United States Lacrosse announced on Thursday its’ new rules and points of emphasis for the 2018 youth and high school girls’ season. The US Lacrosse Rules Committee and the National Federation of State High School Associations worked together to develop the rules and points of emphasis that focus on the safety and quality of the game for the upcoming season.
One point of emphasis is the illegal defensive positioning, which refers to the three second and shooting space rules to ensure that offense has the ability to create safe shooting opportunities. Contact in the midfield will also be monitored closely, as deliberate illegal contact to players in a defenseless position will result in cards. Referees will also be tasked with making sure defenders do not put their sticks near the head or neck of a player with the ball, as it will be considered a major violation and could result in a card.
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Professionalism before, during, and after games will be a point of emphasis as well.
Players will now be required to keep their crosses parallel to and above the center line at the draw setup, as well as be allowed to have their sticks touch the ground. An illegal draw by a player will result in a free position at the center line, while illegal draws by both players will result in a redraw. Stick checks will not be allowed during timeouts.
At the youth level, one of the rule changes includes goalies now being required to have pelvic protection, In addition, legal contact will be allowed during play, as long as the contact does not physically force an opponent off of her position.
Additional changes to equipment specifications will be issued in September.