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Men’s lacrosse adds 80-second shot clock

Teams have 20 seconds to clear defensive half

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Wednesday approved both a visible 80-second shot clock on every possession and rule changes that allow offenses more flexibility around the crease beginning with the 2019 men’s lacrosse regular season.

The shot clock will include a 20-second clearing count, during which players must advance the ball across the midfield line with the over-and-back provision in effect. If the team in possession of the ball is not in its offensive half of the field when the visible shot clock reaches 60 seconds, it is a violation.

The NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Committee recommended the rule change after several years of experimentation and discussion. In the annual rules survey, 62 percent of coaches indicated support for a shot clock on every possession, including 71 percent of Division I coaches. 

The final proposal was an adjustment from a more complex structure the committee distributed for membership feedback in August that also included an 80-second time frame. Members indicated support for all counts to utilize the visible shot clock. As a result, the rules committee met via teleconference Sept. 7 and adjusted its final proposal.

“The rules process allows opportunities for a development and understanding of different viewpoints,” said Willie Scroggs, secretary-rules editor of the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Rules Committee. “This is a great example of the process working and all aspects of the lacrosse community being considered.”

Play around the crease

The panel approved a rule change involving plays around the crease. If a player leaves his feet under his own volition in a direction away from the goal mouth and the ball enters the goal before he touches the crease, the goal will count. Additionally, a player who dives in the direction of the goal mouth will receive a one-minute penalty. 

Substitution

The substitution box was reduced to 10 yards. Previously, that area was 20 yards. The Men’s Lacrosse Rules Committee believes the change may allow for more transition opportunities. Additionally, the five-yard area between the substitution box and the team area is reserved for players about to substitute and for coaches.

Video replay review

With the new shot clock procedure, the release of a shot before the expiration of the shot clock is now reviewable via video replay during NCAA championship tournaments when available. That provision currently applies to the game clock at the end of each quarter. The Men’s Lacrosse Rules Committee also will survey conferences regarding the potential use of video replay during regular-season competitions.