GHSA Rules and Procedures

This information has been taken from the GHSA Website and only information pertinent to Boys Lacrosse Officials had been retained.  

For a complete text of the document, visit the GHSA Constitution and By-Laws Lacrosse page.

The GHSA Coordinator for Lacrosse is Jay Watts, Westminster School (404-609-6276 or e-mail at

General Information


Lacrosse is a classified event with two state championships (class 6A and the combined A through 5A).


All Lacrosse games will be played according to the rules published by the National Federation  with such GHSA modifications as may be found in this section.

All GHSA Lacrosse matches shall be played with two officially-dressed officials who are registered under the GHSA plan for registration of officials.

Game Times

In accordance with GHSA By-Laws, only one night before a school day per week may be used with competitions beginning at 6:00 p.m. or later. For evening games, a single game must begin no later than 7:30 p.m. For evening games, a double-header must begin no later than 6:00 p.m.

Sub-varsity matches will be limited as follows:

Boys will play four 10-minute quarters.
No overtimes will be played in sub-varsity competition.

Mercy Rule

When there is a competitive imbalance between two teams in a contest, the match will be shortened as follows:

  • If a team is ten (10) or more goals down at halftime, the second half will be played with a running clock that will stop only for timeouts.
  • If a team is ten (10) or more goals down at any point in the second half, the match will be played from that point with a running clock that will only stop for timeouts.
  • If the team that is behind in the second half draws within ten (10) goals, the match will return to normal clock operation.

Sudden Victory Overtime

Any match that ends in a tie will be resolved by playing a sudden death overtime period as outlined in Rule 3-4 of the NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Book.

The teams will play two (2) overtime periods of three (3) minutes each.
If the score is tied at the end of the second overtime period, a third overtime period will be played and the first team to score will be declared the winner.
This format will also be used in all tournaments where advancement is necessary.

Teams Arriving Late

Teams arriving late for a scheduled contest by thirty (30) minutes or more shall forfeit the match, and shall be responsible for payment of the officials unless prior arrangements are made in a timely manner. Consideration will be given to emergency situations over which the traveling school has no control. The host school has the responsibility of notifying the officials of any changes in the schedule.

Suspended & Terminated Games

When game officials suspend a game due to weather issues, the following procedures are in place:

For Lacrosse  contests involving teams of the same classification, all contests will be played to completion.

(a) There will be no mandatory two-hour delay.
(b) The 11:30 curfew will be waived.
(c) Administrators from the competing schools may agree to terminate the contest and resume competition at the point of interruption at a later time.
(d) The team that is behind may choose not to resume the contest at a later date.

Game Reports

Game Reports from officials should be filed with the GHSA office as soon as possible for the following situations: (Note: Reports must be filed on the “Game Report” form as provided to the association secretary.)

  • Ejections – Be certain to cite the name, jersey number and school of the ejected player or the name and school of the ejected coach and specify the behavior involved in a brief, professional manner.[GH: THIS INCLUDES PLAYER DISQUALIFIED WITH FIVE MINUTES OF PERSONAL FOULS]
  • All protest situations – be certain to indicate the time at which the formal protest was lodged and the rule application that was protested. 
  • Any pre-game or post-game problems involving players, coaches, and/or fans. 
  • Any problems related to field/court conditions. 
  • Failure of host management to provide adequate security for officials at the game site. 
  • Any major injuries requiring extraordinary attention

NOTE: It is not necessary to report sportsmanship violations that do not result in ejections.

The Game Reports should be factual narratives without any editorial comments. The comments should be written professionally so that they thoroughly describe the behaviors involved without any editorial comments. These reports are sent to the Principal of the school involved along with a letter from the Executive Director of the GHSA. One copy of this report should be sent to the GHSA Office, and a second copy should be kept with the association’s records.

Game Reports dealing with unusual situations such as protests, “intentional attempts to injure” or “multi-player fights” must be received by the GHSA within 24 hours of the end of that contest. The GHSA fax machine is operative 24 hours a day, as is the voice mail of the Executive Director.

GHSA Constitution and Bylaws 2012-2013, online version