It is imperative that we follow the guidelines of both our governing body and the government as closely as possible. Here are the NEMLA guidelines that need to be adhered to until further notice.


Players should arrive in playing kit as changing facilities will not be open.

Teams should not meet more than 1 hour before the start of the game and must ensure that they social distance during the time before they begin their warm up. During this time the players should be encouraged to wear masks especially when their temperature is being taken. The players should take to the pitch a maximum of 45 minutes prior to the start of the game. The person responsible for taking players and officials temperatures and recording them should take temperatures prior to players starting their warm ups. No players can step onto the playing surface without passing the Covid tests.


The Department of Culture, Media and Sport and England Lacrosse have deemed that each player and official should have their temperature taken and recorded. The home team should take the temperatures of all players and officials but each team is responsible for recording their own players temperature and keeping them for 21 days for purposes of track and trace. Neutral officials should be recorded by the home team as well as home refs and CBO (if present). Away Refs should be recorded by the away team.

Each participant should also be asked questions regarding their general immediate health around Covid symptoms.

Eg   Have you been in contact with anyone with Covid-19 symptoms in the last 14 days?

  • Yes
  • No

Have you had any Covid-19 symptoms in the last 14 days? (fever over 37.5 degrees, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, head aches or fatigue, loss of sense of smell or taste.)

  • Yes
  • No

If a player refuses to have his temperature taken or has a temperature in excess of 37.5 degrees then they are not allowed to play and should go straight home. If a player fails a temperature test then he can have another one after 5 minutes but within 10 minutes of the original test.

NEMLA will from time to time ask clubs for the temperature log to ensure these are being kept. Failure to produce them within 48 hours will result in the club being expunged from all competitions. It is important that we keep these records as the DCMS stated it was one of the principles of us being allowed to play again and we should be happy to sacrifice a club rather than the sport.

Sizes of Squads

As we are still in a maximum of 30 people in a bubble then NEMLA feel that we should operate on the following are now the new rules for squad sizes.

Top Divisions (1,2,3)

We will play 13 a side ( 10 men on the pitch ) with with 2 coaches and 2 Refs ( a home and a panel ref where possible)

 The coaches will be responsible for timing penalties and doing the offsides. The offside duties should be split so one coach does the first half and the other does the second half. Penalties will be timed by the opposition coach when they arise.

If 1 team does not have a coach then a CBO must be provided. The away team must notify the home team at least 48 hours before the match if they are NOT taking a coach so a CBO can be provided.

Lower divisions (4E, 4W, 5A, 5B)

we will play 13 a side with 2 refs and a CBO. If both teams have coaches then the above applies otherwise 13 a side max.

 Where possible a panel ref will be supplied however if not a ref from each club will be required with the home club providing a CBO.

As a word of warning if the reviews we make every 5 weeks reveal an increase in abusive, unsporting and foul play then we will revert to 3 man refereeing and a CBO for the top divisions


Development League 

Each team will have a maximum squad size of 10. The Team not playing will provide 2 refs and a cbo for the game being played. Each game will be played either 4 x 10 minute quarters or 2 x 20 minute halves.

Bench Area

Only the CBO should have a chair. All penalties should start with the player taking a knee, the penalty only starts when the player has taken a knee. If the penalties are being timed by the coaches then the same rules apply with the penalty only starting when the players have taken a knee. Players should be informed with 10 seconds to go.

The Game

No one should touch the ball by hand. If this occurs the ball should be removed from the game and re sanitised. A stock of sanitised balls should be available on the sidelines.

As no faces are allowed the game will start with a football style start. The players do not have to line up as though there was a face. After each goal the team conceding the goal will start with the ball at the centre.

During the game when ever a melee starts the refs should stop the game and award the ball to either team dependant on the situation.

A sanitising break will be taken every 20 Minutes (at each quarter and at half time) when each player should sanitise their equipment. This should be done with appropriate cleaning materials. Players should also sanitise their hands as should the officials at these breaks.

Players should have their own water bottles (NO team water bottles allowed).

Team talks should be held away from the bench area and social distancing should be respected which means no huddles.

In line with government guidelines players and coaches should refrain from spitting and shouting, especially in peoples faces. The Referees will deal with this as unsportsmanlike behaviour and deal the appropriate penalties. This is not trying to soften up the game but ensuring we adhere to the rules. 

Referees will try to ensure that they social distance where ever possible so players should respect this.

Lockdown Games

Should areas go into a local lockdown and sport is not allowed to be played then the results for those games will be logged as a no result, if the lockdown continues for more than 3 weeks then the results will be expunged from that cycle of matches. We will deal with these situations as and when they arise.


Under no circumstances are spectators allowed on the same side of the pitch as the bench areas regardless of how far away from the bench they are. They should also be at least 1 metre away from the sideline.

The home club should try to ensure that social distancing measures are enforced. If spectators refuse to adhere to these instructions then they should be asked to leave the ground. If the spectators refuse to adhere to the rules and continue to cause problems then the referees will abandon the game the club will be called to account.

 This is the responsibility of the home club Covid Officer

Whilst we appreciate that each club will have its own rules regarding the bar etc whilst the game is in progress the social distancing rules should be adhered to.


Nick Hewitt

Further info from EL which should at as a base line for you.

