NFHS vs. NCAA Lacrosse Rule Differences

Most Important NFHS vs. NCAA Rule Differences for 2017




Stick requirements

Refer to full list of rule differences

Refer to full list of rule differences

Mouth guard

Cover all upper or lower teeth

Cover all upper teeth

Glove color

No mention

Non-GK players must wear same team color

Mercy rule

Running time in 2nd half if lead is 12 or more


Violation during face-off, after whistle but before possession

Possible play-on

Avoid play-on

Face-off violation by Team B

No limit; could be releasable USC per NFHS 5-10-e

Limit of 2 per team per half

Goalie out of crease on stoppage

Goalie gets up to 5 seconds to return to crease

Immediate restart if other conditions are met

Defender is w/in 5 yards on restart

Player gets 5-count to move back or gets technical if he was within 5 yards when play stopped; technical foul if he was more than 5 yards away and ran in

Play restarts immediately. Defender must gain 5 yds.

Stoppage with ball in attack area

Restart outside attack area except for end line OOB or offensive technical

Quick restart for defense, moves out of box for of- fense or if there is a flag (one pass allowed)


Prohibited; 1:00 NR

Permitted unless deemed dangerous by officials

Player w/o required equip. other than crosse in scrimmage area

Stop play if player is in or enters scrimmage area. Ball awarded to team in possession or by AP (or to defense in alley for loose ball in crease)

Stop play.Technical foul to participate if ball is loose or player is from defense. For player from team in possession, no foul and team retains possession.


“Get it in” and “Keep it in”

Thirty-second shot clock procedure

Stalling during penalty situations

Stall warnings may be issued if team in possession is man up or man down

The shot clock procedure is not used when there is an uneven penalty situation

Last 2:00 of 4th quarter

Automatic stall warning for team in lead by 1-4 goals; immediate whistle for second flag in some circumstances

No automatic warning; shot clock may be issued

Defensive clearing counts and offensive counts

Twenty seconds to cross midfield, then ball must enter the attack area within 10 seconds,

Thirty seconds after possession is gained to move the ball into the attack area

During timer subs, 20-sec. timer sounds;Team A has too many or too few players

Illegal procedure technical foul on Team A for too many or too few men on field

Illegal procedure for too many men; no mention of too few men

Second NR USC foul (same person)

Expulsion and 3:00 NR penalty

Usual penalty is assessed

Checks to the head and neck

Minimum 2:00 NR penalty

Minimum 1:00 NR penalty

Checking a defenseless player

Minimum 2:00 NR penalty

Could be 1:00-3:00 unnecssary roughness

Tape on head

Not allowed for anyone taking a face-off

Not allowed for anyone but goalie (3:00 NR foul)

Loose-ball personal foul

Immediate whistle and flag in all situations

Immediate whistle/flag if no flag already down; FDSW if already a flag down (both fouls on defense)

Conduct foul

Includes “any act considered misconduct” or trying to “interrupt or confuse” opponent’s play

These clauses are not present

End of flag down

Ball leaves attack area; ball touches ground (not on a shot); shot is completed; defense gains possession

Play continues until any of the usual conditions for stopping play occurs or the defense gains possession

Flag down; loose-ball foul by defense

Impossible; whistle blows when ball touches ground

Additional flags; play continues

Challenging the application of a rule by head coach

Permitted; if appeal denied, coach is charged TO (or technical) and may use remainder of TO

No mention; can speak with officials only during halftime

Shot in flight when horn sounds

Goal cannot score

Goal can be scored in some circumstances


Live ball: can be called by offense anywhere on the field. Dead ball: either team can call.

Live ball: offense can call past restraining line. Dead ball: either team can call except on change of posses- sion foul (then only offense).

Ball in back of head NOT on face-off

Illegal if stuck

Can’t pick up ball in back of head; can’t be stuck.