College Pro

Fast Break Goals: Lacrosse Shot Clock Poll


End to end action definitely ranks up there in the world of exciting lacrosse plays, and everyone loves seeing a “shot, save, outlet pass, fast break clear, pass, pass, pass, GOAL!” sequence. It happens starting with youth players, and goes all the way up to the pros, and personally, I’d love to see even MORE of these quick strike goals.

But I’m curious… will the newly proposed shot clock rules for NCAA lacrosse have any impact here at all?

In the MLL, the shot clock starts as soon as your team gets possession of the ball. This provides all the incentive in the world to push the rock down the field, and to create transition opportunities. If you have to get a shot off quickly, why not push it and try to create a numbers advantage? It makes perfect sense.

Now, in the college game, the shot clock would only come on after a stall warning, and we all know that the stall is only called in six on six situations, so in the college game, the stall will not directly impact more or less transition play… at least it won’t at first glance! After a second glance, I started to realize that the shot clock starting after the stall COULD impact transition in a major way, and that most of that impact will all depend on the refs.

If referees are slow to institute the stall warning again in 2013, there will be little to no additional incentive to create transition opportunities. Teams will still be able to bring the ball down, set up their offenses, take time off the clock, and then run a 30 second play to get a good shot off. There may be more turnovers and less goals for teams that are leading, but it should not impact the transition game in a major way. It is just another thing that coaches will prepare their offensive units to deal with.

HOWEVER, should the referees decide (or are told) to start calling the stall much quicker, then we could see a major change, where transition becomes King. Allow me to explain… If Team A brings the ball down the field and has numbers (say a 5 on 4) and decides to pull it out to sub and start their possession, and the refs called Team A for stalling, well you can BET that Team A will start to push the ball more. No one wants to start their possession off 6 on 6 with a 30 second shot clock if they can avoid it. That 5 on 4 led by a d-middie is starting to look a lot more attractive now, isn’t it?


Push the rock for success? Perhaps.

Until we hear more from the Rules Oversight Committee, it’s hard to speak definitively about any of these proposed changes. It certainly seems like the Men’s Lacrosse Rules Committee wants to speed up the game, and put a premium on skill, but until we see all the rules in place, it’s almost impossible to truly forecast the results.

And that means it’s time for YOU to tell US what you think. First up, we have a poll where you can simply address the shot clock issue. But if you have a lot more to say, we want to hear from you in the comments! Think the rules will have impacts we don’t? Want to see things stay the way they were? LET US KNOW… and be compelling!

Do the poll results surprise you so far? Tell us WHY you think what you think, and if anyone really impressed us, we’ll hook you up some gold medal merchandise.

About the author

Connor Wilson

Connor is the Publisher of He lives in Brooklyn with his better half, continues to play and coach both box and field lacrosse in NYC as much as possible, and covers the great game that is lacrosse full-time. He spends his spare time stringing sticks and watching Futurama.

1 Comment

  • The poll numbers are a little low so it might be skewed right now, but I am definitely surprised by the results (60% for always having a shot clock vs. 32% for having a 30 sec. clock after a stall warning).

    While I understand that the constant shot clock system is effectively in place in Major League Lacrosse, my biggest gripe with implementing a constant shot clock in college lacrosse is that college lacrosse simply isn’t professional lacrosse. In the same way that there are rule distinctions between college football and the NFL or college basketball and the NBA (e.g. 5 fouls in college vs. 6 fouls in the NBA), there needs to be some distinction because in the end the two are not meant to be the exact same versions of their sport and because the athletes tend to be, on average, that much bigger and better.

    The 30 second shot clock after a stall seems to be appropriate for college lacrosse, at least at this stage, because it (hopefully) will speed up the game as requested by many while not drastically altering the landscape of college lacrosse. If, after this system has been tested and used, it appears that the 30 second post-stall count is not effective, then a discussion into a constant shot clock would be appropriate. However, I still believe a distinction between the college and professional game would be necessary, and to accomplish this the constant shot clock would need to be on the longer side, somewhere in the 2-3 minute range.

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