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Tuesday, January 21, 2014



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Thriving in Summer Tournaments

June 20, 2017 - Summer lacrosse tournaments present several challenges to even the most level-headed official. The day starts and ends hot, and if you’re on turf fields you get bonus heat radiating off the black bits. Most officials will work anywhere from three to seven games in a single day, and some without a single break. Games might be the same age level or a different level every hour, requiring the official to perform mental gymnastics to keep the correct rules in mind and be able to manage coaches of varying experience levels. To thrive in this hostile work environment it is necessary to prepare yourself physically and mentally for the exertions that lie ahead. 

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The Perfect Game

May 8, 2017 - It is impossible to work a perfect game for a number of reasons. First is human error; a variable that must be factored into any expectation of performance. The second is subjectivity. Officials may be lampooned by the fans, rated average by the coaches, and still receive a good evaluation by an observer. The third and final reason is the unknown. Each game is completely different from the game before, and it is impossible to predict what will happen.


Game Impact

April 17, 2017 -

“Don’t get involved in the game.”

“Let the boys play!”

“After the game no one should remember we were there.”

“You need to get this game under control!”

These quotes represent the perspectives of coaches, players, officials, and fans in lacrosse games. Unsurprisingly they contradict one another. Should the crew let the boys play when there are serious safety violations happening? Does the crew want to disappear when two players are bumping chests and about to fight so no one remembers they were there? Of course not.
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Correction of Errors

March 16, 2017 - Each official on the field is responsible for getting the call right. Aside from getting calls right, recognizing mistakes and taking immediate steps to correct them drastically increases the confidence that everybody has in the crew. There is a limit however. Multiple mistakes will eventually turn confidence into distrust. The lesson is simple: commit as few errors as possible and address mistakes as soon as possible. This article explains common mistakes that officiating crews make during games under NFHS rules, how to fix those mistakes, and recommended explanations to coaches and players to prevent confusion. 

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Prioritize the Pre-Game

February 14, 2017 - The quote is simple and true: “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Even minimum preparation before a game solidifies a bond between partners, and comprehensive preparation establishes good communication before the first whistle blows. Without some amount of preparation you set yourself and your partners up to fail. This does not mean that if you prepare you will be perfect, but that by preparing you get closer to perfection. 

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Goal Setting

January 12, 2017 - Officiating is a demanding hobby that requires officials invest significant amounts of time, effort, and their own money in order to improve. Many officials express a desire to get better in different ways:

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Officiating: The Ultimate Professional Development

August 23, 2016 - Officiating provides a perfect transition for players who are not going to continue their career in high school, college, or beyond; allowing you to stay in the game.

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A note to current US Lacrosse Nationally and Internationally Rated Officials

June 29, 2016-

Transitioning current US Lacrosse Nationally Rated Officials to CWLOA Collegiate Officials

In order to provide consistent service and information to collegiate officials, and a single point of contact for collegiate officials related to training and rating, US Lacrosse and the Collegiate Women’s Lacrosse Officiating Association (CWLOA) have agreed to transition ALL collegiate officials to the CWLOA this summer.

Beginning January 1, 2017 all current US Lacrosse Nationally-rated officials will transition to the CWLOA. All future ratings and trainings for collegiate officials will be conducted by the CWLOA. 

For more information  see below

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US Lacrosse Girl's Lacrosse Rules Questionnaire

June 6, 2016 - Provide your opinion on the 2016 rules changes for girl's lacrosse and give your input on suggestions for 2017 rule changes and clarifications.

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Sideline Q&A - Eliminated

June 3, 2016 - After a review of the “Sideline Q&A” article published last year the US Lacrosse Officials Education Program does not recommend conducting Sideline Q&As in any game and strongly advises against any official answering questions or engaging in conversations with spectators before, during or after a game assignment.

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The Crew Saver

May 16, 2016 - As sports officials we often have to possess just enough ego to carry us through our avocation on a game-by-game basis. Sometimes that ego is backed by a hard-bound knowledge of the rules. For others it’s the ability manage a situation or a game with an aplomb that is clearly recognized by the participants and peers. More often, though, that ego can manifest itself in a presumably negative manner in situations where we believe a partner has trespassed upon our territory or our area of coverage.

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Essential Communication for Officials

May 6, 2016 - An important talent of a successful lacrosse official is good communication skills.  Unfortunately, not everything an official says is productive – abrasive comments can lead to further escalations.  Also, not all communication is verbal – hand signals can work just as well.

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NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Questionnaire

April 27, 2016 - Provide your opinion on the 2016 rules changes for boys lacrosse and give your input on suggestions for 2017 rule changes and clarifications.

Take Survey


Why You Should Attend a LAREDO Clinic

April 7, 2016 - Attending a LAREDO 2 or 3 puts you squarely under the eyes of experienced clinicians whose sole mission is to make you a better official by the time you leave. You will be observed and critiqued by officials who have seen it all and know why you need to be in a particular spot to make the right call.

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Responding to Coaches Queries and Comments

March 25, 2016 - In general, officials need to recognize that coaches have invested much time and effort in preparing for a game and that an athletic contest can generate strong emotions. Officials will best serve the game that afternoon by defusing, managing and helping a coach through a tough moment rather than by assuming an immediate adversarial role. Officials must strive to be engaged at all times: aloofness, indifference, boredom, and disdain are inexcusable.

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2016 Girls Rule Key Differences Resource

March 15, 2016 - The following document compares the rule differences between the US Lacrosse high school rules and the NCAA rules for 2016. This memo contains the differences regarding Rules 1-7 in both rulebooks.

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2016 NFHS Boys Lacrosse FAQs

February 24, 2016 - The NFHS published answers to questions asked regarding the 2016 rule changes. There are four separate FAQs as of 5/10/16. 

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Clear and Deliberate Communication

February 19, 2016 - Officials experience a communication breakdown when what is said or signaled does not translate to the rest of the crew, the coaches, or the players. This is generally due to three factors.

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Being a Good Mentee

February 10, 2016 - When we talk about the mentor-mentee relationship, we often point out what it takes to be a good mentor. While certainly a worthwhile conversation, we can’t neglect the other side of the relationship:  What does it take to be a good student or mentee, when it comes to lacrosse officiating?

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Pre-Game Checklists for Success

February 4, 2016 - Before a game a while back, I had a great pregame discussion with my partner and stepped onto the field ready to work the game. After the coin toss, my partner asked me where I hid my flags. I confidently informed him that I used black-tipped flags and reached towards my waistband, only to discover that I had “hid” my flags in my car. Since that game, I never lock my car without double-checking that I have everything I need.

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2016 Rule Changes Announced for Boys' Youth Lacrosse

September 25, 2015 - US Lacrosse today announced the 2016 US Lacrosse Boys’ Youth Rules, including points of emphasis that promote safety and sportsmanship. The youth rules are based on age-appropriate modifications made by the US Lacrosse Men’s Game Rules Subcommittee to the high school game rules authored by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

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2016 Rule Changes Announced for Girls High School and Youth Lacrosse

US Lacrosse today announced rule revisions for women’s lacrosse, ranging from changes in overtime to new carding procedures for dangerous contact. Most of the rule changes are effective for the 2016 girls’ high school and youth lacrosse seasons, with some additional revisions for equipment and uniforms effective beginning in 2017 or 2018.

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