The NCAA Men's Lacrosse Rules Committee recently approved several rules change recommendations during its annual meeting August 12-14. Before these rules proposals are implemented, they must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel . The rules will be reviewed during an upcoming teleconference when they will be evaluated in terms of negative impact on the image and integrity of the game, student-athlete safety concerns and financial impact on institutions.
2014 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Rules Committee New Rule Proposals.
Visible Shot Clock
A visible shot clock is permissible across all divisions in the 2015 season. It is mandatory that by the 2016 season, all Division I institutions and by the 2017 season, all Division II and III institutions have a visible shot clock available for competition. It is recommended that two clocks be utilized at either end of the field; however, one clock may be used at midfield to satisfy the rule.Rationale-To better manage the stalling/shot clock procedure for players, coaches and officials; additionally, a visible clock will enhance the understanding of the game for fans and media.
Shot Clock Timing
Officials will use the game clock (if a visible clock is not available) to time the 30 second period. This will provide the offensive team with 30 seconds of game time. Previously, the first 20 seconds of the clock were running time due to the devices used by game officials. Rationale- Simplifies the stall warning procedure and gives the offense 30 seconds of real game time.
Faceoffs – Violation to Pick Up/Carry Ball in Back of Stick A violation will be called if a player picks up or carries the ball on the back of his stick. It is still legal to clamp the ball with the back of the stick, but it must be moved, raked or directed immediately. Rationale-The committee does not believe carrying the ball in the back of the stick was ever intended to be part of the game.
Faceoffs – Pinning/Contacting Stick- It is illegal to use a body part (forearm, elbow, head, etc.) to initiate contact with either faceoff player’s stick (opponent’s or his own).Rationale- The faceoff continues to be an area where illegal tactics are used to win the ball. The committee believes the faceoff is an important part of the sport, but is trying to continue to remove illegal acts from this play.
Faceoff: Officiating Protocol- The faceoff protocol will be:
1.) The official will direct the players to come together and put their sticks on the ground opposite each other;
2.) The official will place the ball on the ground and will say “set”; and
3.) The official will step away and blow the whistle to start play. Rationale- This is an effort to make the faceoff procedure simpler and allow officials the best view to manage this play. This procedure also will assist officials with the varied cadence, as required by rule
Timeouts- During dead ball situations where the restart will be in the field of play, only the team in possession or entitled to possession is allowed to call timeout. Rationale- The committee is continuing to encourage quick restarts and provide transitional opportunities.
Goals/Shot Clock-Timing on the Release- If the ball leaves the shooter’s stick before the expiration of time (either game clock or shot clock), the goal shall count (or shot clock satisfied). Previously, the ball was required to cross the plane of the goal line before the expiration of time. Rationale- This makes the lacrosse rules similar to basketball in these areas and is easier to judge for officials.
Crease Violation- In plays around the crease, if a player releases the ball before touching the crease, the goal shall count, provided his feet are grounded when he released the ball. If a player leaves his feet (dives) the rule remains the same. Rationale- This is the most difficult play to coach and officiate. This eliminates some gray area and allows some extremely athletic plays to clearly count as goals without allowing attacking players to dive into the crease and score.
Midfield Line- When the ball returns to the defensive half after the offensive team has cleared the ball (other than a deflection or rebounded shot), this will result in a turnover and quick restart instead of a stall procedure or clearing clock. Defensive players may bat the ball to keep it in the offensive half, but if a defender possesses the ball from the defensive half, it is a violation. Rationale- Makes this similar to over-and-back in basketball and simplifies some situations/counts that may occur.
Uniform Numbers- By the 2016 season, all uniform numbers must clearly contrast the color of the uniform. A white or light colored uniform shall have dark colored numbers; a dark colored uniform shall have light colored number. Rationale- Consistent with many other NCAA sports and provides a full season of adjustment.