Up until a couple weeks ago I was under the impression that high sticking in lacrosse was comparable to the same penalty in Hockey. As it turns out I was wrong.
Whereas in hockey high sticking is a minor penalty, in lacrosse — more specifically the NLL — high sticking is a major penalty. This became very apparent to me during the last time Colorado came to Calgary and faced our Roughnecks.
According to the NLL rule book high sticking is characterized as follows:
[…]a player who checks an opponent in such a way that contact is made between his stick and the opponent’s neck, face or helmet.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, as with most rules. The first exception regards incidental contact with the helmet and according the the NLL that should be understandably disregarded. Also, if the player being checked deliberately ducks and the stick makes contact with his helmet no penalty will be called.
Now that I’ve had time to reflect on the nature of the penalty I can see why it is considered a major as opposed to a minor. Lacrosse is rough and that is a dangerous area to be pushing a lacrosse stick into.