Tag Archives: rulebook

When Can I Call for a Horn?

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In the past few games I noticed some confusion regarding proper substitution, which I hope to clear up here.

Lacrosse has two types of substitution, regular and special. Regular substitution always occurs during a dead-ball, and always requires the request for a Horn!. Special substitution may occur during any live-ball or dead-ball situation and no horn is required to sub. That is a hard-and-fast explanation, so lets dig into the basics.

  • Regular Substitution
    • Horn is required
    • Horn may only be requested on a Sideline Out of Bounds
    • Once the horn sounds, the officials place both hands in the air, signifying that free substitution is allowed
    • After the officials acknowledge the horn, players from both teams may run onto and off of the field without going through the substitution box
    • This is akin to football substitutions between plays when multiple players sub on and off the field at the same time
  • Special Substitution
    • On the Fly
    • May occur at any time during the game (no request for a horn is necessary)
    • Players must enter and exit through the substitution box. When one player leaves the field through the box, another player may enter in his place.
    • This is very similar to hockey players subbing during play.

Special Substitution is the easy one to get the hang of, because there are no restrictions as to when on-the-fly subbing may take place. It is regular substitution that causes a lot of confusion because there are certain restrictions.

  • Teams May Not Regular Substitute when:
    • The ball goes out of bounds on the endline
    • There has been a loose-ball foul (play-on), or an inadvertent whistle
      • For example, official calls a loose-ball push and awards possession to one team. A coach may not request a horn during that dead-ball because the penalty was a loose-ball foul.
    • There is a suspension of play because of equipment (unbuckled chin strap, mouthpiece out, cleat falls off, etc).

Those are the major restrictions on Regular Substitution in lacrosse. All of this information may be found in greater detail on page 42 of the NFHS Boys Lacrosse 2011 Rulebook.

There are few things more aggravating to an official than calling an endline out-of-bounds, then turning around and seeing one team running every available substitute onto the field. Remember coaches, to do a wholesale regular substitution you must request a horn first. If the officials acknowledge that a horn is allowed and put their hands in the air, then you may sub your players.

A Horn is Only Allowed on the Sideline

A Horn is Only Allowed on the Sideline

Featured Image Credit – www.borderlinecollective.org

Cheers,
Gordon

The Lacrosse Crease

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One of the most common questions I get asked on the sidelines is: “What is the crease?” We could spend a full week going over every intricacy of crease play, but for now let’s focus on the basics.

Lax Crease

Lax Crease

The crease is an eighteen foot diameter circle, nine foot radius, extending around the lacrosse goal that protects the goalkeeper from the opposing team. As long as the goalie is inside the crease he enjoys these privileges:

Rule 4, Section 19: Goal-Crease Privileges (NFHS Rulebook)

Article 1: The goalkeeper may stop or block the ball in any manner with his crosse or body. He may block the ball or bat it away with his hand, but he may not catch the ball with his hand. However, if the ball is outside the crease, the goalkeeper may not touch it with his hand even if he is within his crease. He or any player of the defending team may receive a pass while in the crease area.

Article 2: No opposing player shall make contact with the goalkeeper or his crosse while the goalkeeper is within the goal-crease area, regardless of whether the goalkeeper has the ball in his possession. An attacking player may reach within the crease area to play a loose ball as long as he does not make contact with the goalkeeper or the goalkeeper’s crosse.

Article 3: The crosse of the goalkeeper, not his body, when extended outside the cylinder above the crease area, is subject to being checked under the same circumstances as the crosse of any other player, except when the ball is in the crosse.

Is He in the Crease?

Is He in the Crease?

Those are the basic rules governing play in and around the crease area. The trouble most fans have recognizing crease violations (or non-violations) is the above rules are applied in different ways depending on where the ball is, and whether or not the goalie has possession. An officiating mentor of mine gave me this helpful list:

  • Loose ball & goalie stick outside the crease = legal to check goalie stick
  • Loose ball & goalie stick inside the crease = illegal to check goalie stick
  • Goalie has possession inside the crease = illegal to check goalie stick
  • Goalie has possession outside the crease = legal to check goalie stick

The two key parts to focus on are possession and where the ball is. Apply the four points above during a game and you should see why the official calls goalie interference or lets the play go.

Featured Image Credit – www.laxbuzz.com

Cheers,
Gordon

 

No Goal!

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Rule 4, Section 8 – “A goal is scored when a loose ball passes from the front, completely through the imaginary plane formed by the rear edges of the goal line, the goal posts and the crossbar of the goal, regardless of who supplied the impetus” (NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rulebook 2011).

This rule causes some consternation. Every so often, a ball will bounce off some player’s leg and roll towards the goal. It keeps rolling and comes to a stop with half of the ball over the goal line, and half the ball in front of the goal line. The closest attackman is yelling, “Goal,” but the referee is not signaling a score. Because, according to the above rule, the entire ball must cross the imaginary plane formed by the back of the goal posts.

To help illustrate this point, I put together the diagram below for Tadpole Lacrosse. The red line is the imaginary plane “formed by the rear edges of the goal line.” Notice where the ball is in the “Goal” diagram on the right versus the “No-Goal” diagram.

No Goal versus Goal

No Goal versus Goal

This is a difficult concept to understand, especially if you follow football. Because to score a touchdown in football, the offensive player just has to break the plane of the goal line with any part of the football. That is why you see so many running backs reaching forward when they are tackled at the one-yard line. If they can get the front of the pigskin to barely cross the line, they score a touchdown.

Reaching Ball Over Line

Reaching Ball Over Line

To recap, scoring a goal in lacrosse requires the entire ball to completely cross the very back of the goal line. Just touching the line does not score a goal according to the NFHS rulebook.

Featured Image Credit – www.blog.syracuse.com

Cheers,
Gordon