Tag Archives: NFHS

What Happened To My Horn?

Published by:

what-happened-to-my-horn

Yesterday I promised to dig into how to coach with the new 2014 rules that will most effect youth teams. I think one of the biggest hurdles for youth coaches this season will be handling the new substitution rules.

Coaches and players in U13 and U15 youth divisions across the country need to start planning how to substitute without the use of the sideline horn. My old post, “When Can I Call For A Horn?” is somewhat outdated with the new 2014 High School and Boys Youth Lacrosse rules.

Rule 4-22 in the 2014 NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rulebook now states: “All substitutions during play will be ‘on the fly.’ Coaches will no longer be able to request a horn for a ball out of bounds on the sideline. Teams may substitute freely when play is suspended for end of a period, goal, time-out and after a time-serving penalty.” That means there is no more calling for a horn when the ball goes out of bounds along the sideline during a game. With the exception of subbing at the end of a period, goal, time-out, or a time-serving penalty, all other substitutions is through the box while “on the fly.”

No more horns at all for U13 and U15 players

No more horns at all for U13 and U15 players

I specified that U13 and U15 players have to get used to this because this rule will always be enforced at these age levels if a league or tournament is following USL Boys Youth Rules. U9 and U11 teams may or may not have horns during a game depending on what their league says according to this rule note:

US Lacrosse Youth Rules NOTE—U9 & U11 Horn Substitution Option: For U9 and/or U11 play, Leagues may authorize substitutions when play has been suspended by the officials after the ball has gone out of bounds on the sidelines. For such substitutions, the timer shall sound a horn upon the request of a coach indicating to the officials that a substitution is desired. All other rules with respect to substitutions during suspension of play shall apply.”

A Horn is Only Allowed on the Sideline in U9 and U11 games when specified by a league

A Horn is Only Allowed on the Sideline in U9 and U11 games when specified by a league

Just to be clear:

  • U13 and U15 – No Horns
  • U9 and U11 – There can be horns only if the league the teams are playing in decides to use them for these age levels.

This rule change was designed to speed up the game, but the unintended consequence is now many coaches are going to have an additional headache trying to sub players on the fly. Before you could remember: “Ball out on the sideline means I can call a horn and get my players switched off.” Most subs at the youth level happen every 4-6 minutes in a quarter or half, and ball goes out of bounds frequently enough at the youth level that most coaches could anticipate being able to sub according to their stopwatch. Which means it is time to get away from the stopwatch crutch and start getting into the flow of the game.

Here are some simple rules to live by now that horns are no more:

  1. 3 full-field sprints maximum for youth midfielders. Quick transitions happen all the time in youth lacrosse due to poor passes or just chucking the ball up the field. Your assistant coach with the stopwatch last year should now be focused on how many times your midfielders have run the length of the field, and how tired each midfielder is individually. This is where it pays to have the player’s names on the front and back of their helmet early in the season, until you can recall their names.
  2. 5-6 minutes for attackmen and defenseman. I think this rule of thumb still holds true. Remember you still get to do whole-sale substitution of players after goals, after time outs, and after time serving penalties are reported.
  3. Don’t sub on defense. This is a lesson youth players need to learn because it is practically a commandment at higher levels of play. Subbing on defense is a cardinal sin. If one of your players is so tired that he needs to come out while on defense, then tell that player to stay in front of the crease. He won’t be much help defensively because he is tired, but at least he is clogging up the crease area with his body. Once the ball transitions over to the other side of the field then get the player off through the sub box “on the fly.”
  4. Please don’t yell for a horn. Okay, this is a selfish request as an official. There were early college games I did last season and the coaches were screaming for a horn until I told them the horn was removed (college got rid of the horn in 2013). I understand the occasional slip up, but if you are the home team make your table personnel’s life easier by putting the horn on the ground. That way an overanxious mom or dad won’t blow the horn when a mistaken coach yells for it on a ball out of bounds along the sideline. You still need a horn to signal end of periods, and to double-toot the horn if there is an issue that the referees need to address.

This is going to take some getting use to for everyone involved. Be patient in your early games and work on noticing when your players are tired and get them off the field through the box as soon as possible. Next post will be how to effectively use the new 20-yard wide substitution box!

Cheers,
Gordon

Busting Rule Myths

Published by:

busting-rule-myths

My November post for LaxAllStars went up today! I decided to set the record straight on what I consider the Top 10 Rule Myths in NFHS and NCAA Boys Lacrosse. I will likely do some youth rules myth busting before the start of the spring season, but until then check out this excerpt from my LAS article:

You hear really strange rule interpretations when working as a traveling lacrosse official. I listen to the most incorrect explanations of what the current lacrosse rules are at every level I officiate and every region I do games in. In this post I cover what I consider the Top 10 Rule Myths in NFHS and NCAA Boys Lacrosse and I bust those myths using the 2013 rulebooks for each respective level.

Myth #10

Whichever player is closest to the end line or sideline when a shot goes out of bounds gets the ball.

