USL Announces Girls Rules Changes For 2019

by Panchito Ojeda

The US Lacrosse Association has announced rule changes for the 2019 girls season.  There are a number of changes but the most significant are listed below.

The most substantial change for the upcoming season is the introduction of self-starts for most play outside of the critical scoring area. After reviewing the implementation of self-starts and free movement at the collegiate level, the rules committee recognized that the game is evolving in ways that increase pace of play and decrease official’s involvement in restarting play and the burden of monitoring players behind the play.  

We agree.  This is a huge rule change.  Definitely will increase the pace of play and limit the "start / stop" feeling some games can get when there is a lot of infractions.  Additionally they created an 8-meter penalty zone.

Creation of a penalty zone in the critical scoring area, such that all players’ and sticks must be 8 meters away from the goal circle above goal line extended and the area created by the extension of the 8-meter mark to the dots and across the dots. 

This should improve player safety but will also have a potential impact on the ability for players to get to the goal on these infractions.  

Lastly a big rule change for the youth game (14U and 13U Elite) is transitional checking.

The general parameters of the transitional checking category allow 13U and 14U players to check above the shoulder but extend the sphere area around the head where checks are not allowed from 7 inches to 12 inches. Additionally, checks across the body will be prohibited.

Allowing the players to play a more physical game at a younger age may present safety concerns, but it should also allow players to adapt to the physical confrontation of the game before they are as strong as they are in High School.

Read the full release from USL - https://www.uslacrosse.org/blog/us-lacrosse-announces-2019-girls-youth-rule-changes