via the NFHS web site – thanks to our reader Joe Heintzelman for submitting this!
The 2018 high school boys lacrosse rules changes include clarifications to stick alignment and the use of visibly contrasting gloves and shafts, which are expected to ease the game’s officiating.
Overall, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee adopted and refined numerous officiating-related rules during its July 17-19 meeting in Indianapolis. Collectively, the committee adopted or clarified 15 boys lacrosse rules and officials signals. All rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
“The committee believes the sport of boys lacrosse is currently in very good shape,” said James Weaver, director of performing arts and sports and staff liaison for boys lacrosse. “The committee is excited to continue looking into the health and safety of the sport, while minimizing risk during its growth.”
Rules 4-3-3d and 4-3-3n were among the most notable changes to officiating calls. Stick alignment clarification as part of Rule 4-3-3d now states that during faceoffs the reverse surfaces of crosses must match evenly so that the top of one head lines up with the throat of the other and they are perpendicular to the ground. A note was added to Rule 4-3-3n to add flexibility in achieving color contrast between the shaft, glove and head. However, the rule now specifically states the circumference of the shaft shall not exceed 3.5 inches, and a contrasting color between the head and the top glove must be visible on the shaft during faceoffs.
“The committee wanted to have a thickness guarantee as opposed to a color guarantee,” Weaver said. “As long as the shaft contrasts the head of the stick and gloves, the player is fine. The rule is in place because it makes it easier for officials to see if a player is attempting to grip the head of the stick above the throat.”
For the second year in a row, the committee made a point to clarify proper mouthpiece usage. Rule 6-5-2x addresses this with a clarification that a penalty will occur if a mouthpiece is not properly worn inside a player’s mouth. Weaver noted that it must not “fish-hook” outside of the mouth.
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