NCAA Rule Changes, POEs and Clarifications Guide for 2013 Fall Lacrosse

The following are the rules changes and points of emphasis recently adopted by the NCAA  for the 2013 season.  These changes are being implemented this fall.  As rules are clarified further and changes to the mechanics are made, ALO will keep you posted!  




RULE 5 CROSS CHECK – Thrusting 

IMPORTANT NOTE: All Rule numbers reference the 2012 rule book 

RULE 1-10 & Diagram p.10 TABLE AREA, TEAM BENCHES 

The committee voted to expand the substitution box from 10 to 20 yards. The dimension of the team bench area remains the same. Relative to expanded box


A minimum of six balls and a maximum of 10 balls must be available at each end line and sideline. The number of balls in each area is to be equal in each area. On the bench side, balls should be placed at the scorer’s table and outside each bench area. These balls shall be replenished by the home team and game management staff. This will assist with the pace of play and faster restarts.

RULE 1–18&19 Stick specifications 

The committee made changes to the stick specifications that states any additional strings or laces (e.g., shooting strings) must be will be located within 4 inches from the top of the crosse. Also, no more than one sidewall string on each side of the crosse will be allowed.

To ensure that all sticks meet these specifications the following three field tests will be performed by the officials.

The ball will be placed in crosse (perpendicular to the ground) at the throat, then the crosse is tipped forward 90 degrees;

The ball is placed in the crosse (horizontal to the ground) at the deepest point of the pocket, then the crosse is tipped forward 90 degrees so the ball rolls out at the tip of the head;

The ball is placed in the back of the crosse at the deepest point of the pocket and pushed in to reverse the pocket. The crosse is inverted 180 degrees. The ball must come out of the crosse without shaking, etc.

NOTE: If the stick fails any of these tests, it is an illegal crosse and a one-minute non-releasable foul will be enforced. The crosse cannot be used during play and will be kept at the scorer’s table until the conclusion of the game.

RULE 1-9 & 4-3 

Tape of a contrasting color must be placed on the handle just below the throat of the crosse of any player taking a faceoff.

Also, as a point of emphasis officials are to enforce the rule that says players must keep their hands off of the plastic of the crosse. Players can gain an unfair advantage to gain possession of the ball if this is not called.

RULE 4-3: Faceoffs 

After two pre or post-whistle violations in one half by a team, subsequent violations result in a 30-second technical penalty. the in-home would be the player to serve the penalty. Violations by the wing players before or during the faceoff will count toward the three per half. When a violation occurs, the faceoff player is no longer required to leave the field.

“Post Whistle” pertains to faceoff activities only. This is meant for violations like pinning an opponent’s crosse, etc. immediately after the whistle, while the faceoff men are still in a battling position. Once the ball skirts free from the faceoff men, normal rules apply. So an open field push, after the ball is in the open field, would not constitute a “faceoff violation”

RULE 4-4 

During penalty situations, there must be four players in the defensive area and three players in the offensive area. Exception: When a team has three or more players in the penalty area, a player may come out of its defensive area to take the faceoff.


If the ball returns to the defensive half of the field and the offensive team regains possession, officials shall start the 30-second shot procedure.


Additionally, the goalkeeper is no longer given a five-second grace period to return to the crease regardless of where the ball is restarted.


Substitutions will now be made on the fly. The horn signaling substitution will no longer exist


Officials are instructed to restart play quickly. If an opposing player is within five yards of the player that has been awarded the ball, the official will blow the whistle to start play. The opposing player is not allowed to defend the ball until he reaches a distance of five yards from the opponent. A violation will be a flag down for delay of game.

Officials are also instructed to get the ball in play quickly and not be as deliberate with the exact location of the violation. An unfair distance advantage gained by the team with the ball must occur to delay the restart.

RULE 5– PERSONAL FOULS (targeting the head) 

The committee clarified wording for its rule relating to contact to the head, removing any reference to a deliberate action being required for this foul to be enforced.


When a team is given a stall warning, a shot must be taken within 30 seconds. The count will be administered by the on-field officials and there will not be a visible clock. A valid shot is defined as an attempt to score that is on goal (e.g., saved by the goalkeeper, hits the goal pipe, or goal scored). If the 30 seconds expires without a shot on goal, the ball will be awarded to the defensive team. The “get it in, keep it in” call has been removed.

The mechanics referees will follow is below:

If a shot hits the goal pipe or the goalkeeper, while the shot clock is on, the referees shall signal by extending one hand above the head and wave arm from left to right (“fair catch”). The shot clock is now off and play continues.

Officials signal a stall warning, verbally say “shot clock”, & the TRAIL official will start the 20-second timer.

At the end of the 20-second timer, a 10-second hand count is administered by the trail official. This official has responsibility for the entire count, and will count from 10 downward to zero. (10-9-8-7- etc.) If the shot has not been released at the point when the count is at zero, a shot clock violation has occurred.

** It is important to note – the first 20 seconds of the shot clock is “running time”. The last 10 seconds is “stop time”.**

During the 30-second period, situations where a shot goes out of bounds and the offensive team maintains possession will be handled in this manner:

With more than 10 seconds remaining in the count, the timer continues to run and the procedure continues.

If the timer expires before the restart, a 10-second count will be administered beginning on the restart.

With less than 10 seconds remaining, the official shall hold the hand count when the whistle blows and continues the count on the restart. For example, if the ball goes out of bounds with eight seconds remaining on the count, that (8-second) count continues on the restart. The official shall communicate the amount of time remaining on the restart.

A shot that hits the goal pipe or is saved by the goalkeeper and then possessed by the offensive team nullifies the stall warning and the game continues.

In a flag down situation, the shot clock will continue until:

A.)A Shot is taken that hits the goal pipes or Goalkeeper

B.) The shot clock expires

C.) The ball goes out of bounds

D.) The defensive team gains possession

E.) A goal is scored

F.) The offensive team fouls

G.)Period ends (exception- when over and back stall is in affect)

NOTE – In situation A the play will end when the slow whistle is over. For situations B,C,D,E, & F the shot clock stops upon the sounding of the whistle stopping play.

Stalling will not be called during a man advantage.

EXCEPTION – If the offensive team causes the ball to go back to the defensive end & regains possession, the shot clock will begin upon repossession.

If a shot hits a defensive team player other than the goalkeeper, it will not be considered a shot on goal.

If the offensive team calls a timeout when the shot clock is engaged, the team will be granted the timeout. If there are more than 10 seconds remaining in the count, the shot clock will be moved to 10 seconds on the restart. If there are fewer than than 10 seconds, the count will continue from the point where it was stopped at the timeout.

If the defensive team calls timeout, the shot clock will be reset to 30 seconds on the restart.

If the defensive team commits a loose ball foul (hold, push, etc.) while the shot clock is on, the shot clock will be turned off and a new 30 second warning will be reissued upon possession by the offense.

The committee also clarified that it is the responsibility of the team in possession to try to create a scoring opportunity. There are exceptions to this requirement:

If the offensive team has the ball in the attack area and the defensive team is not playing the ball, a stall warning will not be issued until either (1) the defensive team attempts to play the ball or (2) the offensive team brings the ball outside the attack area.

However, a stall warning may be issued when the offensive team has the ball outside the attack area or below the goal line extended regardless of whether the defensive team is playing the ball.

RULE 6-11.2 

The automatic requirement in the last two minutes of the game requiring a team to keep the ball in the box has been removed.

Revised 9-27-12

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