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Rules • November 3, 2018

MOUNT PROSPECT, ILLINOIS (November 2, 2018) – NSGA is conducting its annual check with national sports organizations for rule changes that have an impact on retailers and team dealers. Below are rule changes NSGA has been informed about (we will update this as we receive more information).

US Lacrosse Chest Protection for 2021 and 2022

The US Lacrosse Board of Directors approved rule changes to reduce the risk of commotio cordis – sudden cardiac arrest caused by a blow to the area of the chest directly over the heart during a precise moment of the heart’s cycle – with a delayed implementation to allow for product development by equipment manufacturers. In January 2021, US Lacrosse boys and girls youth field lacrosse rules will require all goalies chest protectors must meet the NOCSAE performance standard ND200 to be legal for play. In 2022, all field players in boys lacrosse must wear protection for commotio cordis that meets the same NOCSAE standard.

All goalie and field player equipment meeting the NOCSAE standard must contain an SEI (Safety Equipment Institute) certification mark. Consumers can verify the certification status of equipment by accessing the SEI website at and clicking on NOCSAE: Chest Protectors (Lacrosse) (ND200-17a).

The National Federation of State High School Associations is also adopting similar language for goalies for the rules that govern high school boys and girls lacrosse. NFHS has not yet mandated the protection requirement for boys field players.

US Lacrosse will be updating the 2019 box/indoor lacrosse rules later this fall.

Click here to read more.

USA Swimming Restriction on “Tech Suits” for 12-and-Under Swimmers in 2020

USA Swimming passed a rule at its September convention that no swimsuits that would be classified as “tech suits” will be allowed to be worn by any 12-and-under swimmer (except for their Junior Nationals, National Championships and Olympic Trials) in competition at any sanctioned, approved or observed meet.

A “tech suit” has the following components:

a) Any suit with any bonded or taped seams regardless of its fabric or silhouette; or

b) Any suit with woven fabric extending past the hips.

NOTE: WOVEN FABRIC – A suit with woven fabric and sewn seams that does not extend below the hips is permitted.

NOTE: KNIT FABRIC – A suit with knit fabric and sewn seams not extending below the knees is permitted.

The primary identifier will be any suit that has the FINA logo will be considered a tech suit. 

Click here for a full fact sheet and FAQ sheet.

CABA Baseball Bats

The Continental Amateur Baseball Association will allow BPF 1.15 and USA Baseball stamped bats for another year.

Dixie Boys/Majors Baseball Bats

Dixie Boys/Majors Baseball will allow BBCOR and USABat baseball bats in its 15U division in 2019.

PONY Baseball and Softball

Jaw guards will be allowed on helmets in 2019 as long as the helmet is not compromised (i.e. drilling separate holes into the helmet). PONY has also adopted a Level 10 safety ball for 6-year-olds. They were using Level 5.

US Soccer

Here is a list of rule changes followed by more detailed explanations:

  • US Players cannot wear electronic communication devices except EPTS devices. (Electronic Performance and Tracking System)
  • Team officials can use electronic devices that relate to player safety or tactical reasons such as: mobile phone, smartwatch, tablet or laptop.
  • All wearable technology must be attached to the player’s equipment and is not dangerous
  • Items permitted on the players uniform, number, name, team logo, slogans promoting football, respect & integrity, advertising allowed by competition authority.
  • Facts of the match: teams, date, competition, event, venue.
  • Slogans & advertising must be on the front of the uniform or captains armband.
  • Slogans or images fall under Law 12 Fouls and Misconduct where the referee can act.

Law 4 The Players Equipment


Players (including substitutes/substituted and sent off players) are not permitted to wear or use any form of electronic or communication equipment (except where EPTS is allowed). The use of any form of electronic communication by team officials is permitted where it directly relates to player welfare or safety or for tactical/coaching reasons but only small, mobile, hand-held equipment (e.g. microphone, headphone, ear-piece, mobile phone/ smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, laptop) may be used. A team official who uses unauthorized equipment or who behaves in an inappropriate manner as a result of the use of electronic or communication equipment will be dismissed from the technical area.


Where wearable technology (WT) as part of electronic performance and tracking systems (EPTS) is used in matches played in an official competition organized under the auspices of FIFA, confederations or national football associations, the competition organizer must ensure that the technology attached to the player’s equipment is not dangerous and must bear the following mark:

Thatch Standard developed by FIFA and approved by The IFAB. The institutes conducting these tests are subject to this mark indicates that it has been officially tested and meets the minimum safety requirements of the International Me approval of FIFA.

Where electronic performance and tracking systems (EPTS) are used (subject to the agreement of the national football association/competition organizer) the competition organizer must ensure that the information and data transmitted from EPTS to the technical area during the match in matches played in an official competition are reliable and accurate.

The professional standard will be implemented in the transition period until 1 June 2019. The following mark indicates that an EPTS device/system has been officially tested and meets the requirements in terms of reliability and accuracy of positional data in football:


Law 4 applies to all equipment (including clothing) worn by players, substitutes and substituted players; its principles also apply to all team officials in the technical area

The following are (usually) permitted:

the player’s number, name, team crest/logo, initiative slogans/emblems promoting the game of football, respect and integrity as well as any advertising permitted by competition rules or national FA, confederation or FIFA regulations

the facts of a match: ts or images should be confined to the shirt front and/or armband

In some cases, the slogan, stateeams, date, competition/event, venue

Permitted slogans, statementment or image might only appear on the captain’s armband.

Iisconduct), which requires the referee to take action against a player who is guilty of:


When interpreting whether a slogan, statement or image is permissible, note should be taken of Law 12 (Fouls and Misconduct), which requires the referee to take action against a player who is guilty of: 

using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures

gesturing in a provocative, derisory or inflammatory way

Any slogan, statement or image which falls into any of these categories is not permitted.

Whilst ‘religious’ and ‘personal’ are relatively easily defined, ‘political’ is less clear but slogans, statements or images related to the following are not permitted:

any person(s), living or dead (unless part of the official competition name)

any local, regional, national or international political party/organization/

group, etc.

any local, regional or national government or any of its departments, offices or functions

any organization which is discriminatory

any organization whose aims/actions are likely to offend a notable number of people

any specific political act/event

When commemorating a significant national or international event, the sensibilities of the opposing team (including its supporters) and the general public should be carefully considered. Competition rules may contain further restrictions/limitations, particularly in relation to the size, number and position of permitted slogans, statements and images. It is recommended that disputes relating to slogans, statements or images be resolved prior to a match/competition taking place.