Women’s Lacrosse Rule Book & Changes for 2009-2010
Listed below are the women’s lacrosse major rules changes, new officiating procedures, and points of emphasis for the 2009 season. Shaded sections indicate the changes or additions. For additional links, including ones for a PDF copy of the rule book and the section at the US Lacrosse web site where you can purchase a printed copy, please see our Lacrosse Rules page.
Rule 1. The Playing Area and Goals, Section 2. Field Dimensions
It shall be the host field is in proper condition for safe play, and that the field is consistent with the rules. Where optimal field dimensions as listed in Rule 1-3 are not or cannot be met due to field-space limitations, play may take place if the visiting team has been notified in writing before the day of the game and personnel from both participating teams agree.
Rule 2. Equipment and Uniforms, Section 5. The Ball
The ball is smooth or slightly textured rubber of solid yellow or bright orange (similar to Pantone #811) color, not less than 20cm (7-3/4″) nor more than 20.3cm (8″) in circumference. It must weigh not less than 142gm (5oz.) nor more than 149gm (5-1/4oz.). It must have a bounce of not less than 1.1m (43″) nor more than 1.3m (51″) when dropped from 1.8m (72″) onto concrete at a temperature of approximately 18 degrees C. (65 degrees F.) – 23 degrees C. (75 degrees F.).
The teams must agree on which type (smooth or textured) and color (yellow or bright orange) ball to use prior to game time. If no agreement can be reached, the default will be a smooth yellow ball. For all NCAA tournament games, the smooth yellow ball will be used.
Rule 5. Play of the Game, Section 20. The Throw
A.R. 5-17. Defense player B1 is called for an illegal check against A1. Play is stopped and A1 is awarded a free position. Before play is restarted, the umpire notices that A1 is wearing jewelry. Ruling: A throw is awarded for offsetting fouls. A1 must remove the jewelry before play is resumed.
A.R. 5-18. Attack player A1 is checked in the head by B1. The umpire calls timeout, issues a card to B1, and awards A1 a free position. As B1 is leaving the field, she is pushed by A2. The umpire issues a card to A2 and sends both players from the field with no substitutes allowed. How is play restarted? Ruling: Because Team A committed a subsequent foul before play had restarted, there is a change of possession at the site of the ball. A member of Team B closest to this spot will be moved to take the free position. A1 and all other players should be moved 4m away from the player now taking the free position. Because each team is playing a person down, no player from Team A is placed 4m behind.
Rule 5. Play of the Game, Section 22. Substitution Procedures
Before entering the game, any substitute must report to the scorer’s table.
a. During Play: The player must enter the game through the substitution area and not enter this area until her substitution is imminent. A substitute must not go onto the field until the player she is replacing has entered the substitution area (this includes the goalkeeper). The player exiting the field has the right of way and any players in the substitution area must yield their position and allow her to exit. No other players shall be in this area except those involved in the imminent substitution. Substitutes must not block the view of scorer’s table personnel.
b. After a Goal: After reporting to the enter the game immediately. The umpires will ensure that all replaced players leave the field before the game restarts.
d. Player Suspension/Ejection: No substitution will be allowed. Exception: If the player receiving a yellow card is the goalkeeper and there is no other “dressed” goalkeeper for her team, the goalkeeper may remain in the game and the team’s coach must designate another player who must leave the field for three minutes of elapsed playing time. If the goalkeeper receives a second yellow card or a red card, she may not return to the game. The team may substitute another goalkeeper and the team’s coach must designate another player who must leave the field for three minutes of elapsed playing time.
Rule 5. Play of the Game, Section 27. Equipment Inspection
The head coach is required to verbally certify that all her team’s equipment is legal under these rules. At any time before or during the game, the umpires may inspect any equipment in use.
All crosses that might be used in the game must be inspected by the umpires before the game begins. At any time during the game, at the umpire’s discretion, timeout may be called to inspect any crosse in use. The umpires must perform a minimum of two reinspections per half, each time checking one crosse per team. The timing of these mandatory reinspections is at the discretion of the umpires.
a. Should the crosse meet specifications, the game shall be restarted by the ball being given to the player who was in possession of the ball, or closest to the ball if there was no possession, when timeout was called.
b. Should the crosse not meet specifications, it shall be removed from the game by the umpire and placed at the scorer’s table for the remainder of the half. Any equipment not meeting specifications may be reinspected (at halftime or before any overtime period) by the umpire for use in the second half or overtime period. After the removal of the crosse not meeting specifications, the game shall be restarted with a free position to the opponent nearest the ball when play was stopped. However, if the illegal crosse is an offsetting foul, a throw will be taken.
Note: The player found to have an illegal crosse will be allowed to enter the bench area to obtain another crosse and immediately return to her place on the field. No substitutes are allowed during this stoppage of play.
c. In the event that a goal was scored with a crosse that does not meet specifications, the goal shall not count, the crosse shall be removed, and play shall be resumed with a free position for the opposing goalkeeper. Once the game is restarted with the draw, the goal shall stand. If after a goal is scored and before the game is restarted with the draw, any player other than the shooter is found to have a crosse not meeting specifications, a free position will be taken at the center by the opposing team.
d. The umpire shall inspect the crosse of a player upon request of the opposing coach or any opposing player on the field. After two requests for inspection for which the crosse is found to be legal, any additional requests for inspection of any crosse meeting specifications will result in a minor foul.
Rule 7. Penalty Administration – Misconduct and Suspension
Section 27. The penalty for misconduct shall be the same as for all major fouls. In addition to awarding a free position, the umpire will issue a yellow or red card. Issuance of cards should be considered a warning to all players. Timeout must be called to administer warnings, suspensions and ejections.
