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Syracuse Vs. Duke Lacrosse - Big City Classic
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The 2013 Rule Changes… All In One Place

The 2013 Rule Changes have been publicly listed, vetted, changed, listed, vetted and changed again, and by now many people, this author included, are just trying to piece together the complete package of 2013 Rule Changes.

Syracuse Vs. Duke Lacrosse - Big City Classic
Let’s talk 2013 RULE CHANGES!

Below you can find my best effort at collecting all of the updated rules in one place. If you see something that looks off, or you know is wrong, please leave a comment and let me know what I missed, or how your interpretation differs. If you can, please include a link to another source to back up what you are saying.

Ok, here we go… 2013 Rule Changes, all in one place:

Stick Stringing Rules:

The stick stringing rules were only modified slightly by the Rules Oversight Committee, and most of the original recommendations stayed as they were. The only difference is that now players can use shooting strings that extend FOUR inches, instead of 3.5″, from the TOP of the scoop. This means you can fit three shooting strings in a standard mesh stick, and still space the strings with a row of mesh.

Sticks can still only have one sidewall string. The ball retention tests are also still there. The ball must roll out of the front of the head through the throat and scoop. That is nothing new. What is new is that now the ball will be put in the BACK of the pocket as well, pushed down, and then the head will be flipped over. The ball must fall out without any shaking or movement by the refs.

The shooting string move is a big one, but the back of the head test will create the biggest changes in channel pockets and sidewall configurations. So far, goalies seem to be exempt from the new rules, which makes sense, since they have been exempt from pocket depth regulations for years. We will update everyone once we receive confirmation here.

Face Offs:

Motorcycle grip will still be legal in 2013, and the rules committee has asked that refs pay particular attention to touching of opponents’ sticks with the hands. To ensure that refs are able to do this better, a piece of off-color tape must be placed on the shaft of the stick just below the throat of the head. The proposed rule where face offs were moved from 4″ to 12″ apart has also been taken out of the new rules.

When it comes to violations on face offs, a team will be penalized after three violations in one half. This can be a pre-whistle violation, or something that happens during the face off. It can also be a wing player leaving early. If a team does violate the rules three times in one half, the in-home will serve the penalty.

Stall Warning And Shot Clock

There is no visible shot clock. The concept of a visible clock was sent back to the Rules Committee, so we may see it in the future, and we may not. We will not see it in 2013.

Once a stall warning is called, teams will have 30 seconds to get a shot on cage or they will turn over the ball. The first twenty seconds are counted on their timer. The last ten seconds will be a hand count. If a shot is taken, that does not hit the cage, and goes out of bounds, 3 different situations can arise. Here is the description from Greg Johnson’s article on

  • With more than 10 seconds remaining in the count, the timer continues to run and the procedure continues.
  • If the timer expires before the restart, a 10-second count will be administered beginning on the restart.
  • With less than 10 seconds remaining, the official shall hold the hand count when the whistle blows and continue the count on the restart. For example, if the ball goes out of bounds with eight seconds remaining on the count, that count continues on the restart. The official will communicate the amount of time remaining on the restart.

A shot that hits the cage, or is saved by the goalie, results in the stall warning ending, even if the offense gets the ball back. Shots that hit defenders do not count as being on cage. Flag down situations will be treated like regular situations, except the man up team gets the ball back. Teams on the man up won’t be called for stalling.

If a team calls a timeout with more than 10 seconds left in the stall count, they will get the ball back with 10 seconds left in the stall period. If they call a time out with less than 10 seconds left, they will be awarded the ball with that number of seconds left. Call a timeout with 5 seconds left on the stall warning? You now have 5 seconds to get a shot off. If a defensive team calls time out, the shot clock resets to 30 seconds.

Points that were not changed or addressed will remain as they were originally presented. For example, teams will no longer have to keep it in the box on the stall. Over and back will still result in a stall warning.

Quick Restarts

Dead ball situations will no longer require waiting. Pick the ball up and go! If a defensive player is within 5 yards of the ball, they can not play defense on the ball carrier until they are 5 yards away. If they play them right away, it’s a penalty.

Restart locations will also be more flexible. If the ball goes out at midfield, but a player picks it up 4 yards over the line, they won’t be moved back. They just go. The goalkeeper’s 5 second grace period after chasing a shot is also gone.

The only exception here is that when the offensive team is awarded possession in the box, they must move it outside the box to restart the play. It is the offensive team’s responsibility to do so, but the faster they do it, the faster the restart begins.

Sideline Horns, Bigger Boxes:

Gone. See ya. No more. Much more subbing on the fly. The larger box means players can get lower on offense and defense and should create some hectic and exciting substitution games.

Points Of Emphasis for Refs:

1) Touching the plastic of the stick on face-offs. 2) Illegal tactics when defending like cross checks and holds. 3) Sideline behavior.

Balls On the Endline:

This rule has not been changed so far. At least six balls on the end line, no more than 10. I still don’t know why there would be an upper limit here.