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Facts about the 2015 Women’s Lacrosse Rule Changes

On October 23rd, 2014 US Lacrosse announced 13 rule revisions for the high school and youth girls lacrosse 2015 season. These updates are endorsed by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). They will be implemented next season, providing “clarification on regulations governing equipment, uniforms, definition of fouls as well as the draw.” In addition to these edits, “points of emphasis for officials in 2015 will include sportsmanship and curbing of rough and dangerous play.”

Initially, US Lacrosse chose to deal with play of the game itself; Rule 5, Section 2 was amended to clarify draw positioning. The description was adjusted to “opponents on the draw must each stand with one foot toeing the line and both feet must be on the same side.” Previously a player could technically plant her foot in a way to create an advantage to win the draw. Another important amendment is Rule 5, Section 28 which limits the number of stick checks to two, yet nothing was changed in the definition of a legal crosse. However, “when an illegal stick is found after a goal, the restart will be at the center”, as opposed to reintroducing the ball to the game in a free position with the opposing goaltender.

US Lacrosse was also concerned with penalties maintaining player safety. Rule 6, Section1m modified the original definition of “Forcing Through: while in possession of the ball, try to force her crosse through an opposing crosse(s) in such a way as to cause her own crosse to contact her body” to eliminate the words “in such a way as to cause her own crosse to contact her body.” This is a major transformation as now a penalty may be called on the ball carrier for attempting to push through any crosse that is in her way. This is also directly affected by Rule 6, Section 1s/w which consolidates “Detaining” and “Holding” as fouls. It is going to be interesting to see how offensive players get around “forcing through”, while defensive players adjust to the new “holding” calls and attempt to not receive penalties for the rewriting of these regulations.
Penalty administration was referenced in Rule 7, Section 25. Allowing the “goalkeeper to return to her goal circle if she has moved outside the goal circle during the slow whistle (flag raised) and has not fouled.” This is supplementary to the previous rule added to eliminate any confusion by players and/or referees. Coach misconduct is upgraded in Rule 7, Section 35. “When a suspended or ejected player (one who is no longer eligible to return to play for that game) re-enters the game, it shall be Coach Misconduct.” Thus reinforcing the precedent that states “The head coach to be responsible for the actions of any and all persons connected with his or her institution.”

Furthermore, one of the most notable modernizations involved Rule 3, Section 10 which now states “beginning January 1st, 2017, the game must be officiated by at least two US Lacrosse rated officials however, three officials are recommended.” The difference in wording from the previous year is “must” replacing the word “should”. Therefore, demanding a minimum number of officials in order for a game to be played. Rule 3 also adds in Section 7 “cameras in goal cages may now be used with some restrictions.” Previously, cameras were not allowed in the girls game youth or high school divisions.

The final three revisions provide detailed descriptions on equipment legality clarifications. Rule 2 Section 5 states “the ball shall meet the current NOCSAE lacrosse ball standards at the time of manufacture.” If you are unaware, last year the rules committee changed this to read “the ball must state “Meets NOCSAE Standard.”” Now with this phrasing the ball must meet standards at the time of manufacturing and not necessarily at game time. Another resolve implemented in Rule 2, Section 13 specifies that the “legal player numbers are 0-99. A team may not have both 1 and 01, 2 and 02, etc. Those are considered the same number.”

“Also, beginning in the 2017-18 school year, double-zero, 01, 02, 03, etc. will no longer be legal numbers.” The former summarization did not clearly define whether 01 and the number 1 could be used for different players. In addition, Rule 2, Section 8 adds the wording “”mouthpieces shall cover the leading arch.” This adjustment allows for a player whose leading arch is her bottom row of teeth to wear a mouthguard on the bottom.”

Written by: Van O’Banion
Paul Ohanian. 2015 Rule Changes Announced for Girls’ High School and Youth Lacrosse
USLacrosse. Uslacrosse.org
12 Oct 28 2014. Web. 5 Nov 2014

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