Although the proposed changes to the faceoff made at the end of May were met with varying opinions, changes have officially been made.
The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel opted on Wednesday to approve the proposed changes, eliminating the motorcycle grip and taking away the ability for faceoff specialists to line up with one knee down.
The standing neutral grip position will now be used in an effort to eliminate stalemates.
“Previously, players could start a faceoff on one knee and use a motorcycle grip, in which the stick is held with both palms down,” an NCAA rules post said. “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.”
There’s some disagreement in the lacrosse community about whether there really were too many stalemates, but Greg Gurenlian thinks the standing neutral grip will help eliminate the lengthier lockups.
“The reason standing neutral grip will drastically decrease lockups is because your wrists can roll both ways,” he said. “You can’t really rotate the way you do moto grip, but you don’t need to. It’s unnecessary.”
Yale star TD Ierlan called the changes “pretty drastic” in an interview with Lax Sports Network, and many specialists shared the same opinion. Penn State’s Gerard Arceri told US Lacrosse Magazine that he didn’t think there was anything wrong with faceoffs as they were.
“Speaking for most faceoff guys out there, I would recommend it not to go through,” he said. ”People have been practicing this specific technique for 10 years now, maybe even more. To have it taken away, it’s tough to come to grips with.”
OTHER RULES CHANGES
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.
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.
- US Lacrosse