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South Carolina Lacrosse Officials ASSOCIATION


  • 21 Jan 2020 11:33 PM | Mark Harden (Administrator)

    In 2017, US Lacrosse records indicated there were approximately 17,000 men’s and women’s lacrosse officials around the country — a record number to serve the growing needs of the sport.

    In 2018, we saw a drop of more than 1,000 officials from the ranks.

    Where did they go?

    Sportsmanship is the number one reason people stated for leaving officiating. Sure, some left for other reasons like family and career commitments, injury, age and other aspects of life outside of a lacrosse field, but the fact that an overwhelming majority left because of sideline etiquette from coaches and spectators is a major issue that we need to address as a community.

    A National Association of Sports Officials survey conducted in late 2017 drew responses from nearly 800 lacrosse officials. More than 66 percent of the lacrosse officials said that sportsmanship, primarily from coaches and parents, was getting worse. The only sport where officials indicated sportsmanship was getting worse at a higher rate than lacrosse was rugby.

    You may have seen recently in the news that an organization has begun posting videos of sideline behavior at youth and scholastic events from around the country. They have shown soccer, football, baseball and basketball games.

    To my knowledge they have yet to show a video from a lacrosse game, but we would all be naïve to think this isn’t happening in our game as well. There was an article in the New York Times where the headline read Fighting the Epidemic of Parents Behaving Badly. That’s right, epidemic, which means according to Miriam-Webster, a sudden, widespread occurrence of an undesirable phenomenon.

    We need to fix this undesirable phenomenon and the first thing we all need to ask ourselves is, "More than 1,000 officials stopped officiating lacrosse last year. Am I the reason we lost one of those?"

    I hope the answer is no, but I also hope that for some, the answer is yes.

    If it is yes, it’s ok, because you recognize the change that is needed. We get it, we understand, we are all human and sports bring out a level of passion from us. When we add our kids into the mix, the passion is multiplied by a million. If we can change how we direct that passion and display that passion, the sport will be in a better and stronger position to continue to grow.

    Officials are there to adjudicate the rules of the game for both teams to have an equal opportunity to win. Safety is important, and that is always at the forefront of an official’s mind during the game, but ultimately, we are there to keep the game on an even playing field for both teams.

    Will an official miss a call? Absolutely, without doubt.

    Does the official feel good about missing a call to the point that a fan is cursing them and telling them they are the worst person to ever wear stripes? Of course not.

    Officials are human too. When you make a mistake at work or at home does your boss or spouse start yelling obscenities towards you and telling you that you’re blind and awful at your job because you missed paying a bill or invoice? Well, I sure hope not.

    If you are a part of the problem, lets change that starting today and be a part of the solution.

    As we gear up for 2019, we need to recruit more officials. We need to institute and enforce sideline etiquette and sportsmanship programs at our leagues around the country. We need to tell everyone that we need officials in our sport and if someone does decide to be an official, we need to appreciate their willingness to serve in that role and be an integral part of the competition.

    Everyone has a responsibility in this arena and don’t leave it up to your local leagues administration, the other parents, the other coaches or the other fans to step up and be responsible for change. It’s up to every one of us, including officials to see this through. Let’s work together to change our culture before it’s too late. The longer we wait the more difficult the challenge.

    Charlie Obermayer is the senior manager for officials development at US Lacrosse. Click here for article

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  • 15 Dec 2019 4:30 PM | Mark Harden (Administrator)

    Starting next year in high school boys lacrosse, play may be restarted with a defensive player within 5 yards of the player in possession of the ball. In such cases, defensive players must adhere to certain conditions or they may be subject to a delay-of-game technical foul.

    The amended restart protocol was one of 10 rules changes recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee at its July 15-17 meeting in Indianapolis. All rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

    “The committee worked diligently in reviewing all proposals,” said Dr. James Weaver, NFHS director of performing arts and sports and liaison to the NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee. “Year after year, the game of high school boys lacrosse continues to improve and make positive strides.”

    In a change to Rule 4-22-1, 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. While both offensive and defensive players are still required to move more than 5 yards away, two exceptions apply to defensive players only. Defensive players within 5 yards of the player in possession of the ball can avoid a delay-of-game technical foul by allowing the player a direct path to the goal and not defending that player until the player is 5 yards away from the defending player.

    “This change allows for rapid restarts to increase pace of play while making the game more engaging,” Weaver said. “Additionally, the change balances technique between offense and defense.”

    Under mandatory equipment listed in Rule 1-9-1, shoulder pads and chest protectors used by players must be designed for lacrosse. Additionally, goalkeepers must wear a chest protector designed for lacrosse that meets the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) ND200 standard at the time of manufacture beginning January 1, 2021, while shoulder pads for field players must incorporate the NOCSAE ND200 lacrosse standard for chest protection beginning January 1, 2022.

    NOCSAE ND200 protection will be available on the market for field players and goalkeepers this fall.

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

    In a change to Rule 5-5, the penalty for an illegal crosse is no longer a tiered penalty and is now a two-minute, nonreleasable penalty – regardless of the infraction.

