2020 National Rules Briefing Q&A

This is to keep control and count of players on the field. One, off…one on. This way the chances of more players on the field happening is minimized.

When an advantage is gained by the use of the back stick, like pulling the ball with it because the player did not turn their wrist enough to play the ball legally, the umpire will deem this as intentional because the player is well aware of the rule and made no attempt to do it correctly. Just by the ball touching the back of the stick it is not a foul, but when it is used to an advantage, it must be penalized properly.

If the player attempting to play the ball is in the clear, no problem. But as you indicate, the ball is still in the air and we know that danger is more likely when two players are attempting to play the ball in the air at the same time. This is why the rule want the ball to be received, controlled and on the ground.

Only the umpire involved in the play can be asked for a video review.

The umpire will look for excessive body contact that can affect the ability of the ball carrier to play the ball without being thrown off pace or the defender gaining an advantage by the body contact.

If the player is already in that position as the ball is falling, and did not move into that position, there is no foul yet. But if that player makes any move toward the receiver or attempts to influence the ability to receive, control and get the ball on the ground, the umpire should call the foul and award a free hit to the receiving player.

Yes, even though the goalkeeper played the ball legally, they are still responsible for the safety of others when it comes to their momentum. Any momentum that can cause an injury must be penalized.

Since no defender is within 5 meters/yards of the receiving player, playing the ball in the air is not a foul, provided that, just like any hit, the ball does not cause danger to another player after the contact. In this situation, danger is assessed on the trajectory and direction of the ball after being played in the air.

Safety is the top priority! Depending on the situation and where the ball and players are, this is not an automatic penalty. If the play must be stopped for safety reasons, this is similar to be ball being lodged in the goalkeeper's pads and a penalty corner should be awarded. If this happens and ball is played away from the immediate area, play can continue…but again safety is the top priority.

Shots on and at goal do not fall under the aerial ball rules. Goalkeepers have equipment and the ability to play the ball while in the air, but are responsible for the danger after they play if it should occur. Any player in close proximity of the goalkeeper as the shot is taken must attempt to play the ball safely and without interfering with the goalkeeper.

At this time, at the NCAA Division I level, many but not all use video review/referrals. Divisions II and III, only use it for their championship games.

After further review of the Video Referral Process, there is nothing prohibiting a team from asking either umpire. This MUST be done by the players only and not at the direction of a coach or sideline personnel.


The player must make an attempt to get 5 meters/yards from the spot of the foul, but in that process if a self-start is taken, the defender can shadow along the circle line.

The goalkeeper is considered the same as any defender on an aerial ball into the circle and all the same rules apply to them as a field player. If an attacker is 5 meters/yards clear when the ball is falling, then it would be a penalty corner if the goalkeeper approached and did not abide by the rule the same as a field player.

At all levels, the penalty corner at the end of a quarter, half or end of game is completed when the ball goes outside 5 meters/yards of the circle. So, the dotted circle is a marker for the end of the penalty corner.