You are here

Men’s lacrosse to experiment with shot clock

Teams will have 60 seconds to shoot on goal in fall competitions only

The NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Rules Committee cleared the way for teams to experiment with a shot clock this fall.

The committee, which met last week in Indianapolis, has asked teams to use a visible 60-second shot clock in fall competitions. The committee also conducted a full review of the rules and membership feedback.

“First and foremost, the sport is extremely healthy, and overall the rules are in a great place,” said Willie Scroggs, secretary-rules editor of the committee. “The feedback received is overwhelmingly positive.”

For teams choosing to use the experimental rule, the shot clock will start when possession is established. Teams will continue to have 30 seconds to clear the ball and enter the attack area.

If a team regains possession after satisfying the shot clock (hitting the goal pipe; goalkeeper makes a save, etc.), the clock will reset to 60 seconds.

The concept of adding an every-possession shot clock to the sport has been a topic of conversation for the committee in recent years. The group is asking teams to experiment with a shot clock to study the impact, with an eye on consistency.

The data collected will aid the committee as it recommends rules for the sport in the future.

“There is a strong sense that the committee should continue to consider the use of a shot clock for all possessions to remove the officials’ judgment from current stalling rules,” Scroggs said. “The committee is encouraging the use of a 60-second clock to study the impact and hopefully see how teams might approach such a change.”

Respect for the game

The committee discussed several aspects of the game, including unsportsmanlike conduct and what appears to be a growing trend of intimidation and taunting. The committee is asking all involved to respect the sport and one another, particularly in pregame warmups.

Substitution box

This was not a rule-change year for the committee, but it is always exploring topics that can enhance the sport. One such discussion focused on the size of the substitution box.

Currently, the length of the box is 20 yards, but the committee may explore reducing that to 10 yards. The rationale for the potential move would be to lessen the advantage the defense has at hindering offensive transition.

Plays around the crease

Another area of the game the committee debated was whether to allow offensive players to leave their feet for scoring attempts around the crease. The conversation centered on some plays that showcase the athleticism of the players.

“The committee is reviewing options regarding these plays and will survey the membership on potential concepts,” Scroggs said.


The committee approved Dino Mattessich, deputy athletics director at Hofstra, as chair of the committee effective Sept. 1. Mattessich replaces Bob Scalise, athletics director at Harvard, whose term is expiring