Boys Lacrosse Points of Emphasis

By NFHS on March 04, 2021 lacrosse-boys Print

NOTE: Due to the cancellation of spring sports last year because of the Coronavirus, the 2020 NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules will be used for the 2021 season. The Points of Emphasis written last year will apply for the 2021 season. These points, which all reference the 2020 NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Book, will be in effect for the 2021 season.

Sportsmanship and Conduct
The NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee advocates for continued commitment by players and coaches to respect the game and each other, on and off the field. Head coaches are asked to monitor and discuss sportsmanship with their players and assistant coaches to ensure the game is held to the highest standard. The committee expects all participants to continue to work together to exhibit good sportsmanship from pregame through postgame.

Player Safety
Continued emphasis is needed regarding player safety rules, particularly contact to the head/neck as well as contact against defenseless or unsuspecting players.

  • Contact to Head/Neck: Shall result in a two- or three-minute non-releasable penalty. Excessive violence may result in ejection.
  • Defenseless Player: Player shall not body-check a player in a defenseless position. Hitting a defenseless player will result in a two- to three-minute non-releasable penalty or ejection.
  • Targeting: When a player intentionally takes aim at an opponent’s head/neck. Targeting shall result in a three-minute non-releasable penalty or ejection.
  • Targeting a Defenseless Player: Targeting a defenseless player shall result in a three-minute non-releasable penalty or ejection.

Pace of Play
A 2019 questionnaire completed by both coaches and officials indicated a concern regarding pace of play. In an effort to address these concerns, the committee took the following steps:

  • Officials shall restart play as soon as possible.
  • Restarts: Play may restart with defensive player(s) within 5 yards of a player in possession of the ball. However, the defensive player may not play him until a distance of 5 yards has been established. Play will not resume with an offensive player(s) within 5 yards of the ball.
  • Particular attention should continue to be given to the definition and application of stalling rules.

Future Equipment and Uniform Changes

  • Effective January 1, 2021, all goalkeepers shall wear chest protectors designed for lacrosse that meet the NOCSAE ND200 standard at the time of manufacture.
  • Effective January 1, 2022, all field players shall wear shoulder pads designed for lacrosse that meet the NOCSAE ND200 standard at the time of manufacture.
  • Effective January 1, 2022, The Home team will be required to wear WHITE jerseys, and the away team will be required to wear non-white jerseys.