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Rule Tip Week #3: Releasable or not?

2013-04-09
Referees are given the responsibility to assess extra minutes of penalty time for personal fouls, depending on their judgment of the severity of the infraction. Some officials might erroneously extend this concept to declare a penalty non-releasable. In general, penalties are non-releasable by rule, not by officials’ judgment. Infractions requiring non-releasable penalties include: � Most unsportsmanlike conduct � Illegal crosse or equipment � Any ejection (time served by in-home) � Time served simultaneously by opponents (a topic unto itself) � Checks involving the head or neck It’s this last and most recent addition which might lead to confusion. Rule 5-4-1 states, “A player shall not initiate contact to an opponent’s head or neck with a cross-check, or with any part of his body (head, elbow, shoulder, etc.) or stick. Any follow-through that contacts the head or neck shall also be considered a violation of this rule.” PENALTY: 1, 2, or 3 min. Non-Releasable. Excessively violent: ejection for flagrant misconduct.” The words “…or stick…” above might lead us to believe that any slash which contacts the head would require this penalty. Any slash to the head which clearly isn’t an attempt to “play lacrosse” would fall under this rule. However, Situation 5.4.1 makes it clear that an attempt to check the stick that makes slight contact should be ruled a brush (no foul) or which misses the stick and hits the head shall be ruled a slash (1m releasable). If the play is “uncontrolled and/or severe”, we should then assess a 1-3 m non-releasable penalty. Well, OK. In this last example, the referee does decide releasable or not. But do it correctly: Decide the infraction, then apply the rule to assess the correct penalty.




Slashing #5 (slow motion)










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