In September of 2015, the US Lacrosse Board of Directors approved rule changes pertaining to the women’s lacrosse stick manufacturer’s specifications for the 2016 season. These specifications were accepted by the NCAA and endorsed by the NFHS. (Press Release).
US Lacrosse writes equipment specifications for all levels of play in the women’s game, and all levels of play have traditionally used a single set of stick specifications. For the 2016 season, however, the NCAA rules committee adopted more stringent officiating mechanics (stick checks) and additional penalties for players who were found to have altered their sticks beyond the allowable specifications.
US Lacrosse and the NFHS have not introduced additional stick checks or the penalty for sticks that have not met the new specifications. For high school and youth play in the girls’ game, the stick certification is performed during a pregame check – where officials are looking to ensure that the pocket depth is legal.
Effective immediately, US Lacrosse is issuing several clarifications to the manufacturers specifications (section Appendix B) in an effort to provide further clarity to the rules and allow for certain modifications for the remainder of 2016.
US Lacrosse will proceed in amending this section of the rules, effective immediately, according to the italicized sections below:
In Section 2, Appendix B/E of the US Lacrosse and NCAA rules should read:
NOTE: For the 2016 season only, additional holes that have been drilled into the head of a crosse prior to the release of the changes to Appendix B, may be filled with a substance to comply with Appendix B, Section 2. The substance used to fill the holes may not impede the free movement of the ball, may not be added as a sticky/tacky substance to the thongs (see the Note following Appendix B/E, Section 28), and may not provide any advantage to a team.
In section 4, Appendix B/E of the US Lacrosse and NCAA rules should read:
To determine crosse compliance with the linear measurement specifications in US Lacrosse Appendix B, all measurements shall be made to the nearest 0.01 cm. NOTE: Due to the variances in measuring tools used by officials, any measurement taken by an official should allow a total deviation of .3cm (1/8 of an inch) from the standard (previously .09cm).
In section 20, Appendix B, USL rules
For the 2016 season, US Lacrosse will change the interpretation of a portion of Appendix B, Section 20 to read: "Any additional strings used for attachment of the pocket to the head of the crosse may not be tied behind the pocket above the ball stop, with the exception of the thongs knotted at the ball stop." NOTE: Thongs knotted at the ball stop are not in violation of section 20.
For the 2016 season, game officials for US Lacrosse/NFHS youth, high school and non-NCAA collegiate and post collegiate play shouldreceive a point of emphasis from US Lacrosse and NFHS to not perform stick measurements, other than to determine ball-depth and stick length (Rule 3, Section 10).
Sticks that have been sold and are being sold, or used with thongs knotted at the ball stop are legal for play under US Lacrosse/NFHS rules for 2016. All other sections of the Appendix B will remain unchanged for the 2016 season.