Section 28. The umpire may warn the offending player by issuing a yellow card. The player receiving the yellow card must leave the field for three minutes of elapsed playing time and no substitute may take her place during that three-minute period. If the carded player or any player replacing her enters the game before the penalty time has elapsed, it will be considered misconduct. If the player receiving the yellow card is the goalkeeper and there is no other “dressed” goalkeeper for her team, the goalkeeper may remain in the game and the team’s coach must designate another player who must leave the field for the three-minute period. If a player in the team’s bench area receives a yellow card, she may not enter the game for three minutes of elapsed playing time. No other player is removed from the field.
Section 29. A player who receives a second yellow card will be suspended from further participation in that game and no substitute may take her place for three minutes of elapsed playing time. If the goalkeeper receives a second yellow card, she will be suspended from further participation in that game. If the goalkeeper receives a red card, she will be ejected from the game. The team may substitute another goalkeeper, and the team’s coach must designate another player who must leave the field for three minutes of elapsed playing time.
Section 30. The umpire has the power to eject without any previous warning a player, coach or team personnel guilty of flagrant or repeated violation of the rules, dissent, misconduct or abusive language. This immediate ejection will be noted by issuing a red card and no substitute for the carded player will be allowed for three minutes of elapsed playing time. Any player or coach who has received a red card will be prohibited from participating in the team’s next game. The next game suspension will carry over to the following season if the ejection occurs during the team’s last game.
Note: When administering a free position after a card has been issued and a team is playing a person down, no player on the penalized team must be moved 4m behind.
Section 31. A yellow or red card issued to any coach or team personnel will not result in a player being removed from the field. A consecutive card issued to the same player during the same stoppage of play, will not result in any additional player being removed from the field.
Section 32. In the event a coach or any team personnel is warned, suspended or ejected, play is restarted within one minute with a free position to the opponent nearest the ball when play was stopped. Any coach or team personnel who is suspended (two yellow cards) or ejected must leave the area (including the spectator area) of the game. In the event the umpire cannot identify which member of the coaching staff or other team personnel is responsible for the misconduct, the head coach will be assessed the penalty. In the event that any team follower is to be warned or suspended, the head coach may be assessed the penalty. In the event the head coach does not effectively control the actions of their spectators, the head coach may be assessed a card.
New Officiating Procedures
Though not a change to the rules per se, there will be a change in how umpires will handle and penalize offsetting fouls versus subsequent fouls. Offsetting fouls are considered to be fouls that are occurring or have been ongoing within the same time frame. For example, one umpire calls a block while the other calls a charge on the same play; or after a player has been awarded a free position because someone fouled her she is discovered to be wearing jewelry or her teammate is found without a mouth guard; or a flag has been raised because of a defensive foul and then the attack charges on her way to goal. A subsequent foul is one that occurs after the initial foul has been called. For example, a player is awarded a free position because of a foul by her opponent, but then before play starts she commits another foul such as taunting the opponent.
Previously, if a player was fouled and then she or someone on her team was found in violation for something such as not wearing a mouth guard, the ball would have been taken away from her and awarded to the opponent. The procedure now will be to take a throw. In the case of a subsequent foul, the second foul will be the one that is penalized.
a. Blue team player with the ball is fouled. Red team player is moved behind. Before play restarts the umpire notices the Blue player is wearing jewelry. Old procedure – Red player would get the ball. New procedure – throw.
b. Blue team moves down field and crosses the restraining line on attack. Red player is called for a foul, and then the umpires discover Blue is offsides. Old procedure – penalty would depend on whether or not the umpire had her arm up to indicate the offsides before the other foul was called. New procedure – throw.
c. Blue player with the ball is fouled by the Red player. Blue is awarded the free position, but the Blue player verbally taunts the Red player before play begins. This is considered a subsequent foul and would be a free position for Red.
d. Red player is on her way to goal when Blue defender fouls her. Umpire raises her flag allowing the Red player to continue to goal; however, before a shot is taken the Red player charges. No change in procedure. This will continue to be a throw.
e. Red player is going to goal, Blue defender fouls her, and a flag is raised. Red player shoots and the flag is lowered, but then Red steps into the goal circle. Subsequent foul and the goalie is awarded the ball on the goal-circle violation.
Points of Emphasis
The “Points of Emphasis” section highlights certain areas of the game the women’s lacrosse by placing a stronger emphasis on existing rules.
This year, the committee requests that players, officials and coaches concentrate on the following areas:
Dangerous Checks and Slashing. Dangerous checks, those that are uncontrolled, rough or reckless, are major fouls that must be called by the officials. Officials must carefully evaluate each situation, deciding if the foul warrants an immediate whistle or if a held whistle is appropriate. A card may also be given for a dangerous check.
Slashing, or the swinging of the crosse at an with deliberate viciousness or recklessness, must not only be called but a mandatory card must be given. Whether the crosse hits the or crosse has no bearing on the call being made and a card being given.
Use of Cards. Umpires are encouraged to use cards more frequently to control and change player behavior. In addition to the fouls for which a mandatory card must be given, umpires are instructed to card for excessively rough, overly aggressive and dangerous play. Officials must take into account repeated fouls by the same team or player and upgrade to cards in order to alter player behavior. Additionally, if yellow cards are not having the intended effect, red cards must be used to control the game.
Stick-to-Body/Body-to-Stick Contact. While calling these types of fouls has improved, the committee continues to place an emphasis on strict enforcement of the rules that prohibit this type of play. Players are not allowed to hit, hold, push or detain opposing players with their stick. Attack players who use their body to push or back through a defender must be called for charging.