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Lacrosse and Fighting

Date: Dec 10, 2012
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The Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA) and its Board of Directors hereby declare that they are opposed to fighting in the game of lacrosse.  A Task Force was established in the spring 2012 to examine the policies and rule changes required to give effect to this declaration.  The Task Force reported back to the CLA's Board of Directors with recommendations in Fall 2012 at the Annual General Meeting. 

As a result of the recommendations, the CLA Board of Directors has approved changes to Rule 45 in the Box Lacrosse Rule and Situation Handbook that positions Canadian lacrosse on the international stage as a world leader in maintaining the integrity of the game. 

Here's what you need to know about the rule change - the approved changes are in bold.

Rule 45 – Fighting

(a) A major penalty and game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player/goalkeeper who fights. A goalkeeper penalty shall be served by a player who was on the floor at the time of the infraction.  The major penalty must be served in its duration.

(b) If there is an instigator or clear aggressor in a fight, a major penalty and a game misconduct plus any other penalties shall be assessed to the offending player(s).  Where an instigator or clear aggressor penalty is assessed the non-offending player shall not receive a game misconduct under 45 (a).

So what does this mean?  After lengthy discussion and revisions the updated rule enforces that fighting is not tolerated.  If an athlete, at any level, takes part in a fight, they will be removed from the game. 

Fighting in the sport is an unnecessary risk - it is a dangerous activity for any athlete to be a part of.  Incidents of concussions can increase with every fight that happens; it is becoming more apparent that a blow to the head area has the potential to cause severe and long-term injury. The health and safety of all participants in Canada’s national summer sport is amongst the leading concerns of the Canadian Lacrosse Association - changes to Rule 45 demonstrates our collective assertion that fighting in the game will not be tolerated and lends additional protection to our participants.

"The CLA Board of Directors took a stance today and we are positive that others will follow.  The rule change allows our athletes to showcase the sport that we all love and keeps the focus on the aspects that make our sport so great - speed, athleticism, and skill.  Lacrosse is the quickest game on two feet, played by some of the most passionate and athletic participants in any sport." commented Joey Harris, CLA President.  "The stance that our board took against fighting in our sport holds true to the values of Canadian lacrosse and the CLA.  Our values are our HEART - Health Excellence • Accountability • Respect • Teamwork - they guide how we lead the sport both nationally and internationally."

The rule change will come into effect in the 2013 lacrosse season. 

The 2013 Canadian Lacrosse Association Rule Book will be available in the early new year through the head office of the CLA. 

Questions? Check out our quick-fact Q&A guide here.  Athletes, parents, coaches and administrators are also encouraged to contact their Member Association should they have any questions or require further clarification. 

About the Canadian Lacrosse Association
The Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA) is the governing body responsible for all aspects of lacrosse in Canada.  The CLA mission is to honour the sport of lacrosse and its unique nation-building heritage, by engaging our members and leading our partners and providing opportunities for all Canadians to participate.   We value health, excellence, accountability, respect and teamwork.  For more details on the Canadian Lacrosse Association and the sport of lacrosse, visit www.lacrosse.ca

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For inquires, contact:
Melissa McKenzie
Executive Director, Canadian Lacrosse Association
613-260-2028 ext. 304
melissa@lacrosse.ca

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