2015 NCAA Rule Changes

Overview: 2015 NCAA Rule Changes

The NCAA lacrosse rules committee has recently issued another round of new rules as well as changes to existing ones. The goal? Make the sport of lacrosse safer for athletes and more enjoyable for the fans. From the avid lacrosse enthusiast to the first-time viewer, this committee has done its part to make the game faster and action packed. The latest installment of new rules focuses heavily on the transitions within the game, with a strong emphasis on the faceoff. A few of the highlights:

The Faceoff

  • The overall procedure of a faceoff is changing a bit. The official will now mark the spot of the faceoff, and allow the opposing players to get set before placing the ball between the players. This new alteration is meant to make the faceoff even fairer to both teams.
  • One of the most popular faceoff strategies for FOGOs is the clamp and pinch, where they would secure the ball in the back of their stick before evading their opponent. In the past, players have pinched the ball and run the field with it before passing or shooting.  With the new regulations, faceoff specialists are still allowed to pinch the ball, but they must rake, move or direct the ball immediately (within one step) after gaining possession. Failure to comply will result in one of the team’s three violations per half.
  • The new faceoff rules have also gotten more stringent on the level of contact to the opponents crosse on a faceoff, Now, any body contact whatsoever to the opponent’s crosse will result in a violation.

Transition Play

  • Just recently, the rules committee established a set 30 second timer for stall warnings called during an NCAA game. The 30 seconds counted for a stall warning is now officially referred to as the “shot clock” on the field (formally referred to as “Timer On”) and will be visible for the players to manage their possession time. Right now, the visible shot clock is optional at the collegiate level, but will be mandatory for Division I in 2016 followed by Division II and Division III in 2017.
  • Over/Back: This new rule, like the shot clock installment, mirrors rules found in NCAA basketball. The over/back regulation looks closely at the possessing team as well as who touched the ball last. After a team clears the ball from their defensive to offensive end of the field, but cause the ball to land back on the defensive side for any number of reasons, an immediate whistle will be blown and a quick restart or play on scenario will occur.
  • Timeouts: In order to keep the momentum of the game, only the team possessing or entitled to possess the ball are allowed to call a timeout on a stopped ball scenario (like a faceoff violation, crease violation or loose ball push).

Goal Scoring

  • The term “grounded” has been added when reviewing whether a player left his feet on his own will before landing in the crease. If a player is considered grounded, or on his feet, before landing/falling in the crease, the goal will be considered legal and allowed.
  • Goal/stall procedures will now be reviewed at the point of the release of the shot, instead of when the ball crosses the goal line.

For a more in depth analysis of the new 2015 NCAA rules additions and amendments, check out the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fJad0jaVHM

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