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Rules Announcement / Clarification: Rule 4-18-4

GLLOA Officials:  Situations and questions are often raised by coaches and officials; we will once again share the most widespread discussions here throughout the season. 

The NFHS adopted rule 4-18-4 this year.  It reads:  “No defensive player, other than a properly equipped goalkeeper, can enter his own crease with the perceived intent on blocking a shot or acting as a goalie.”  

The purpose of this rule is to minimize risk / maximize player safety as only a team’s goalkeeper is properly equipped (chest protector, cup, throat guard) to handle direct shots.  Defenders playing a man, an area, or a zone are exempt (see below).

The penalty is a FDSW, Conduct foul on the defensive player.  A second violation by the player will be enforced as releasable unsportsmanlike conduct.

Officials will stop play as soon as they notice the situation. However, if a shot is already in flight when this is noticed, the shot will be allowed to come to its normal conclusion before the FDSW stops play. 


The following situations should NOT be penalized:

If a Team B goalie leaves the crease with possession and a defender enters the crease, we do NOT have a foul as the ball is in possession of Team B.  Therefore, Team A cannot shoot at the defender in the crease.  Furthermore, the trail official should follow the ball up field as normal, NOT look back to see who’s in goal.

If Team A takes a very long shot or "Gilman" clear, a Team B defender may stop this type of indirect shot.  Treat this as a long pass; it is NOT a foul.

If Team A is in possession in their offensive half, Team B defenders are allowed into and through the crease as they pursue Team A attackers.  As Team B defends their goal, shots may hit defenders in the course of normal play as they have in the past.  This is NOT cause for a penalty.

Team B defenders are allowed in the crease as shots are taken as long as they are not acting like a second goalie.  Therefore, Team B defenders can sweep up loose balls or rebounded shots from inside or outside the crease.  This activity is part of normal defense and does NOT violate rule 4-18-4.

Further questions or situations may be sent to GLLOA, ILLAX, Tom Cummings, or John Vetter.

by posted 04/07/2017


2017 NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rule Book Corrections

Feb 17, 2017 NFHS Memo


GLLOA Level 1 Training Slides: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

by posted 02/17/2017
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