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2014 Boys’ Lacrosse Rules: What You Need to Know

February 11, 2014    9824 Views

Emily Gibson | @egibson32

2014 Boys' Lacrosse Rules: What you need to know

US Lacrosse is represented on the National Federation of State High School Associations Boys’ Lacrosse Rules Committee, and annually endorses the NFHS Boys’ Lacrosse Rules Book. Additionally, US Lacrosse writes the boys’ youth rules (found in the back of the NFHS rule book). The boys’ youth rules can also be found on our website and in the US Lacrosse Youth Rules and Best Practices Guidebook, a supplement to the NFHS rule book and an easily digestible breakdown of the game for all involved.

Now that you have the breakdown on who writes and enforces the rules, and where to find them, let’s make it even easier. While US Lacrosse encourages every coach and official to read the rule book in its entirety, it also recognizes that most people enjoy a video component to help wash it all down (yes, I did use this same line from another recent blog post about the girls’ rules).

This year, US Lacrosse has separated the annual rules interpretation into two videos:

If you’re looking for a rundown of overarching points for the upcoming season, you can also watch points of emphasis and major rule changes videos below.

NFHS Rules

Points of Emphasis
  • Age-specific rules
  • Properly worn and fitted equipment
  • Slashing
  • NOCSAE standard balls

Major Rule Changes
  • No substitution horn for stoppages of play due to an out-of-bounds ball
  • Check involving the head/neck now a minimum 2-minute penalty
  • Illegal body checks include the targeting of defenseless players
  • Expanded substitution and table area

US Lacrosse Youth Rules

Points of Emphasis
  • Age-specific rules
  • Properly worn and fitted equipment
  • Slashing
  • NOCSAE standard balls
  • Violent collisions
  • Sportsmanship

Major Rule Changes
  • All players must wear protective cups (BONUS: Field Player Equpiment video)
  • Goalkeepers must wear arm pads (BONUS: Goalie Equipment video)
  • Crosse dimensions for U9 (no long poles) and U11 (shortened vs. U13-NCAA)
  • 3-yard rule – changed from 5-yard rule at NFHS and NCAA levels
  • No take out checks or excessive body checks
  • All one-handed checks are considered slashes
  • Unnecessary roughness now a non-releaseable 1-3 minute penalty

Whether you're a coach, player, parent or official, take the time to watch these videos to get further clarification on the aforementioned bullets and so you know what's going on in your sport.


US Lacrosse wants to hear from you. Throughout the year, anyone can submit a suggested changed to the US Lacrosse Youth Rules. All suggestions should be clear and include rationale to the rule suggestion.

Suggest a Youth Rule Change

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