The Canadian Lacrosse Association is taking steps to remove a black eye from Canada's national summer sport by beefing up its fighting policy.
The CLA has formally declared its opposition to fighting in the game and has amended its rulebook to turn any such altercation into automatic ejections for the participants.
Instigators are subject to further disciplinary measures.
The new rules are similar to penalties already in place for minor lacrosse, but are also applicable to the intermediate, junior and senior levels of the sport.
The new rules will not be enforceable with the professional National Lacrosse League.
Ron McQuarrie, vice-president of the B.C. Lacrosse Association and a member of the CLA panel that recommended the changes, said players, parents and coaches have all expressed concerns about fighting in the past.
"The Canadian Lacrosse Association has made one good first step," he said.
"Now we'll see how it goes next year and, after that, we may look at moving forward from there. People do have valid concerns about using the rule to get good players off the floor by starting fights and we'll have to look at that."
McQuarrie added that the new measures are actually more lenient than penalties already in place with minor lacrosse in this province. Minor players in B.C. who fight are automatically ejected and suspended for two games. A second and this offences bring longer suspensions.
"Fighting is not a major issue in minor lacrosse because there has always been penalties for it," McQuarrie said.
"It's not a common occurrence in minor lacrosse, but it does happen, especially when you move into the 14-to 16-year-old age range. That's not unique to lacrosse; hockey faces the same issue at that age.
"We hate to have a heavy hand, but it's part of the bigger picture and in lacrosse, we want to remove the thought process that fighting is part of the game."