During all lacrosse activity:

 •Lacrosse activity must take place outdoors only

•Lacrosse can return as long as groups are limited to a maximum of 30 participants, including coaches and officials •Participants should enter the site and prepare their personal equipment whilst maintaining social distancing

 •Players should use their own equipment

•No one should handle the ball use your sticks to pick up the ball. If anyone does handle the ball they should sanitise their hand and the ball immediately

•All participants should sanitise their hands prior to the start of the activity

•Hand sanitiser should be used at all breaks in activity and prior to consuming any food or drinks. If a player is wearing gloves there is no need to remove them in the breaks and gloves should be sanitised

•Players should refrain from spitting or rinsing out their mouths

•Players, officials and coaches should refrain from shouting

•In line with current UK Government guidance. Individuals should bring their own food and drink for practice. Water bottles or other refreshment containers should not be shared, and should be clearly named After all lacrosse activity:

•All participants should sanitise their hands after the completion of activity.

•Participants should exit whilst maintaining social distancing. •Social gathering after the activity will be allowed in line with current UK Government guidelines on hospitality and, social distancing must be maintained.

•One club representative/volunteer/Covid Club Co-ordinator should be responsible for collecting and disinfecting any shared equipment (Balls, Goals)

•Regular cleaning of equipment and the facility should take place, particularly between one group finishing, and the next group starting

•Clubs should encourage all participants to report any infection of their household to the NHS Test and Trace system Clubs should support NHS Test and Trace efforts by keeping a record of all participants in any lacrosse activity for 21 days and support NHS requests for data if needed. Additional advice for socially distanced aware game adaptations: •Players to be temperature checked on arrival – anyone over 37.5c should return home immediately

•There will be no draw or faceoff in games. The game will start with possession by one team, and then follow Association Football rule for restarts following goals

•A ‘hygiene break’ should take place at the end of each quarter.(after a maximum of 20 mins) the ball should be cleaned with an anti-bacterial wipe (conforming to BS EN 14476) and all participants’ hands are cleaned using a suitable sanitiser. This routine should also be followed at the start of any drinks break. The responsibility for sanitising the ball during the match will lie with the coach/organiser, not the officials.

•Players to sanitise their stick and personal equipment when leaving the pitch.

•Social distancing must always be maintained including during goal celebrations, drinks breaks and tactical discussions. •Spectators should remain socially distanced at all times and refrain from all contact with the ball e.g. returning it to the field of play. Spectator groups must be restricted to discrete six-person gathering limits and spread out, in line with wider UK Government guidance. Each club should set a maximum number dependent on the space that they have, in order to maintain social distancing. There should be no spectator shouting

•Umpires/Referees should refrain from any contact with the ball. •Use of the clubhouse, changing rooms and toilets should adhere to the latest Government advice and be prepared in accordance with the ELs guidance on Getting your Clubhouse and Ground Ready for Step 4. Additional Advice for Clubs & Covid Club Co-ordinators:

•Clubs should appoint a COVID Club-Coordinator

•Prior to reaching Step 4 of the EL Roadmap and subsequently re-opening, club representatives should ensure that their facility is compliant with current UK Government legislation including legislation and guidance related to COVID-19. A risk assessment should have been completed and risk mitigation measures put in place and monitored.

•On any day of the activity, club representatives and volunteers should ensure that all COVID-19 measures are in place according to the club operating and safety plans, whilst maintaining social distancing – developing your own ‘opening up checklist’ is helpful for this.

This should include:

 •Non Contact thermometer to be able to take temperature on arrival at the site •Anyone recording a high temperature (over 37.5c) to return home immediately

•Keep a record of the temperatures on the check in register

•Set-up of public health operating procedures and access signage.

•Set-up of lacrosse facility including all ground safety requirements.

•The duty of care which the club already owed remains and therefore other matters such as First Aid must continue to be provided. First Aid equipment (including AEDs where available) and suitable PPE for First Aid must be made available. ( Face masks, shields, gloves, aprons) Advice on First Aid during the COVID pandemic is available from St John Ambulance.

 •Clubs should make hand washing facilities and/or hand sanitiser available for all site users.

•Clubs must have entry and exit, and parking arrangements to venues that ensures social distancing can be maintained and implement traffic flow systems where possible and appropriate.

•Clubs must outline socially distanced areas for teams, officials, and spectators.

 •Clubs must ensure that all accessible provision within the site and the facility are available.

Additional Advice for Coaches:

These measures cannot cover every eventuality and coaches must conduct a risk assessment, ensuring appropriate measures are put in place to keep participants and coaches safe. Playing and coaching lacrosse in itself carries some degree of risk and whilst being mindful of the guidelines regarding COVID-19, coaches should not lose sight of the normal safety rules or safeguarding standards relating to playing and coaching lacrosse which continue to apply and must be complied with (DBS, safeguarding, First Aid etc).

 •Coaches should make themselves aware of and abide by, all guidelines set out by the UK Government, the venue and EL regarding use of facilities.

•It is the coach’s responsibility to ensure that they coach players in a safe environment and follow relevant guidelines.

•Coach should explain the safety guidelines of what is expected pre, during and post session including what the player is expected to do to maintain compliance with social distancing guidelines and all other health and safety guidelines.

•Abide by the Covid Code of Behaviour

NEMLA 2020/21 Men’s League & Covid Restart Guidelines