The National Federation of State High School Associations announced a set of 10 boys’ lacrosse rules changes approved by the NFHS Board of Directors approved at the Rule Committee meeting July 15th-17th in Indianapolis.

Among the 10 rules changes coming to boys high school lacrosse in 2020, the most significant change perhaps was Rule 4-22-1. Under this new rule, officials “will no longer wait for defensive players to position themselves more than 5 yards from the player in possession of the ball when restarting play.”

Offensive players and defensive players are still prohibited from being within 5-yards of the player with possession of the ball, however, there are 2 exceptions for defensive players; 1) if a player allows "the player a direct path to the goal" and 2) if the player doesn't defend the player until the player is 5-yards away from the defending player then that player will not receive a delay-of-game technical foul.

This change allows for rapid restarts to increase the pace of play while making the game more engaging,” said Dr. James Weaver, NFHS Director of Performing Arts and Sports and Liaison to the NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee. “Additionally, the change balances technique between offense and defense."

Among other rules changes coming to boys high school lacrosse in 2020:

For equipment Rule 1-9-1, shoulder pads and chest protectors used by players must be designed for the sport of lacrosse that meets the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) ND200 lacrosse standard. This rule change follows the rule change made in 2019 that specifies that goalies must wear a chest protector designed for lacrosse by January 2021, while shoulder pads for field players must incorporate the NOCSAE ND200 lacrosse standard beginning January 1, 2022. NOCSAE ND200 protection will be available on the market for field players and goalies in November.

“Health and safety of players are of the utmost importance,” Weaver said. “The NOCSAE ND200 standard for lacrosse will provide valuable protection for all players in the game.”

In Rules 5-10 & 6-5-2, throwing a crosse at a ball, player or other game personnel is now an infraction in all cases that no longer imposes a tiered penalty which is now deemed unsportsmanlike conduct met with a non-releasable penalty for one to three minutes and in all other cases falls under the 'illegal procedure.'

In Rule 2-7-2, the Chief Bench Official’s (CBO) responsibilities state that the CBO is no longer accountable for penalizing a team that has too few players on the field but Delayed Substitutions - when a player gains an edge by impeding entry onto the field from the box still lies under the duties of the CBO.

In Rule 4-5, three definitions under "Play of the Ball Definitions" were eliminated. i) Ball in flight, ii) team possession and iii) completed pass were all deemed to no longer be needed.

Rules 6-1-1 & 6-2-1 had modifications made to focus on streamlining changes made to the slow-whistle technique in Rule 7-8-2 over the past 2 seasons.

Lastly, Rule 4-24 clarifies that a time-out for a player who shows symptoms consistent with a concussion will not count as a team time-out but will be considered as an official’s time-out.

For the complete list of the high school boys' lacrosse 10 rules changes, you can visit the NFHS Website.