If you watched the last episode of The Lacrosse Show, you knew that rule change recommendations would be hitting the airwaves soon, but our fearless commentators didn’t seem to think anything TOO crazy would come as a result. However, it’s starting to look like Mr. Powers and I were off just a bit, as the NCAA Lacrosse Rules Committee released their recommendations today.
We’ll list out, and then break down their recommendations a bit, and we definitely want to hear what our readers have to say about these ideas! Will they speed up the game, improve it, or destroy it? Could these rules change lacrosse? Or will things stay pretty much the way they are?
The Olympics could certainly use some change, but College Lacrosse is the one that seems to be doing it!
Proposed Men’s Lacrosse Rule Changes:
- A 30 second shot clock after the Stall Warning is given: This is a big one and people have been clamoring for it in one way or another. Basically, if you stall now, you also have to shoot the ball. Get it in and Keep it in is DONE under this new rule and a shot only counts if it is saved, goes in, or hits the pipe. Off cage shots will not count. If a team does manage a shot, the stall is canceled.
- Faster Restarts: Goalies won’t be given 5 seconds to get back in their crease after chasing a shot, which is good, because this rule was corrupted almost immediately by heady keepers looking to let their defense rest and reset. All over the field, restarts will be faster, and opposing players who do not move away from the player with the ball during a restart can be penalized for it. This one looks like a great change!
- Modified Stick Specifications: Basically, the NCAA is getting tighter on stringing styles here. No additional strings on the sidewalls, no really low shooters, and the ball has to come out of the stick when it is put on the BACK side of the head! This rule change will dramatically change stringing styles next year if it goes through, and I think it could kill off some of the more serious channel pockets. I would have loved to have seen the NCAA also require players to use Universal heads, but it’s a start.
- Faceoffs: No more motorcycle grip. Seems crazy to me. I’d rather have the refs actually focus on players touching the plastic as opposed to how they hold their stick. First lefties can’t face off, now motorcyclists can’t face off. Not a huge fan of this part of this new proposed rule. You also can’t tape the throat of your stick anymore.
However, there are other rules which I do like. Violations no longer mean a player has to leave the field of play, BUT, if a team gets two pre-whistle violations in one quarter, every subsequent violation in that quarter is a 30 second penalty. Interested to see how this one plays out!
The biggest change of all for face offs? This Fall, the Rules Committee wants teams to try facing off from 12 inches apart, instead of the current FOUR inches. Face offs would change FOREVER if this one goes through.
- Removing the Horn for Substitutions: Duh. Thank the Creator they recommended losing the horn. It’s a game slower, a waster of time and allows for rampant specialization. Great move. The substation box will also be twice as big, which is a good move and will allow for transition and easier subbing, as well as more gamesmanship with substitutions, which can create more quick strike offense, just like in box lacrosse.
- Set number of balls on the end line: At least six, no more than 10. I don’t know why there would be an upper limit here. Want 100 balls back there? Works for me.
- Over and back results in a 30 second shot clock: This rule change was just thrown in at the bottom of the NCAA’s post, and it is barely flushed out. I think it’s an over and back violation basically, but it’s still hard to tell.
- More emphasis on illegal play: We’re talking about crosschecking (finally!), touching the ball with hands (on the face off) and poor conduct on the sidelines/unsportsmanlike conduct, etc.
In September, the Playing Rules Oversight Panel will meet, and if these changes are accepted, they will go into effect in the 2013 season, which will be less than 6 months away. These are HUGE proposed changes, and we think many of them can help the game. So what do YOU think? Can these changes fix the game? Does it need to be fixed? Are there any unforeseen problems with these rules? Will any of these proposed changes get discarded? Will any get used?