National Lacrosse League emphasizing safety, discipline in new rules for 2013


Wagging chin cups and wagging tongues will be dealt with more severely in the 2013 National Lacrosse League season. The NLL last night held a conference call for media members covering the league and VP Lacrosse Operations Brian Lemon went over new rules and points of emphasis for the 2013 season. Much of the discussion centred on making sure reporters and announcers were clear on the new rules that bring stiffer discipline for head shots. The rules, along with new protocols for dealing with concussions, were released in October and IL Indoor covered them extensively at the time. Lemon also talked about points of emphasis the league has made with its referees this year. One became apparent to viewers who watched the league’s season-opening game Saturday night. During Washington’s 13-12 win over the Rochester Knighthawks, a couple of players were waved off the floor to adjust dangling chin straps.

Loose chin straps are a safety issue, Lemon says, since they reduce the effectiveness of helmets. That’s why the league has directed refs to pay extra attention to Rule 33.3, already in place, which states that “the helmet chin cup must be worn in a firmly attached position at all times during play such that there is continuous contact with the chin cup.” Players won’t be sent off during play, but will be sent to the bench at a stoppage. A second infraction by a player in the same game will result in a delay of game penalty.

The league has also instructed its referees to more strictly enforce Rule 25.3, which says that only a team’s captain may discuss rules interpretations with the referee, and only at the latter’s invitation. The rule makes clear that “a complaint about a penalty is NOT a matter ‘relating to the interpretation of the rules’ and a minor penalty shall be imposed against any Captain or other player making such a complaint.”

The complete 2013 National Lacrosse League rule book, graced by a cover picture of veteran ref Mark Gardonio, can be found on the league’s web site.

Stamp is a TV sports announcer and lacrosse lover whose skill set made him a defender but who always dreamed of being a goal-scorer. He can be reached at stamplax@hotmail.com.

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