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Changes to faceoffs approved in men’s lacrosse

Offensive players will be restricted in the goal-mouth area

The motorcycle grip during faceoffs has been eliminated in men’s lacrosse.

Under the new rule approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel Wednesday, both players will start faceoffs with only their feet, gloves and sticks touching the ground beginning in the 2020-21 academic year.

Previously, players could start a faceoff on one knee and use a motorcycle grip, in which the stick is held with both palms down. Members of the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Rules Committee felt this led to increased clamping of the ball and long stalemates.

With the new rule, players will have to move the ball in a continuous motion. If the ball is withheld in a player’s stick, a violation will be called, and the opposing team will be awarded possession of the ball.

If a team is called for three faceoff violations in a half, the player committing the penalty on all subsequent violations must serve a 30-second penalty.

Goal-mouth area

The panel also approved making the goal-mouth area restricted for offensive players. If an offensive player jumps, dives, falls or runs into the goal-mouth area and scores, the goal will not count.

If an offensive player initiates deliberate contact with the goalkeeper, the official can call a one-minute penalty.

If an offensive player enters the goal-mouth area due to contact with a defender, any goal scored will be taken away, but the defender could be called for a penalty.

Defensive timeouts

Another rule change that was approved involves defensive timeouts. In dead-ball, out-of-bounds scenarios, the defensive team can call a timeout, and the possession clock would remain at the time of the stoppage and not reset.