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CT Chapter of US LACROSSE has received a number of questions over the past couple of months regarding the new USL rule pertaining to the use of NOCSAE Ball Mandate.  We’ve spoken with our three Connecticut Lacrosse Officials Associations.  These include the CWLOA (girls), WCLOA (boys), and CLOA (boys).  In addition we’ve contacted US Lacrosse.  Here’s what we’ve discovered.

Understanding the NOCSAE Ball Mandate (effective Jan. 2014) – Please take a few minutes to read the information below.

As of January 1, 2014, all lacrosse balls used for play MUST meet NOCSAE standards and include the words "Meets NOCSAE Standard".

NOCSAE, the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, commissions research in sports medicine & science and establishes standards for athletic equipment.

Ball Standard FAQ (http://www.uslacrosse.org/portals/1/documents/pdf/about-the-sport/2014-ball-standards-faq.pdf).
To read more about this new requirement, please see the article, "What’s in a Ball?" (http://www.uslacrosse.org/about-the-sport/health-safety/equipment/whats-in-a-ball.aspx) which originally appeared in Lacrosse Magazine in January 2013
To review the standard (http://www.uslacrosse.org/portals/1/documents/pdf/about-the-sport/nocsae-ball-standards.pdf).

All three governing bodies for lacrosse in the United States – US Lacrosse, the NCAA and the NFHS - have agreed to mandate that only balls marked as "Meets NOCSAE Standard" will be allowed for use in games.

Additionally, the process of visually identifying these NOCSAE balls will become much easier. Beginning in January 2014, the only balls deemed legal for play will be those that state "Meets NOCSAE Standard" in type size that will be simple for consumers and game officials to read. (sample shown below)

Manufacturers are now producing these balls, and US Lacrosse encourages leagues, teams and programs to order balls as soon as possible. Delaying the ordering of balls could cause issues if quantities are limited.

Men’s and women’s game officials are being reminded that only balls with the NOCSAE wording will be allowed for play.

Rulebooks for the 2014 season have been adjusted to include this update.

USL/NFHS Boys’ Rulebook – Rule 1, Section 5

The ball shall be white, yellow, orange or lime green and meet the current NOCSAE lacrosse ball standard. White balls shall be used unless both coaches agree prior to or during the game to use a yellow, orange or lime green ball. Game balls shall be supplied by the home team.

NOTE: Beginning in 2014, all game balls must include labeling which states: "Meets NOCSAE Standard".

USL Girls’ Rulebook – Rule 2-5

Beginning January 1, 2014, all balls must specify that the ball meets the NOCSAE standard.  The text on the ball must state "Meets NOCSAE Standard" and the text must be in a typeface that is readable at 18 inches by a person with 20/20 vision.

Enforcement –

2014 US Lacrosse and NFHS Points of Emphasis

NOCSAE Standard Game Balls

Before the game:

Responsibility of the home team to supply legal balls
If visiting team has to supply legal balls possession is awarded to the visiting team on the opening faceoff
If neither team can provide legal balls the game cannot be played.

*US Lacrosse has informed the Connecticut Chapter that no organization, league, or team can waive the requirement to use NOCSAE balls in any officiated event.

Thanks,

Rich Heritage

Connecticut Chapter