NCAA Lacrosse proposed rule changes

Submitted by weasel3216 on August 8th, 2012 at 9:31 PM


I know only about 10% of readers will even care about this, but it is Michigan lax related regardless.

The NCAA has proposed rules changes for the upcoming 2013, the rules will go to the Playing Rules Oversight Panel in September.  Here is a link to the article from laxpower.

The highlights are:

1) The addition of a shot clock after the stall warning has been put into effect.  A shot is only considered if it hits the goalie, hits the post, or goes in, obviously.  

2) A few changes to stick checks, nothing unexpected really.

3) Restarts are going to much quicker; play will start as long as a player is at least 5 yards from the player with the ball.  There will no longer be a "grace period" to allow the defender to gain the position.

4) Numerous changes to face-offs in general.  The major ones are after 2 pre-whistle violations in one half teams will serve a 30-second technical foul, a player no longer has to leave the field if they commit a violation on the face-off and 4 players must stay back on defense during a face-off and 3 on offense.

5) There is talk of moving players on the face-off from the current 4" to 12".  

6) Subs will only occur on the fly, no more horn.  Again, to speed up the game.

For the most part I like the proposed rule changes.  The majority will make the game more entertaining for TV, faster paced and more emphasis on scoring with the shot clock.  The one rule that I hate is moving the face-off guys from the current 4" to 12", I think this will only lead to guys diving down head and neck first to get lower and more crashing together of heads.  In a time in sports when we are trying to prevent concussions this rule change seems to be moving in the opposite direction.





August 8th, 2012 at 9:54 PM ^

Shot clock is a good idea IMO. I'm just a casual fan, but when I've watched it on TV I got a little tired of the passing around the perimeter. Should make the sport even more popular. Sounds like that is the direction they are going with most of these proposed rules. Curious what any die-hards or former lax players on the board think of these.


August 8th, 2012 at 9:54 PM ^

I guess we will see this season if my prediction comes true.  Personally I think that once the shot clock is initiated, the defense will only pack the net and dare the offense to shoot through the trees.  If you know you only have to wait out the offense to get the ball back, why would you risk letting them have an open shot at your net?  "Emphasis on scoring" my butt.  I suppose it's also possible that the threat of the shot clock will cause fewer stall warnings.

The rest of the rules probably won't have much effect on the game except to satisfy the microwaveable attention spans who lap up the Lax Bro culture that Warrior ads portray.  Still, I don't care - fine, get rid of the horn, that doesn't bother me.  I do wish the new restart rule had been around earlier for Steele Stanwick to take advantage of.


August 8th, 2012 at 10:06 PM ^

Will not go into effect if the D is just packing the box and waiting, stall warning will only be put into effect if the D is actively trying to play D and attempting to get the ball.  

I just hope that this is not a slippery slope into a 60 second shot clock, like in MLL.  Then i can see your point about packing it in on D.


August 8th, 2012 at 10:06 PM ^

We tried that numerous times with my high school team for end of game practice situations. Rarely worked with a decent shooter, which was not what we expected. And it wasn't defenders moving out of the way. Maybe d1 defenders will be big enough to truly fill the whole cage.

I also don't like the idea of defenders being coached to take shots in the chest. Once the first kid goes into cardiac arrest because the coach made him jump in front of shots without the proper chest protector, there will be some serious uproar.

L'Carpetron Do…

August 8th, 2012 at 10:47 PM ^

I think this is a great rule change - it fixes the current problem and stops short of a shot clock.  

For a defense to pack it in isnt really a viable strategy in lacrosse.  It would also be counterproductive/self-defeating because you are essentially screening your own goalie.  There are also significant health risks as you mentioned (there have been a number of kids who have died on the field as a result of getting hit in the chest).  

The stall-shot clock prevents attackmen from holding onto the ball while the D pressures them.  The rule will level the playing field a little for the defense and hopefully keep the game moving.  


August 9th, 2012 at 10:57 AM ^

I disagree Buck (respectfully).  Packing it in is what most D1 defenses are already doing.  No pressure on ball, late slides, even a lot of pure zone.  It's been the trend the last couple of years, and it has led to a slow down in play as much as the other hot topics have (head size, pocket depth, coaching strategy), although they are definitely all related.  Without a two point shot like the MLL has, what's the benefit to extending your defense?  Since it's so hard to take the ball away these days, you just expose your defense by spreading them out.  There hasn't been a great takeaway defenseman in the game in years.

I think this rule will result in teams packing it in even more.  Then once the stall call is made they either keep it tight or they junk it up with pressure or a shut off or something to disrupt an offense that is now in a hurry.  You'll see more rushed, bad shots.  Maybe this is a good thing as it could create a lot more transition, but I don't see this creating better settled offense.

It's obvious that lacrosse is really struggling right now with how to maintain its self-proclaimed identity  of "fastest sport on two feet."  They keep throwing a bunch of new rules out there to see if any of them have the desired effect.  I wish they would just settle on the major tweaks and leave it alone.

