On Friday, the NCAA Rules Oversight Panel approved rules changes to men’s lacrosse that had been proposed in early August by the Men’s Lacrosse Rules Committee. The new rules instituted a 30-second shot clock when stall warnings are issued and made major changes to shooting strings.
According to the new rules, when an official calls a stall warning, a valid shot — defined as a shot on goal — must be taken within 30 seconds. If the offensive team goes 30 seconds without a shot on goal, the ball is awarded to the defensive team.
The rule previously stated that once a stall warning was called, that ball could not leave the restraining box. Now, teams are free to move the ball outside the restraining box, and will only suffer a violation if they exceed the 30-second shot clock.
At the signal of a stall warning, the officials will start a 20-second timer, but no visible shot clock will be available. When the 20 seconds expires, the official closest to the ball will then begin a 10-second hand count. This official is responsible for the count until a shot is taken or time expires.
Other additions to the rule include:
- If a shot hits the post or is saved by the goalie and the offensive team retains possession, the stall warning is nullified.
- The shot clock will continue during flag-down situations.
- Stalling will not be called during a man advantage.
- If a defensive player, other than the goalie, blocks a shot, then the shot is not valid.
The new rule states that a player’s shooting strings can be up to but not touching four inches from the top of the crosse.
The officials will proceed through three field tests to make sure all sticks meet the criteria. If a player’s stick fails any of the three field tests, the player serves a one-minute nonreleasable foul. The stick is then disqualified from the game and kept at the scorer’s table.
The change to shooting strings was made because the rules committee thought players, despite intense defensive pressure, maintained possession of the ball too easily.