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Rules and Regulations


Rules and Regulations

2022-23 NFHS Rules Changes

NFHS Girls Lacrosse Rules Changes - 2022-23

2-4-4a: Eliminates the requirement to apply pressure to the ball in the pocket during crosse inspection.
Rationale: Ensures the method of checking pocket depth is done in a consistent manner by all officials.

5-2-5d: Players may not step on or over the restraining lines after the official’s hand is in contact with the sticks at the draw until the restraining line is released regardless of number of players between the restraining lines.
Rationale: Assists with game management during the draw.  

5-4-1: Allows a player that is fouled outside the critical scoring area to take the free position and self-start within 4-meters of the spot of the foul.
Rationale: Improves pace of the game by allowing self-starts to occur within 4-meters of the spot of the foul rather than within playing distance.

5-4-5c; 9-1a, b and e-r PENALTIES 2; 10-1 PENALTIES 2: Allows the defensive player awarded a free position to self-start when there is a foul by an attack player within the critical scoring area unless the game clock is stopped.
Rationale: Improves pace of the game.

5-5-1f: Eliminates alternate possession for offsetting fouls when one of the fouls requires the issuance of a card.
Rationale: Creates a more appropriate penalty assessment by awarding possession to the team that was not issued a card.  

7-1-2c: Allows the goalkeeper to carry the ball into the goal circle after it has been cleared and played.
Rationale: Allows another option for the goalkeeper to return to the goal circle with the ball.

10-1y PENALTIES: Moves administration of a free position for a three-second violation from the spot of the ball to the 12-meter fan when the ball is outside the critical scoring area and above the goal line extended.
Rationale: Creates a more appropriate penalty assessment for the infraction.

2023 Girls Lacrosse Major Editorial Changes
11-1-1 – 
Replaces references to “slow whistle” with the terms “held whistle” or “flag” for clarity.

2023 Girls Lacrosse Editorial Changes
1-1-4l; 2-2-4; 2-9-4; 4-6; 10-1y PENALTIES; 12-8-3b; 13-Definitions-Clear, Running Clock, Stop Clock

2023 Girls Lacrosse Points of Emphasis

  1. Sportsmanship
  2. Knowledge of the Rules
  3. Dangerous Use of Stick

WI Adaptations to NFHS Rules

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

Penalty Administration Adjusted in HS Girls Lacrosse

Penalty Administration Adjusted in High School Girls Lacrosse

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE           Contact: Lindsey Atkinson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 11, 2024) — Beginning next season, the indirect free position will be eliminated in high school girls lacrosse when a minor foul is committed by the defense in the 12-meter fan. Now, the player who is fouled will be allowed to shoot from a free position on the 12-meter fan.

This revision to Rule 9-1 PENALTIES was one of six changes approved by the NFHS Girls Lacrosse Rules Committee at its June 17-19 meeting in Indianapolis. All recommended changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

“The NFHS Girls Lacrosse Rules Committee strongly believes high school girls lacrosse is in a good place,” said Lindsey Atkinson, NFHS Director of Sports and liaison to the Girls Lacrosse Rules Committee. “After several years of major changes to the rules, the committee was able to focus on subtle changes that are intended to ease penalty administration and improve flow of the game, as well as a few changes to minimize risk of injury.”

Rule 4-1-2 was adjusted to require the clock be stopped during the last minute of each quarter when a foul is called in the critical scoring area. Prior, the clock was only stopped during the last two minutes of the second and fourth quarters.

“This change provides consistency in clock management and eliminates the potential for time to expire before a free position can be administered after a foul is committed in the critical scoring area,” Atkinson said. “The committee felt stopping the clock one minute before the end of the quarter is adequate to ensure that there is reasonable time to administer the free position before a quarter ends.”

Risk minimization was addressed in two changes in Rule 10 broadening the definition of illegal contact with the stick. Rule 10-1r(1) was adjusted to make it illegal for a defender to make contact with an opponent’s crosse when the defender’s stick is in a horizontal position. And, Rule 10-1v(2) clarifies that a rough/dangerous check will include crosse contact to an opponent’s hand.

After a player draws illegally, a free position is awarded at the spot of the ball rather than the center line in a change to 5-2 Penalties. Atkinson said this will improve the flow of the game by eliminating the need to bring the ball back to the center line when one player draws illegally.

The definition of an illegal pick was clarified in Rule 10-1p and Rule 13. To be a legal pick, a player’s crosse must be in a vertical position (between 10 o’clock and two o’clock), and the player’s body shall be in a vertical plane with a stance not wider than shoulder width.

A complete listing of the girls lacrosse rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Lacrosse-Girls.”

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)