Substitution Procedures Highlight Boys' Lacrosse Rules Changes

In Rule 4-10 regarding offside, a team now is considered offside when it has more than six players in its offensive half of the field, including players in the penalty box, or more than seven players in its defensive half of the field, including players in the penalty box.

"The unfair advantage in an offside situation is created by too many players on one side of the field not too few," Summers said. "This change lets the foul reflect the unfair advantage and minimizes risk by allowing officials to 'count forward,' keeping their attention on the active side of the field."

In Rule 4-12, Article 4 and Article 5 were deleted to address confusion with enforcement of the offside rule.

As with other NFHS rules committee, the Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee revised the rule regarding use of electronic devices. Rule 1-10-2 will now allow the use of electronic equipment by coaches and players on the sideline. However, Rule 6-6-3 still prohibits the use of electronic devices to communicate with any of the 10 on-field players.

Rules 2-6-1 and 2-6-7 were revised to state that the officials' authority concludes when they leave the "immediate playing facility" rather than when they leave the "field of play."

"Officials should continue to have some jurisdiction if there is an incident after they step off the 'field of play,'" Summers said. "This revision is consistent with the language that gives state associations the ability to address situations that happen before, during and after the game."

In Rule 2-5, it is now recommended that a minimum of three officials be used to control the game (referee, umpire and field judge). While not a requirement, Summers said this change in philosophy is indicated in order to better control play, especially with the increased speed of the game.

Following are other changes approved by the Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee:

Rules 1-2-7, 8, 9: Increases the size of the substitution/table area to allow more space for players to get on and off the field and create better sight-lines for table personnel.

Rule 1-7-5: Any crosse used in a faceoff may not have tape on the plastic throat of the head.

Rule 1-9-1: Beginning with the 2017-18 school year, legal numbers are 0-99. This would prohibit double-digit numbers from zero through 9 (00, 01, 02, etc.).

Rule 1-10-1h: Eye shade that is not a solid stroke or includes words, numbers logos or other symbols within the eye shade is prohibited.

Rule 2-5-2: Part (e) of the recommended uniform for officials was changed as follows: "black stirrup socks with white over-the-calf crew socks on top or knee-length one-piece white with 4-inch black top or short black socks that cover the ankle."

Rule 2-6-1Note: Clarifies that the officials maintain jurisdiction of interrupted and/or suspended contests.

Rule 2-10-1: At the start of each period, a minimum of four balls should be spaced equidistant from each other five yards beyond the end line and four on both sidelines. On the bench side, balls should be placed at the scorer's table.

Rule 7-8-2k: During a Flag Down situation (Slow Whistle), the officials will now stop play to enforce penalties on a second defensive foul "during the final two minutes of regulation play with the team that is ahead and possessing the ball in the goal/attack area, unless a scoring play is imminent."

According to the 2011-12 NFHS Athletics Participation Survey, 2,338 schools sponsor boys' lacrosse at the high school level with 100,641 participants nationwide.

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