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| Sep 07, 2022

2023 Rule Changes Announced for Boys’ High School and Youth Lacrosse

By USA Lacrosse Press Release | Photo by John Strohsacker

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and USA Lacrosse have announced boys’ rules changes that will be effective for the 2023 youth and high school seasons. USA Lacrosse and the NFHS collaborate annually on rule changes. 

Most prominent among the changes are new stick specs, including limiting the size of holes or gaps in the crosse (Rule 1-7-1 Article 4) and eliminating any protrusions or sharp edges (Rule 1-8).

“In response to some recent innovations, protrusions on the stick that could hook or catch on a player’s equipment and cause danger have been made illegal, which now aligns with women’s game specifications on protrusions,” said Caitlin Kelley, senior director for sports administration at USA Lacrosse and liaison to the NFHS and USAL Boys’ Lacrosse Rules Committees.

The committees also added a requirement for continuous side and end lines to field markings (1-2-1 Penalty) and changed the sub box area from 10 yards to 5 yards on either side of the center line (Rule 1-2-7 and 1-2-8). This change standardizes the box lines with NCAA and NFHS girls and minimizes danger to officials with player substitution.

Rule 1-9-1g clarified the language regarding permitted shoes, now stating that shoes shall be worn that are designed for lacrosse and that metal spikes are not permitted.

Rule 4-3-1 further clarifies the exceptions to face-off procedures arising from fouls or player advantage, and Rule 4-24-1-Article 3 added language that a goalkeeper when outside the crease is treated like a field player. 

Rule 6-10-2-Article 2 was modified to delete the requirement of a shot being on goal for stalling, and the new Rule 7-2h establishes that during running time, if there is time remaining on a non-releasable penalty after a goal is scored, the earliest the penalty can be released is after the ensuing face-off has been completed.

One change specific for boys’ youth lacrosse is Rule 7-2-b,c,d,e,f,g, which eliminates releasable penalty administration. All fouls must be served for their full penalty time. This change increases the impact of penalties called, ensuring commitment to safe and legal play, and eases penalty administration for officials and table personnel.

“The NFHS and USAL rules committees did an outstanding job of implementing limited changes focused on safety and ease of enforcement for officials,” Kelley said. “The playing rules have a significant role in the accessibility and growth of the game for players, coaches, and officials and we appreciate the work and leadership that the committees bring to this role.”

USA Lacrosse training materials for the 2023 season will be updated shortly and can be accessed online at

A complete listing of the boys’’ high school lacrosse rules changes are available on the NFHS website.

Questions about boys’ rule changes can be submitted via email to