subcommittee.