2013 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Rule Updates: What Goalies Need to Know

The new year upon us and the 2013 lacrosse season is fact approaching. With the new year comes the¬†2013 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Rule Updates from the NCAA rules committee. There are some pretty substantial updates to the rules in all areas of the field, and it is important for all players to understand how they will impact the game.

Note: These changes are to the men’s NCAA rule book. It is a good idea to check with your league or coach to find out if the rule changes apply to your team.

No more slow jogs to the crease

The biggest change to impact goalies in the rule revisions is the removal of the grace period for a goalie to return to the net. Until this year, goalies who chased out a shot to the end line and lost the chase were given time to return to the goal. This is no longer the case. This season the game will resume when the offensive player takes possession of the end line ball and establishes himself inbounds. It doesn’t matter where the goalie happens to be at the time.

Good bye to the horn!

Perhaps the most radical change to the game is the removal of sideline substitutions with a horn call. Until this season, if a ball went out on either sideline, both teams were given the option to call for a horn. This signified a halt in the game while each team configured their clearing and riding units.

Now substitutions must be made on the fly or at other stopping points in the game, like a goal. This will impact the way teams manage their sideline clears. Midfielders are going to have to be more attentive and able to perform more roles on the team as a result. This change will help to increase the speed of the game which will result in more fast break situations for defenses.

Undoubtedly, goalies will be called upon with greater urgency to be vocal leaders of their teams as they direct action in faster sideline clears and transitioning midfield units to the defensive side of the field.

Cross regulations

There are a number of changes to how players can manage their crosses. There is a limit to one sidewall string on either side of the stick. There is also a rule for field players that states that no tape may touch the plastic, but know that this rule does not apply to goalies.

Closing thoughts

The trend in lacrosse is all pointing toward a faster and safer game. I believe that both of these intentions are good, but there is a bit of an old school simpleton inside me that just wants them to allow the game to play out the way that it was meant to be played. I know that a game that ends at 8-6 or 5-4 doesn’t excite a lot of folks who are looking for an action packed, end line to end line style of play, but for a defensive guy like me that kind of a score is more than exciting.

Those thoughts aside, goalies need to be ready to adapt to the way the game is played today. They also need to know what is going on at all points on the field. Here is the link to the full video by the NCAA explaining each of the revisions made by the NCAA rules committee this year. Take the time to watch it; you’ll be a better player for it.

2013 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Rule Updates Video

Here is a link to the NCAA Rules of the Game resource page on the NCAA site. Enjoy!

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