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Rule changes coming to girls’ lacrosse

July 29, 2011

Proposed new rules for girls lacrosse from the U.S. Lacrosse Women’s Game Rules Subcommittee include tighter restrictions on checking and the created of man-down  situations in the defensive zones — akin to hockey’s “power plays” — after a player has been carded for a three-minute foul. These advantage situations have been awarded in the boys’ game for years.

A US Lacrosse press release summarizes: “When a card has been issued, a player must leave the field for three minutes. Her team must play short in both the offensive and defensive ends of the field.”

Recommendations will be voted on by the U.S. Lacrosse Board of Directors in September.

Summary of other rules changes, from U.S. Lacrosse:

  • Checking: A player may not check towards the body. (In 2011, checks towards the body were allowed as long as the check was deemed controlled and did not cause the crosse or ball to go into the sphere, which is defined as the roughly seven-inch perimeter around a player’s head).
  • Sphere: Defensive players may not reach into the sphere to make a check; offensive players will not be permitted to hold their crosses in the sphere so that a check can not be made. (This is not a rule change, but a change in emphasis).
  • Cross Checking: A point of emphasis in 2012 will be that the use of a player’s shaft to hit, push or displace an opponent will not be permitted. (Previously, this foul was included under the Illegal Use of the Crosse section, but will not be stressed in its own category.)
  • Carding Changes: Any player or coach receiving two yellow cards will be suspended from the rest of the game. They may both participate in the next game. (Under the 2011 rules, anyone receiving two yellow cards would have been ineligible to participate in the team’s next game). … A suspended player must remain in her team’s bench area for the entire game, including on-field, pre-game, game or post-game activities. If a player is suspended from her team’s next game because of a red card, that player may not be dressed in her game uniform for the next game.
  • Team Foul for Offsides:  When the offensive team commits an offsides violation, the defender closest to the ball will be awarded a free position at that spot (no closer than 8m to the goal circle). The attack player that had the ball will go 4m behind, and the attacker closest to the restraining line will move back onside. Previously, the defensive team wwas awarded the ball 4m outside of the restraining line.

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