EXPERIMENTAL RULE – FALL BALL ONLY
A maximum of three players from each team may be between the restraining lines during the draw. All other players must be below either restraining line. Other than the players taking the draw, no player who is between the restraining lines may enter the circle until the whistle blows. No player behind either restraining line may cross the line until possession of the ball is established or the ball has crossed one of the restraining lines.
Explanation: The official setting the draw will be the one to signal possession. She will leave her hand raised when backing away from the center, blow the whistle to start play, and lower/drop her arm when she determines that one player has gained possession or the ball has crossed one of the restraining lines. She may also yell “possession.” Violations will be considered an illegal draw
Possession has been established when the player with the ball can perform any of the normal functions of control such as cradling, carrying, passing or shooting.
The NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Rules Committee has received a number of specific questions regarding the rule change that allows defenders to enter and move through the goal circle:
1. Question: How many defenders may be in the goal circle at any one time if they are moving through?
Answer: There is no limit to the number of defenders who may be moving through the circle at the same time. For instance, two players may move through simultaneously if they are double-teaming a player with or without the ball.
2. Question: If a defender sends a late slide through the goal circle and is in the way of the shooter, can she still be called for shooting space even if she is inside the circle?
Answer: Yes, all provisions of the shooting space rule still apply. If the player would have been called for shooting space if she was outside the circle and slid late, she will be called for shooting space now even if she is within the goal circle.
3. Question: A defender is off ball but wants to go to double a player with the ball on the other side of the circle. She can run through any part of the goal circle to do this, correct?
4. Question: If a defender is in the goal circle and legally marking the ball carrier and that attacker passes the ball, does this on-ball defender have to immediately move out of the circle?
Answer: Yes, it is expected that the defender will recognize that her player no longer has the ball and she must leave the goal circle.
5. Question: Is there a time limit for how long a defender can be in the goal circle?
Answer: If the defender is in the goal circle and is legally marking the player with the ball, she may remain there with no time limit as long as she maintains a position within a stick’s length of the player with the ball. Any other defender will be expected to move through the circle quickly and may not remain there.
6. Question: Will a defender’s 3-second count “stop” when they enter the goal circle?
Answer: Yes, if they leave the 8m arc and move through the goal circle. Example one: An off ball defender is standing in the middle of the 8m arc and realizes she must exit the arc or be called for 3 seconds. She steps into the goal circle and then back out into the 8m arc. This defender would be called for a 3-second violation. Example two: The same defender realizes she must leave the arc and chooses to enter the front of the goal circle and exit out the side of the circle so she is no longer in the 8m arc. This defender has met the provisions of the 3-second rule and would not be called for a foul.
7. Question: If a team is in a backer zone, will one player be allowed to pressure the player behind goal out of the goal circle while the other defender remains in the circle?
Answer: If the player they are pressuring has the ball and if the defender in the circle remains within a stick’s length of that player with the ball, this would be legal.
8. Question: Can the on-ball defender who is legally in the goal circle play the ball in the circle? For example, she checks the ball out of the attacker’s stick and then catches it.
Answer: This would be considered legal. In this instance the defensive team possession begins when the player catches the ball and at this point the defense may only have one player in the goal circle. Either the player with the ball or the goalkeeper must exit. If the goalkeeper exits, the defender who remains is considered the deputy.
9. Question: What happens in the case of the on-ball defender legally in the circle who checks the ball out of the attacker’s stick and the ball drops to the ground inside the goal circle?
Answer: In this instance the defensive team possession begins when the ball is on the ground inside the circle. As in the situation above, either the goalie or the defender in the circle must exit the circle. Only one may remain to play the ball off the ground. In both instances, ball in the air and ball on the ground, the umpire will begin the 10-second count when the ball enters the circle.
10. Question: If the ball is on the ground in the goal circle, can a defender run into the goal circle and pick the ball up?
Answer: If the goalkeeper is in the circle already, the defender may not enter the circle. If there is no goalkeeper in the circle, one defender may enter as the deputy and play the ball.