The National Federation of State High School Associations announced a set of 10 boys’ rules changes approved by its Rules Committee last month. Among the changes coming to boys’ high school lacrosse next season - a play may be restarted when a defensive player is within five yards of the player in possession of the ball.

Under the new rule, officials “will no longer wait for defensive players to position themselves more than 5 yards from the player in possession of the ball when restarting play.”

Both offensive and defensive players are still prohibited from being within five yards, but with two exceptions for defensive players. Those players standing within five yards of the player in possession will not receive a delay-of-game technical foul if he allows “the player a direct path to the goal” and he doesn’t defend the player until the player is five yards away from the defending player.

“This change allows for rapid restarts to increase pace of play while making the game more engaging,” said Dr. James Weaver, NFHS director of performing arts and sports and liaison to the NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee. “Additionally, the change balances technique between offense and defense.”

Among other rules changes coming to boys’ lacrosse in 2020: 

● Shoulder pads designed for lacrosse must meet NOCSAE standard ND200 beginning January 2022. This change follows the rule change from 2019 which requires goalie chest protectors designed for lacrosse to meet the NOCSAE ND200 standard by January of 2021.

● An illegal crosse no longer levies a tiered penalty. All illegal crosse penalties are two-minute, non-releasable and can be fixed before returning to play.

Read the full post from the NFHS on the 10 rules changes for 2020.