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Women's Stick Rules

World Lacrosse Women’s Stick Rules

At UKLacrosse we are always being asked whether this stick, or pocket, is legal. The answer is pretty simple …. if it’s listed on the World Lacrosse Approved List then it’s legal. We have advocated this referral for some time but even the World Lacrosse can make mistakes, as they've recently omitted some sticks which had previously been listed as approved. We are always monitoring this list so please feel free to call us for advice if you feel concerned about any brand of stick.

The more recent background to women’s stick rules goes back to the 2001 Women’s World Cup in England. A change to the ‘international’ stick rules was discussed at an IFWLA (now incorporated into the joint men’s and women’s World Lacrosse, formerly FIL) meeting. The concerns were that technical developments were allowing easier retention of the ball, and harder shots, which together could lead to more dangerous play. What followed took 2 years before an approved specification and set of test protocols were agreed. The process now requires any new women’s head be tested by a certified laboratory prior to a written report being issued. Only with this certification can a stick appear on the World Lacrosse Approved Crosses List. Interestingly, once approved and listed, there is no mechanism or process for delisting, except if the women's stick rules were changed, and that would inevitably require a period of consultation and implementation.

Below is the relevant paragraph at the end of the detailed FIL statement.

All FIL approved crosses are evaluated in a certified laboratory for compliance to written measurement and pocket design standards. The test facility will accept pre-production models (also known as SLA’s or rapid proto-types) for evaluation; however, only preliminary approval will be granted if the pre-production model meets all specifications. Final approval will be contingent on a final product model being submitted to the Laboratory for testing and meeting all specifications. Once the test facility has determined that a crosse meets all the specifications in Rule 25, a report will be sent to the FIL, and the stick will be listed on the FIL web site as approved immediately for international play. Exception: For all FIL Women’s World Events, players may use only those crosses that have been evaluated and approved by the testing facility three months (90 days) prior to the scheduled first day of play.

The ‘international’ stick rules apply to all play in those countries adopting the World Lacrosse Stick Rules.The ELA, the WLA and Lacrosse Scotland have all adopted the World Lacrosse stick rules. The USA, Canada and Japan have not accepted these rules for their domestic lacrosse, but they do have to adhere to them for any competitions held under World Lacrosse rules e.g. World Cup or U19’s World Championships.

The fact that non-internationally approved women's sticks are available from USA dealers has, and will lead to situations where illegal sticks find their way into the UK market.

UKLacrosse can give you our guarantee that ALL women’s sticks offered and supplied by us are listed on the World Lacrosse approved list. If you have any queries on the status of ANY brand of women’s stick, please do not hesitate to call us for advice.

Earlier this year, the USA approved the use of mesh pockets in women's sticks, BUT these have not been approved by the World Lacrosse, and indeed the World Lacrosse have a specific list of approved women's pockets and this list is an add-on to the Stick Rules.

The latest updated list of World Lacrosse Approved Crosses is dated April, 2019, and is available direct from the World Lacrosse website using this link -