2016 NFHS RULES CHANGES
1-6-1: ART. 1 … CROSSE DIMENSIONS SECTION 6 CROSSE DIMENSIONS
The crosse shall be an overall fixed length of either 40 to 42 inches (short crosse) or 52 to 72 inches (long crosse), except for the goalkeeper’s crosse, which may be 40 to 72 inches long. The circumference of the crosse handle shall be no more than 3½ inches. The head of the crosse at its widest point shall measure between 6½ and 10 inches, inside measurement, at the top and the bottom of the wall. (See Figure 3) There shall be one crosse 10 to 12 inches, inside measurement at its widest point, at the top and bottom of the wall. This crosse shall be used by the required designated goalkeeper. The walls of any crosse shall not be more than 2 inches high. EXCEPTION: The gut wall.
Beginning in 2018, minimum stick specifications shall be as follows:
The measurements for the crosse shall include:
Measurement from throat (inches) Minimum distance between narrowest point of head (inches)
1.25 3 (all measurements)
3.0 3 (all measurements)
5.0 3.5 to 4 on front; 3.5 on back
Widest point 6 (all measurements)
NOTE: From the 1.25-inch measurement to the widest point of the crosse, the distance between the sidewalls of the crosse must be at least 3 inches.
Rationale: The committee defined crosse dimensions and specifications at different locations to address issues with the ball being stuck in the crosse. This change in equipment will beginning in 2018 to allow for phased implementation.
1-8: CROSSE PROHIBITIONS
No player shall use a crosse that does not meet the specifications of Sections 6 and 7. Furthermore, crosses in which the pocket has sagged to such a depth that it has become difficult for an opponent to dislodge the ball and crosses in which the construction or stringing at the bottom is designed to withhold the ball from play also are prohibited. Additionally, no player may use a crosse that has stringing that retards the normal and free dislodgment of the ball by an opponent. The pocket shall be deemed to have sagged too deeply if the top surface of a lacrosse ball, when placed therein, is below the bottom edge of the side wall (this prohibition does not apply to the goalkeeper’s crosse). (See Figure 4) A crosse that has been altered in such a way as to give an advantage to an individual is illegal. Adjustable-length handles are illegal. Handles that have been altered in any fashion other than taping or adding another covering designed to improve the grip are illegal. The use of pull strings to alter the depth of the pocket is illegal. No more than one sidewall string on each side is allowed. A broken crosse is considered as no crosse.
Rationale: The committee expanded the crosse prohibitions. Specifically, the changes are intended to inhibit the use of pull strings and sidewall strings to lodge the ball in the crosse.
4-3-3 (NEW): ART. 3 … FACING OFF
The official conducting the faceoff will start the procedure by holding the ball and bringing the players together.
a. The official shall indicate to the players the spot on which the faceoff will take place and instruct the players to prepare for the faceoff by saying “down.”
b. Once the players are down they are to move into their faceoff position as quickly as possible. Players may kneel or stand as they get into position for the faceoff.
c. The crosses and gloves shall rest on the ground along the center line, parallel to each other up to, but not touching, the center line.
d. The official shall make certain that the reverse surfaces of the crosses match evenly and are perpendicular to the ground. Each player must have both hands wrapped around the handle of his own crosse, touching the ground. The right hand may not touch any part of the head of the crosse. The player’s feet may not touch his crosse. Both hands and feet of each player must be to the left of the throat of his crosse. Each player must be positioned so his entire body is to the left of the throat of his crosse. It is legal to lean over the center line.
e. If the players are not positioned properly, the official may adjust the players’ positioning (including crosses) to ensure the faceoff will be conducted fairly for both players.
f. Once the players are in the proper position, the official shall place the ball on the ground, in between the head of each crosse, paying close attention to placing the ball in the middle of the head of each crosse.
g. Once the official is satisfied with the placement of the ball and the positioning of the players’ crosses, he shall instruct the players to remain motionless by saying “Set.” The official will still have his hand on or near the ball or crosses when the command “Set” is given. For hearing-impaired players, a reasonable accommodation for the "set" command and whistle sound will be provided.
h. After the “Set” command, the official shall back out and blow the whistle when clear of the scrimmage area. The official does not have to be stationary, and may still be moving backwards, when he blows the whistle to start play. The whistle cadence will vary with every faceoff.
i. A violation will be called if a player picks up and carries the ball on the back of his stick. It is legal to clamp the ball with the back of the stick, but it must be moved, raked or directed immediately. Immediately is defined as within one step.
j. A player may not lie on the ball or trap it with his crosse longer than necessary for him to control the ball and pick it up with one continuous motion, or withhold the ball from play in any other manner.
k. It is illegal to kick, step on, or place any other body part to his crosse or the crosse of the opponent. It is illegal for a faceoff player to use his crosse to hold or pin down a player’s crosse.
l. It is illegal for a player to use his hand or fingers to play the ball. This shall be enforced immediately as an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Inadvertent touching of the ball when the hand is grasping the stick should not be called as an unsportsmanlike conduct foul.
m. It is illegal for a player to grab an opponent’s crosse with the open hand or fingers. This shall be enforced immediately as an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
n. A single-wrap of tape must be applied to the handle of the crosse for any player taking a face-off. The tape is to begin (but not be touching) the plastic at the throat of the crosse and continuing six inches down the handle. Tape must be of contrasting color to the head, gloves, and shaft.
(Note was deleted because it was repeated in l)
Rationale: By deleting ART. 3 through ART. 6 and adding this revised 4-3-3, the committee improved the process of the face off by clarifying the rules to create more consistent and fair play.
4-14-3 (NEW): ART. 3 . . . Once the ball has been successfully advanced into the goal area, a team is provided the opportunity to run its offense in its offensive half of the field. If the offensive team carries, passes or propels the ball to its defensive half of the field and the offensive team was last in possession, and last touched the ball (except on shot), the result will be an immediate a turnover or play-on. If the ball does not touch or go over the centerline, no infraction has occurred. Players may legally bat the ball to keep it in the offensive half of the field, but if it is possessed and their feet are in the defensive half, it shall be a turnover.
Rationale: The committee added a new “over and back” rule to keep the ball in play in the offensive half of the field once possession has been established in the goal area.