As noted in this Laxpower article, and detailed in this data, lacrosse continues to be the fastest growing sport across the United States.
The graph to the right shows the number of NFHS athletes (male & female) participating in lacrosse. The actual growth of lacrosse is even larger because the NFHS universe does not span all teams playing sports in the US, so some 20% of the teams that USLacrosse believes are playing lacrosse in the US are not included.
The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee approved several new rules at its July 16-18 meeting in Indianapolis. The OHSLA will be adopting these new High School Lacrosse rule changes for 2014. There were 19 rules changes approved by the committee. For more information, the LaxPower site has a detailed commentary on the rules discussing the reasoning behind the many of the changes.
Note: Missing from both of these articles is the change in the ball to be used in games Beginning in 2014, all game balls must include labeling which states "meets the new National Operating Committee On Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) standard" - NFHS Rule 1 Section 5 THE BALL.
How do I know I am getting NOCSAE balls? All NOCSAE approved balls feature a prominent logo (as shown in the images on the right) and include NOCSAE markings on the packaging as well. Some balls have had NCAA and/or NFHS logos in the past but are not NOCSAE, the NOCSAE stamp is the key, a ball without NOCSAE on it can no longer be used in a game.
The OHSLA will conform to that rule and the officials will be required to enforce it, so clubs should make sure that they purchase balls marked with the NOCSAE stamp for their game balls. Please read the US Lacrosse article What's in a Ball? for more information on why these new balls are important.
What is the NOCSAE? They are the same standards body that created the specification for lacrosse helmets. Check out their website. To see other new specifications from the NOCSAE, check this article. As pointed out in these articles, the new ball is about improving the safety of players. Even though there are no NFHS rules requiring practice balls be NOCSAE approved, given the different physical properties of the ball and the improved safety, it is strongly recommended that teams use these balls for practice too.
Click for larger Image.
Click for larger Image.