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Rules and Regulations


Rules and Regulations

2023-24 NFHS Rules Changes

Boys Lacrosse Rules Changes - 2024

By NFHS on November 17, 2023

1-6-2 — Distinguishes the field player crosse from the goalkeeper crosse specifications into a separate article.

1-9-1 — Specifies that certain pieces of equipment shall be worn as the manufacturer intended and shall be specifically designed for lacrosse. Additionally, clarifies that the jersey numbers shall contrast from the body of the uniform and be of a single solid color.

1-9-3 — Deleted, as it is more clearly defined in

4-24-7. 2-2 — Allows for multiple captains to be designated before the start of the contest.

2-7-2 — Deletes language around the responsibilities of the CBO in counting crosses. This also clarifies that the CBO should be counting the number of long crosses on the field without the need for a coach request.

2-8-1 — Deletes language around the CBO responsibilities under Timekeeper.

3-3 — Adds “get it in,” which is used during play but not specified.

4-3-3 — Defines what is considered an illegal body check during the faceoff and eliminates “immediately.”

4-3-2, 4-6-3 — Reduces the number of instances that rely on alternate possession.

4-9-2, 4-9-3 — Appropriately moves language from 4-9-2 into 4-9-3.

4-22-1 — Illegal Procedure is the more appropriate designation.

4-24-11 — Specifies that a player must leave the field if their helmet comes off during play and cannot return until the next dead ball after play continues.

5-4-2 — Gives an additional option in penalizing contact to the head/neck area that is deemed to be indirect.

5-6 — Eliminates unnecessary language around gloves. The altering of gloves in relation to the palms/fingers is not as the manufacturer intended and thus does not need clarifying language.

6-1 — Clarifies language around a penalty against a team that does not have possession of the ball.

6-6-4 — Adds language on conduct fouls to a more appropriate spot in the book.


Points of Emphasis

1. Crosse Prohibitions

2. Eyeshade

3. Properly Worn Mandatory Equipment

4. Checks Involving the Head/Neck

2022-23 NFHS Rules Changes

NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Changes - 2022-23

1-2-1: ART. 1 . . . PENALTY: Failure to have a clearly marked center line that runs the entire width of the field, and continuous side and end lines that runs the entire width of the field is illegal procedure assessed against the home team. Rationale: Logos running through the endzone of many football fields are often placed on the endline for lacrosse. The endline for lacrosse is just as important as the midline. The penalty for not having a solid endline or sideline should also be illegal procedure against the home team if the situation cannot be fixed prior to the start of the game. 

1-2-7, 1-2-8: ART. 7… Where physically possible, the scorer’s table should be placed at least 6 yards from the sideline at the center line. Two lines shall be drawn on either side of the center line 5 10 yards from the center line and extending past the scorer’s table. The area bounded by the sideline, the two lines perpendicular to the sideline and the scorer’s table shall be referred to as the table area. Only players serving penalty time, players ready to substitute on the fly, the chief bench official, and official scorers and timers are allowed in the table area. 

ART. 8 ... The coaches’ areas shall be located on either side of the table area. Each coaches’ area shall extend from the table area 20 15 yards parallel to the sideline. It shall be bounded by the sideline, the table area, a dotted line 6 yards from and parallel to the sideline, and a dotted line extending from the sideline, parallel to and 20 15 yards from the table-area line.
Rationale: Standardizes the box with other rules codes including NFHS Girls Lacrosse and NCAA Men’s Lacrosse. Increases the amount of control an official has when substitutions are entering and exiting the field. 

1-7-1: ART. 4… ... The crosse shall be made of….The pocket/net shall be completely attached to the head and the side walls, having no holes or gaps larger than 1.68 inches in diameter (i.e. an American golf ball).
Rationale: There has been an increased use of a stringing technique which allows for trapping the ball in such a manner where the stick will pass a stick check, but when force is applied stretches the mesh net to entrap the ball. 

1-8: . . .No player shall use a crosse that does not meet the specifications of Sections 6 and 7. The crosse shall not have protrusions or sharp edges. …
Rationale: Recent innovations by stick manufacturers could hook or catch on a player’s helmet or facemask, thereby potentially causing injury.

1-9-1g: ART. 1g…Shoes shall be made of a material which covers the foot (canvas, leather or synthetic) attached to a firm sole of leather, rubber or composition material which may have cleats or which may be cleatless.  Among the items which do not meet these requirements are gymnastics slippers, tennis shoes cut so protection is reduced, ski and logger boots and other apparel not intended for lacrosse use: 

1) Removable cleats shall conform to the following specifications: 

(a) Constructed of a material which does not chip or develop a cutting edge.  Legal material includes leather, nylon, certain plastics and rubber.  Cleats may be tipped with low carbon steel of 1006 material, case-hardened to .005-.008 depth and drawn to Rockwell hardness of approximately C55; the use of aluminum or ceramics is not permissible.

(b) The base and the tip of the cleat shall be parallel.  The free end may be rounded in an arc with a radius of not less than 7/16 inch provided the overall length is not more than ½ inch measured from the tip of the cleat to the shoe.  The cleat may be attached to a raised platform which is molded to the shoe.  The platform may be no more than 5/32 inch in height and shall be wider than the base of the cleat.  The widest part of the cleat shall be in direct contact with the platform.  The 5/32 inch raised platform shall be wider than the base of the cleat and shall extend across the width of the sole to within ¼ inch of less of the outer edges of the sole.  A single toe cleat does not require a raised platform that extends across the width of the sole.  The raised platform of the toe cleat is limited to 5/32 inch or less.  The 5/32-inch platform is measured from the lowest part of the shoe’s sole.

