The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved rules changes in men's lacrosse Wednesday regarding stalling rules and faceoff tactics.
Starting in 2015, a visible clock can be used to time the 30-second stalling segment in facilities capable of displaying the clocks. Division I men's lacrosse programs will be required to have the clocks displayed by 2016, and Division II and Division III will be required to have visible clocks by 2017.
The panel also supported the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Rules Committee recommendation that two clocks be used, one at each end of the field.
If a facility is not capable of displaying a separate clock or clocks for use when a stall warning is called, officials will use the game clock to manage the 30-second countdown for the offensive team to take a shot on goal.
If the offense does not satisfy the shot-clock rules before the 30-second countdown expires, officials will award possession to the other team. Officials no longer will use a 20-second timer and make a hand count in the final 10 seconds of the stall procedure. The 30-second period will sync with the game clock.
In other rule changes:
•A violation will be called on faceoffs if a player picks up or carries the ball on the back of his stick. It still will be legal to clamp the ball with the back of the stick, but the ball must be moved, raked or directed immediately.
It is illegal to use a body part (forearm, elbow, head, etc.) to initiate contact with an opponent's stick or his own stick. It remains illegal to kick or step on an opponent's stick.
The protocol for faceoffs will change slightly to the following process:
xx-The official will direct the players to come together and put their sticks on the ground opposite each other;
xx-The official will place the ball on the ground and say "set;" and
xx-The official will step away and blow the whistle to start play.
•In dead-ball timeouts in which the restart will be in the field of play, only the team in possession or entitled to possession is allowed to call timeout. Either team may continue to call timeout during all other dead-ball situations.
•Goals/stall procedures will be met on the release of the ball instead of the ball crossing the plane of the goal line.
•In plays around the crease, if a player releases the ball before landing in the crease, the goal will count, provided that the player's feet are grounded.
•When the ball returns to the defensive half after the offensive team has cleared the ball (other than a deflection or rebounded shot), this will result in a turnover and quick restart instead of a stall procedure or clearing clock. Defensive players may bat the ball to keep it in the offensive half, but if a defender possesses the ball from the defensive half, it is a violation.
•By the 2016 season, all uniform numbers must clearly contrast the color of the uniform. A white or light-colored uniform must have dark-colored numbers; a dark-colored uniform must have light-colored numbers.