Womens New Self-Start Rule

The adoption of the new self-start rule in girls’ lacrosse decreases the amount of involvement by officials in restarting play, thus increasing the pace of the game.

For a whistle blown for a foul outside the critical scoring area, the player who is awarded the free position, after coming to a stop/settled stance, may continue the course of play without waiting for an additional whistle.”

The offending player must immediately move 4 meters behind or to the side of the player taking the free position, as indicated by the official. Any other player(s) within 4m must move to a position indicated by the official. All players farther than 4m from the foul must “stand” until ball carrier resumes play.

The option of self-starting is administered at the spot of the foul. However, if the ball is within playing distance (a stick and-a-half length away) from the player who is awarded the free position, the player who is awarded the free position may pick up the ball and, from a settled stance, self-start from that location.

If the ball ends up outside the playing distance of the foul, the player who has been awarded the free position and the ball must return to the spot of the foul for the self-start.  If the spot of the foul cannot be determined, the official shall indicate the location of the free position.

If the player who has been awarded the free position chooses to self-start, the defensive players may engage immediately following the self-start. The ball carrier does not have to wait for all other players to be in position before she self-starts. The ball carrier may also elect to wait for the official’s whistle to restart play.

If any player moves prior to the player who has been awarded the free position, this results in a false start and shall be penalized at the spot of the ball. Repeated false starts or delays in moving 4m by the defense may result in a delay-of-game card.

To resume play when the ball has gone out of bounds, the closest player of the team awarded possession of the ball may commence play with a self-start, relative to the spot from where the ball went out of bounds. The player may commence play, from a settled stance, with a self-start within 2m of the boundary line. All other players must be at least 1m from the ball carrier.

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