NFHS Rule 4.6.3.c – “When a loose ball goes out of bounds as a result of a shot or deflected shot at the goal, it shall be awarded to the team that had an inbounds player’s body nearest to the ball when it became an out-of-bounds ball, at the point where it was declared out of bounds. […] In determining which player is nearest, the ball is considered out of bounds when it crosses the plane of the end line or sideline.”

NCAA Rule 4.6.b.3 – “When a loose ball goes out of bounds as a result of a shot or deflected shot at the goal, it shall be awarded to the team that had an inbounds player’s body nearest to the ball when it became an out-of-bounds ball, at the point where it was declared out of bounds.”

Busted! – For the purposes of the above rules, the stick is not considered part of the body. A team is awarded possession of the ball on a shot out of bounds when their inbounds player’s body is closest to the ball WHERE it went out WHEN it went out. If the ball goes out at X, and you are at one of the corner pylons, you do not get the ball just because you are closest to the end line.

Want to read the whole article? Head over to: http://laxallstars.com/busting-rule-myths-in-nfhs-and-ncaa-boys-lacrosse/

Featured Image Credit: http://laxallstars.com/busting-rule-myths-in-nfhs-and-ncaa-boys-lacrosse/

Cheers,
Gordon

2013 AYL Fall Lacrosse Rules for U9, U11, and U13

Published by:

2013-AYL-Fall-Rules

As I promised to our U9, U11, and U13 players, coaches, and parents this post covers everything there is to know about the 2013 AYL Fall Lacrosse Rules. If you still have questions after reading this post and the linked resources please email me at rules@ayllax.com. I will endeavor to respond to all queries as soon as possible.

These are the five most important resources to all players, coaches, and parents. I highly suggest reading through each of the following links as they will help you understand the age-specific rules:

Again, I stress that everyone look at the information from the above four links as it will help everyone though the fall season better understand the game.

The rules for U9, U11, and U13 are fairly consistent with each other. Here are the major rules to know:

  • U9, U11, U13
    • No one-handed stick checks at all
      • Rationale: Get players to demonstrate the ability to land controlled stick checks with two hands on their own stick
      • Penalty: 1, 2, or 3 minute personal foul depending on severity as determined by the officials
      • U9 players do not play man-down. The penalized player must leave the field and be substituted for and cannot return until his penalty time is up.
  • U9 and U11
    • No intentional body checking
      • Rationale: The focus at this age is on skill development. Passing in particular. Outlawing body checking gives the players a game atmosphere where they can focus on getting better at basic skills without worrying about getting leveled.
      • Penalty: 1, 2 or 3 minute personal foul depending on severity as determined by the officials
      • U9 players do not play man-down. The penalized player must leave the field and be substituted for and cannot return until his penalty time is up.
  • U13
    • Body checking permitted but no takeout checks
      • Rationale: U13 players need to understand how to make proper body contact to better prepare for higher levels of play as they grow older, but they should not worry about taking excessive body checks as they are still working on skill development.
      • What is a takeout check?
        • Excessively late, lining a player up from beyond three (3) yards, or a hit that was unnecessary in the judgement of the officials
      • Penalty: 1, 2 or 3 minute personal foul depending on severity as determined by the officials
  • U9, U11, U13 (NEW FOR 2014 Boys’ Youth Rules – AYL WILL APPLY THIS RULE FOR THE 2013 FALL SEASON AT ALL LEVELS!)
    • Body checks targeting the head or neck and blindside hits
      • Research into the long-term repercussions from concussions led the rules committee to beef up existing body checking rules at the youth levels to better protect players from devastating hits and severally penalize those that commit high, hard hits. Additional research indicates that youth players who do not see a hit coming are at an increased risk of injury.
      • What is a body check targeting the head or neck?
        • Any body check where one player lowers his helmet or shoulder, or puts his arms or crosse into the head or neck or another player.
      • What is a blindside hit?
        • Any body check where a player from one team hits another player who cannot see the hit coming.
      • Penalty: For both body checks to the head or neck and blindside hits, the penalty starts at a minimum of 2-minutes non-releasable.
      • Most severe penalty enforcement: Officials have full authority to issue a 3-minute non-releasable penalty and Eject a player for a flagrant, vicious, or very severe body check to the head or neck. This is a very severe option for a severe illegal body check to the head or neck.

Those are the major points to know about in the U9, U11, and U13 Boys’ Youth Rules for fall 2013. The rule penalizing targeting the head/neck and blindside hits is a rule change for spring 2014, but as the Head Official at AYL I want our players used to playing with that rule as they will likely be playing with it for the duration of their youth lacrosse days.

Once again, please read all of the linked resources at the top of this post and if something does not makes sense or is not clear please email me at rules@ayllax.com.

Here are a few additional video resources that I’ve created over the last two years to better educate everyone on the various rules and penalties:

You will usually find me out at the fields on game days wearing a bright orange or green Zebra shirt. If you prefer asking questions face to face I’m happy to answer them so long as I have time between games.

Cheers,
Gordon