(c) An effective locking device which prevents the exposure of metal posts shall be incorporated.

(d) The cleat wall shall be at least 3/16 inch in diameter.

(e) The sides of the cleat shall taper uniformly from a minimum base of ¾ inch in diameter to a minimum tip of 3/16 inch in diameter.

2) Non-removable cleats are limited to studs or projections which do not exceed ½ inch in length and which are made with nonabrasive rubber or rubber-type synthetic material which does not have and will not develop a cutting edge.

g. Shoes shall be worn which are designed for the sport of lacrosse. Metal spikes are not permitted.
Rationale: Modern design has standardized the shoe used for outdoor field sports and this section is no longer needed in the detail currently in use.

4-3-1: ART. 1 . . .Play shall be started at the beginning of each period and after each goal by facing the ball at the Center.
1. Player-advantage or a flag down creating a player-advantage
2. Player or team commits a foul before any faceoff
3. Player at any faceoff delays resumption of play
4. Player moves the crosse or body after “set” is said gaining an advantage
Rationale: Restarting the game has been unclear due to the way the rule was written. This rewrite simplifies the rule direction and places clarifications back in the situations.

4-24-1: ART. 3 . . . An official may suspend play at his their discretion. If a player loses any of his their mandatory personal equipment in a scrimmage area or a player is apparently injured, play shall be suspended immediately. A goalkeeper, when outside the crease, is treated like a field player. If the official….
Other Rules Affected 4-24-8: ART. 8 … Play shall be suspended immediately if the goalkeeper’s stick or any other mandatory goalkeeper’s equipment becomes broken in the crease.
Rationale: The current rules did not define what happens when a goalkeeper is injured when away from his crease and outside the scrimmage area.

6-10-2: ART. 2 . . .  … The stall warning remains in effect until a goal is scored; a shot is taken above the goal-line extended hits the goal pipes, goalkeeper, or his equipment; the defensive team gains possession of the ball; or the period ends resulting in a faceoff.  After the team has been warned, stalling shall be called if the ball leaves the goal area in any manner other than as a result of a shot on goal or a touch by the defending team.
Rationale: Clarification on when stalling shall be called.  

7-2h (NEW): h . . .  During running time, penalty time will start with the whistle resuming play after the penalty is administered.  If there is time remaining on a non-releasable penalty when a goal is scored, the earliest the penalty will release is when the ensuing faceoff has been completed.
Rationale: Solves an administrative challenge for officials to monitor penalty time expirations and player reentry while conducting a faceoff.

WI Adaptations to NFHS Rules

Printable Version - Please print and place in your rules book for future reference.

Q & A

Q & A

April 2024

QUESTION:  At the start of a cold weather game a couple of players on one of the teams has a different color under shirt (or leggings) of the rest of team, are they required to remove the undergarment or sit out during the game... or is the other team awarded a free position for a minor foul at the beginning of the game and those players are allowed to play with the non-compliant garments?

ANSWER:  The scenario you presented is CORRECTABLE.  Therefore it must be corrected or the athlete doesn't play in the game.  An athlete cannot wear an illegal uniform (which is correctable) and just choose to take the penalty.


February 2024

QUESTION:  Players often wear sweatshirts, or long sleeve shirts under their uniform to stay warm.  The rule book stipulates that all players must wear the same color.  When Lacrosse was a club sport this rule was not enforced.  Will it be enforced now that it is a WIAA sport?

ANSWER:  Yes.  All NFHS Rules will be enforced. 

Girls Lacrosse (Rule 2-9-5):

...All visible undergarments worn under the kilts/shorts/jerseys must be of one solid color, and must be white, gray, black or one of that team's uniform colors.  All team members who choose to wear visible undergarments must wear the same color.  This does not apply to medical sleeves or compression shirts that meet the NOCSAE ND200 lacrosse standard at the time of manufacture.  Visible long or short-sleeved undergarments must correspond to the team's predominant jersey color or be light with light jersey and dark with a dark jersey.

Boys Lacrosse (Rule 1-9-2):


a.  Under-jerseys, if visible, shall:

1.  Be a solid color which is white, gray or one of the team's official colors

2.  Be the same color for those who choose to wear them

3.  Be tucked into the pants if longer than belt length.


QUESTION:  There are two REGIONAL playoff dates (May 23/24 and May 28).  Will we need to have games on the 24th with the small number of teams we have this season?

ANSWER:   Some teams will play the first round of Regionals.  This will be determined after the seeding meetings are completed (May 12)

  • BOYS Sectional 1 (19 teams):  Seeds 14 - 19 will play the first round (May 24)
  • BOYS Sectional 2 (20 teams):  Seeds 13-20 will play the first round (May 24)
  • GIRLS Sectional 1 and 2 (18 teams):  Seeds 15-18 will play the first round (May 23)

QUESTION:  Has there been a change to the Girls Lacrosse game format?

ANSWER:   Yes.  Games will now be played in FOUR 12-minute quarters (NFHS Rule 4-1-1)