SPARKS, Md. — US Lacrosse has announced updates to its box rules and points of emphasis for 2019. The points of emphasis for 2019 relate to abuse of officials, illegal body checking and boarding, helmets and penalties.

“US Lacrosse continues to work with some of the best coaches, officials, and administrators on a local, national, and international level to ensure that our rules provide the safest environment, keep the integrity of the game intact, and support fair play for all participants,” said Rick Lake, senior manager for the men’s game at US Lacrosse. “We will continue to work closely with other rule making bodies to ensure that the US Lacrosse Indoor rules closely align with the other major rule sets where appropriate and we encourage your comments and suggestions in the form of proposals to our rules task force.”  

Two of the rule changes related to upcoming equipment advancements designed to protect against commotio cordis, a rare but potentially catastrophic injury affecting the heart. The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) passed a new performance standard in 2017 based on substantial research and testing conducted by Dr. Mark Link, a board-certified cardiac electrophysiologist and worldwide authority on commotio cordis.

Beginning in 2021, all goalies must wear protectors for commotio cordis that meets the NOCSAE ND200 standard and contain an SEI certification mark. Runners will be required to wear the protection beginning in 2022. This is consistent with US Lacorsse youth rules passed last fall.

In other box rules updates, the overtime length for sudden victory periods has been shortened to five minutes. There were three updates to misconduct penalties:

  • In the event of “Misconduct” penalties to players, the players shall be ruled off the floor for a period of ten (10) minutes each. A substitute player is permitted to immediately replace a player serving a misconduct penalty. A player whose misconduct penalty has expired shall remain in the penalty box until the next non-technical violation stoppage of play.
  • When a player receives a minor penalty and a misconduct penalty at the same time, the penalized team shall immediately put the “in-home” player in the penalty box and he shall serve the minor penalty.
  • When a player receives a major penalty and a misconduct penalty at the same time, the penalized team shall place the “in-home” player in the box immediately.

The four points of emphasis for 2019 for players of all ages:

  • Abuse of Officials: US Lacrosse expects a zero tolerance policy for leagues and tournaments.  Players, Coaches, and Spectators that participate in unsportsmanlike behavior towards officials shall be given appropriate penalties and/or remove the person in question if necessary.
  • Illegal Body Checking and Boarding: Illegal body checking or body checking an opponent into the boards who is in a vulnerable position are the most dangerous checks in the game. Body checks that are reckless or attempted to deliberately injure an opponent will result in a match penalty.
  • Helmets: NOCSAE Lacrosse helmets are required in all games and must be worn by all participants. 
  • In the US Lacrosse Box/Indoor Rules penalties can be either Minor (2 Minutes), Major (5 Minutes), Match (5 Minutes + Ejection from the Game), and Misconduct (10 minutes).

The rule changes were determined by the US Lacrosse Box Rules Task Force consisting of Kevin Forrester (official), Ian Garrison (NLL), Rob Gross (FIL), Rick Lake (US Lacrosse staff), Tom Marechek (coach) and Johnny Mouradian (coach).

US Lacrosse Box Rules

Click the link below for the updated 2019 US Lacrosse Box Rulebook.

USL Box Rules (PDF)