    Throwing a crosse, referenced in Rules 5-10 and 6-5-2, is now an infraction in all cases. Throwing the crosse at a ball, player or other game personnel is considered unsportsmanlike conduct, which is met with a one- to three-minute non-releasable penalty and in all other cases falls under illegal procedure.

    Under the Chief Bench Official’s (CBO) responsibilities in Rule 2-7-2, the CBO is no longer responsible for penalizing a team with too few players on the field. However, delayed substitutions — when a player gains an advantage by delaying entry onto the field — still fall under the CBO’s duties.

    The committee eliminated three definitions under “Play of the Ball Definitions” in Rule 4-5 – ball in flight, team possession and completed pass, which were deemed to no longer be needed.

    Changes to Rules 6-1-1 and 6-2-1 focus on streamlining changes made to the slow-whistle technique in Rule 7-8-2 over the past two seasons.

    Finally, Rule 4-24 clarifies that a time-out for a player with symptoms consistent with a concussion is an official’s time-out, not a team time-out.

    A complete listing of the boys lacrosse rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Lacrosse-Boys.”

  • 15 Dec 2019 4:28 PM | Mark Harden (Administrator)
    Boys Lacrosse Rules Changes - 2019
    By NFHS on December 6, 2018 lacrosse-boys

    1-6-2: Measuring the length of the head at the front (face) of the head.
    1-7-1: The pocket/net must be completely attached to the head and the side walls, leaving no gaps large enough for a ball to pass through.
    1-9-1j: Beginning January 1, 2021, a goalkeeper chest protector designed for lacrosse that incorporates the NOCSAE ND200 at the time of manufacture shall be used by all goalkeepers.
    4-5-9: A shot is considered a ball propelled toward the goal by an offensive player with the intent of scoring a goal. A shot can only be made when the ball is parallel to or above the goal line extended. Additionally, it can be either thrown from a crosse, kicked, or otherwise physically directed.
    4-9-3: If any of the following occur between the end of the period and the shot entering the goal, the goal will be disallowed:
    • a. The ball makes contact with any member of the attacking team or his equipment;
    • b. The ball is touched by a player of either team other than the defending goalkeeper after hitting the goalkeeper or his equipment, goal posts or crossbar.
    4-14-3: If the ball does not touch the center line or something over the center line, no infraction has occurred. A defensive player may reach over the center line with his crosse and bat the ball to keep it in his team's offensive half and thus prevent an over-and-back violation. However, he may NOT reach over the center line and bat the ball with his foot or any other part of his body excluding his gloved hand wrapped around his crosse. If he does so, it shall be a turnover.
    5-3 PENALTY: Penalty for violation of Article 5 is a two- or three- minute, non-releasable foul, at the official's discretion. An excessively violent violation of this rule may result in an ejection.
    5-4-4: A player shall not initiate a body check legally but slides up into or follows through to an opponent's head or neck.
    5-4-5: A player shall not body-check a player in a defenseless position. This includes but is not limited to: (a) body-checking a player from his "blind side;" (b) body checking a player who has his head down in an attempt to play a loose ball; and (c) body-checking a player whose head is turned away to receive a pass, even if that player turns toward the contact immediately before the body check.
    5-4-6: A player shall not initiate targeting, which is intentionally taking aim at the head/neck of an opponent for the purpose of making violent contact. This could include a check with the crown of the helmet (spearing) that targets the head or neck of an opponent. PENALTY: Three-minute, non-releasable foul. An excessively violent violation of this rule may result in an ejection.
    5-4-7: A player shall not initiate targeting that intentionally takes aim at a player in a defenseless position. PENALTY: Three-minute, non-releasable foul. An excessively violent violation of this rule may result in an ejection.
    5-10e: A coach who is on the field and obstructs play.
    5-12-1 PENALTY: Three-minute non-releasable penalty for a player, substitute or non-playing team member or a one-minute non-releasable penalty for a coach and ejection for the remainder of the game. The ejected coach shall be removed from the premises (bench and field area). The ejected player, substitute or non-playing team member shall be removed from the premises if there is authorized school personnel present to supervise the ejected student. If no authorized school personnel is available, the student shall be confined to the bench area. The sponsoring authority is responsible for notifying the appropriate school of the ejection.
    6-3-2a: A player shall not use the portion of the handle that is between his hands to hold an opponent, when his hands are more than shoulder-width apart.
    6-3-3e: Holding is permitted if a player uses the portion of the handle that is between his hands, which are no more than shoulder-width apart, to hold an opponent on the torso with no more than equal pressure and no thrusting motion.
    6-5-2b(4): A player shall not exchange his crosse with that of a teammate during live play while the ball is in either crosse.
    6-11-2: A player in possession of the ball with both hands on his crosse shall not use his hand or arm to push the body of the player applying the check. NOTE: Illegal body checks (5-3), "spearing" (5-4-3) and unnecessary roughness (5-9-3 SITUATION E) shall be strictly enforced as personal fouls.


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