L'Carpetron Do…

August 9th, 2012 at 9:43 PM ^

I hear what you're saying.  I think mlax27 is right - I think we're talking about two different things.  I was referring to the type of 'packing it in' for shot-blocking purposes which I don't think would really work.  

I see what you're saying about playing super-tight, conservative defense being a drain on the game.  Defensively, there is a benefit to having a compact defense  but it is boring as hell.  Princeton in the 90s was like this - they would get a big  lead and then play smothering, stiflingly conservative defense.  

The shot clock will only go into effect if the refs indicate a stall.  Most stall calls occur when the team with the lead decides to sit on it to milk the clock.  So, in most cases, the defense is already playing aggressive to try to the ball back.  If the D isn't applying pressure, the refs will be less inclined to call the stall.  So, the incentive to get out and pressure is still there.  

I'm a bit biased, though,  because I am  a huge advocate for old-school aggressive defense (I think I'm out of touch).  I think it will force the O to dodge or pass to an area where they can shoot, thus opening themselves up to checks and slides.  

Rather than packing it in,  a more effective strategy would be to throw checks, get on their hands and lift when they go to shoot (but then again thats my solution to everything). Hopefully, this will create more GBs and bad/weak shots, leading to transition opportunities.  

On a separate note, what do you think about the alumni game in the Big House this year?


August 8th, 2012 at 9:58 PM ^

I don't like the rule of changing it to 12 inches away. Would completely change the skill of that position and make it more like face offs in hockey. Basically just a scrum. Part of what makes lacrosse unique is that teams can go on runs spurred by face off dominance.

I think the shot clock rule is a good compromise. With it coming after the stalling call, it gives teams a bit more time to be patient. It would be good if we could get back towards two way middies. All that subbing after every possession change doesn't help for the casual fan.


August 9th, 2012 at 10:41 AM ^

Lax has always been a great mix of basketball, soccer, and football. A little move towards hoops would make it more interesting, scoring-wise, without making it a free for all. A complete shot clock would be really annoying to even the average fan once they realize that it would not have a big impact on posession changes since the O can get the ball back on OOB shots behind the net. As someone with bruised ribs to show for blocking shots as a crease D-man, I would not be in favor of encouraging outside shots, esp with the pads that we wear as compared to hockey.


August 9th, 2012 at 11:34 AM ^

A complete shot clock would be really annoying to even the average fan once they realize that it would not have a big impact on posession changes since the O can get the ball back on OOB shots behind the net. 

I think the point is that the shot clock wouldn't reset on shots that miss the net, which only makes it worse IMO.  It takes away the "possession shot."  Lot of people don't like the possession shot, but it's good strategy I think it's silly to tell teams they should forget about good strategy, do something that helps the other team, and tell them it's so the fans can have a more exciting game.  That's why I don't think a shot clock will help scoring one iota.  It'll just cause poor shots and easy saves, and even more likely, cause teams to roll the ball into the corner at the end of the shot clock rather than risk tossing a softball at the goalie to start a fast break.


August 9th, 2012 at 8:38 AM ^

The FOGO's reactions are here.  I actually did not know the motorcycle grip was not allowed.  The really bizarre change to me is the 12" spacing.  Talk about head to head contact.


August 9th, 2012 at 9:17 AM ^

I'd say limited horns would make more sense, maybe each coach gets 2 a half. Like 20 second timeouts or something.

And the 12" faceoff doesn't make a lot of sense to me either. I was a FOGO and that will totally change strategies.


August 9th, 2012 at 11:38 AM ^

I think we are talking about 2 different things here.  We are talking about putting all 6 defensemen 10-12 yards from the goal, or putting all defensemen like 5 yards or less from the goal.

If a defender is sitting 10-12 yards out and not pressuring effectively, a good shooter will easily put it past the goalie.  All you need to do is have enough velocity that the goalie can't react or shoot around the defender (use the defender as a screen) and surprise the goalie. 

If we put all defenders 5 yards away, that would mean the offensive player would be essentially trying to put the ball past 7 goalies (ie shooting through the trees). 

In either case, though, if the defense isn't pressuring the ball, under the new rule this wouldn't constitute stalling. 


August 14th, 2012 at 11:43 AM ^

As a couple of people have alluded to, but not said explicitly, if there is no attempt by the defense to put pressure on the ball, the officials should not/will not put the stall warning on. You are not considered to be stalling if the defense is not trying to take the ball away.

For the record, I am against the addition of a shot clock in any form. I think you are attacking the wrong facet of the game with shot clock if your goal is to speed up play. They need to determine how to discourage substitutions on the fly following a change of possession and/or reduce the "specialization" of player personnel. This will reduce or eliminate the need to send the ball around the horn three times while a team sets up their offense.