NFHS 2014 Rule Changes

Here’s the link to the new rule changes for NFHS 2014 Boys’ Lacrosse –

So what do these rule changes mean for those of us under federation rules? I’m going to dig into each rule change and see what we are in for in 2014.

  • No Substitution Horns
    • The horns are gone and there was much rejoicing! This helped to seriously speed up the college game. Twenty-seconds of substitution time adds up over the course of the game and without them we can look forward to faster games.
    • The downside is that in two-man crews you are going to be running more often. There is no longer the twenty-second break during the sideline horn to catch your breath after four full-field transitions. It is now go-go-go and you better be in shape to handle it.
  • Penalty Stacking
    • If you have four penalties on one team only three are permitted in the box. Those players not serving penalty time first are to wait in the bench area until one of the three players in the box releases, then take a knee and begin their penalty time.
    • This is an added thing to discuss with the table personnel before the game starts.
    • If a goal is scored only those currently in the penalty box with releasable penalty time are released. Those waiting to enter the box to start their time then go into the box and their penalty time starts on the next whistle.
  • Illegal Body Check expanded to include defenseless position
    • Essentially blind-side hits are not permitted and at minimum a two- or three-minute non-releasable IBC will be assessed.
    • This is a judgment call.
  • Checks to the Head or Neck penalty strengthened
    • Body checks landing on or finishing to the head or neck no longer have the option of one-minute non-releasable. Now any body check to that area will be assessed at least a two-minute non-releasable IBC or a possible three-minute.
    • This is a judgment call.
  • No more filling the wing
    • During a man down face off, the team that is man down may not bring an attackman or defenseman up to fill the wing.
    • If you are two men down on the ensuing face off it is your face off midfielder versus three midfielders from the other team.
  • Offsides only matters going forward
    • Rule committee cleaned up the offsides language. You are only offsides if you have more than six players while you are on offense, or more than seven players while you are on defense. Not having enough on the other side of the field does not matter.
    • Officials now have greater incentive to count forward.
  • Coaches can use electronic gear to talk on sideline
    • Only with those on the sideline, no electronic talking equipment for any player taking the field.
  • “Immediate Playing Facility”
    • Our authority as officials begins and ends when we show up and leave the immediate playing facility. This is deliberately vague to allow the officials greater leeway in dealing with pre/post-game conduct issues.
  • Recommended three officials per game
    • Not required, but recommended that teams schedule three officials per game to ensure greater safety for the players involved.
    • Brush up on your three-man game with new training videos.
  • Bigger substitution box
    • Wider box to deal with the added on-the-fly substitutions.
    • As the trail official be careful, it is now more likely that players will get behind you on transition and you could get crushed if you don’t pay attention.
    • During the pre-game you must ensure that the pylons at the box are in their proper places.
  • No tape on the plastic head of face off players
    • This was added to assist the face off official in determining if the face off player has his hand on the plastic of the throat.
    • They can have tape, it just can’t touch the head of the crosse.
  • No 01, 02, 03…
    • Prevents confusion in assessing penalties on #1 and #01 should the team have both.
  • No fancy eyeblack
    • No words, no designs within the eye black, no logos and no numbers. Just simple eye black from now on.
    • Best guess on what the  enforcement procedure will be is to tell the kid to clean it off his face. I’m not concerning myself with doing this unless the opposing coach brings it up and his entire team is in compliance with this rule.
  • New sock options for officials
    • Specified that white and black tipped knee-length socks are permitted along with ankle-length all-black socks. In the Georgia heat I expect us to be staying with the low-black socks.
  • Authority during interruptions
    • Weather or other delays the officials maintain authority over the suspended contest.
  • More balls
    • Four end line balls are required as well as four on the far sideline to accommodate the faster player without horns. Balls for the bench side will be kept available at the table.
    • This means you need to make sure the sideline balls are well off the sideline. During transition it is not fun to trip over the ball one yard off the sideline.
  • Last two-minutes immediate stoppage of play on second defensive foul
    • This one is interesting. When the defensive team commits a second penalty that results in a flag down the officials will immediately stop play and assess the fouls.
    • This is only applied when:
      • Last two-minutes
      • Leading team has possession of ball in the box
      • A scoring opportunity is not imminent
    • We are going to go over this rule change in detail during training classes.

I’m certain there will be memos and a few clarifications as we approach the season, but those are the new rule changes as they stand now. Remember, even if you don’t like a particular rule change you still need to enforce it come games next spring.


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