Updated lacrosse stringing rules for 2019 and 2020 NCAA and NFHS men’s lacrosse. Learn the rules of lacrosse heads, shafts, and lacrosse stringing for stick checks.
NFHS & NCAA Lacrosse Stick Rules
- Refs hold your stick perpendicular to the ground and slowly turn it 90 degrees forward to see if the ball falls out. Refs repeat the same test in the opposite direction, but horizontally. If the ball doesn’t fall out, your lacrosse pocket is illegal. Illegal pockets need updated lacrosse stringing.
- Your lacrosse pocket shouldn’t be deeper than one lacrosse ball. Any gap between your lacrosse head and the ball makes the pocket illegal. This is called the “daylight test” because you can’t see daylight above the ball if the pocket is legal.
- Pull strings are also illegal and cannot be used in your lacrosse pocket; although, you can get away with them if you want to risk it. If a ref finds a pull string for fixing an illegal lacrosse pocket, you could be given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
- Lacrosse tape touching any part of the lacrosse head is illegal. For faceoffs, you must have tape, or some cover, of a different color than your shaft and gloves on the top six inches of your shaft below the head. This will be checked on those players before the game and at the X.
- Shaft angle is measured with the “table test.” Lay your stick facedown on the table with the butt end slightly hanging off. If the highest point of the head is more than 2 3/4 inches off the table, then your stick is illegal. Refs will also look for relative straightness in other directions.
- There are also measurement tests to see if your lacrosse head and shaft are legal. Refs check several measurements listed below in the lacrosse head and shaft rules.
Shooting String Rules | Crosse Stick Rules NFHS & NCAA
- Hanging strings must not exceed the length of two inches from the tie off. So just cut your strings after stringing your lacrosse stick and don’t be lazy. This rarely gets called; but, it’s gonna be really embarrassing and annoying if you get called out for it by the ref.
- Shooting strings can’t be lower than four inches from the top of your lacrosse head. For good measure, never go more than five diamonds down in most meshes. You can also just stick to two shooters in the top of your head and never have to even think about this being an issue.
NCAA Lacrosse Stick Regulations 2020
- Lacrosse heads must be a minimum of three inches wide at the throat; and at the widest point, between six and ten inches from inside of the crosse head. Learn more about the parts of a lacrosse stick.
- The length of a lacrosse head is required to be a minimum of 10 inches from the outside top of the crosse head to the beginning of the throat of the lacrosse head. This measurement does not include your ball stop and will be measured from the plastic by referees.
- The mid-point of the lacrosse head must be a minimum of 3.5 inches. The midpoint is defined as being 5 inches from the start of the plastic on the head.
- The ball stop of a crosse head is not needed unless you will be using a wooden lacrosse head. Ball stops can’t be thicker than 1/4 inch.
- The lacrosse head can be made from synthetic material, wood, or laminated wood. The sidewall of the crosse head shall not exceed more than two inches wide.
- You cannot saw your lacrosse head near the throat of the lacrosse head to get your hand closer to the ball for faceoffs.
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NCAA Lacrosse Pocket Rules & Regulations
- Lacrosse pockets can include, gut, rawhide, linden, or synthetic material and should be a triangular shape. This is a rather outdated rule that is describing traditional lacrosse sticks, but it’s somewhat applicable. Lacrosse heads are already a triangle, and your pocket should match that.
- Lacrosse pockets that sag too deep are illegal. There is the test of space between the ball, but some lacrosse pockets evade that test. If a ref believes your stick is withholding the ball too much they will test it again with the forward and backward test mentioned above.
- Multiple color lacrosse mesh is allowed; although, it can be deemed illegal if it seems as if the player is trying to deceive the opponent. An example would be painting a white circle on
blackmesh so it looks as if you have the ball.
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NFHS Lacrosse Stick Rules – Crosse Rules & Regulation
- In high school, players lacrosse heads must be a minimum of 3 inches wide at the throat.
- The widest point of the lacrosse head near the scoop must be a minimum 6 inches wide and 3.5-4 inches at the midpoint. The midpoint is defined as 5 inches from the inside of the throat.
- From the top of the scoop to the throat of the lacrosse head must be at least 10 inches in length.
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Clarification for past & future rules:
Warrior Lacrosse recently came out with a new lacrosse head called the Warp. This head has the pocket fixed to the lacrosse head and is not replaceable. The NCAA Lacrosse Association released an official statement saying that it is legal for play and referees should check the same way as a normal stick.