NCAA Changes Pace of Lacrosse

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Danny Wengiel, Reporter

New NCAA lacrosse regulations will change the pace of the game during the 2013 season, speeding up transitions and making the game more exciting.

The substitution box is growing in size, extending now 20 yards in length from the original 10 yards. This means that the substitutions can be used as an advantage to move players up the field faster.

The sticks must have less hold in them, meaning that the ball can’t stay in a players stick as well and can be knocked out easier. The shooting strings must be no more than four inches from the top of the head. This makes it harder for offensive players to run through groups of defenders and still carry the ball.

There are no more horns or stoppage of play if the ball goes out of bounds on the sidelines. This makes substituting harder to do, and creates a need for two way midfielders, according to Jim Ricardo, head men’s lacrosse coach and equipment manager.

“The new rule changes are definitely exciting. There’s a bunch of rule changes for example the extension of the box, the box is now going to be twenty yards,” said Ricardo. “That will result in faster substitution, faster game play. A little bit more of up and down style of lacrosse, accompanying that with the no horns on the sideline, the game will be at a lot faster pace.”

Ricardo looks forward to what fans will think of the new way of playing.

“The new rule changes are definitely exciting,” said Ricardo. “With all this new speed and scoring, it will be more fun for people to watch.”

In many parts of the game, the game pace speeding up will cause teams to move quicker, and be more direct with their execution of clearing and possessing the ball.

“The new regulations are going to speed the game up a lot. The quick whistles and there is no horn when the balls go out of bounds,” said Josh Shanker, a first year goalie. “In the past years the offense has had an advantage where the sticks could have a lot more hold, and it would be virtually impossible for the defenders to take it away.”

Now with the faster whistles and substitutions, teams will not be able to make substitutions as fast. A two-way midfielder must know how to play good defense and be able to run plays, cut, and know where to be and what to do on the offensive side of the ball.

“I have always liked having versatile middies, I think it’s important that middies can play both offense and defense. I think the two way middies are going to start to show a lot more now,” said Shanker.

With this being said, one sided midfielders will not disappear, teams still have a need for them.

“They are not going to go away, you are always going to want d middies on the field. The situation now, is how do you sub them on the field on the fly,” said Ricardo. “That would be through the box, through the midfield line as we normally do, and it will have to be quickly on the fly.”

Defensive specialists will always be something that teams at least try to use because of their skill level in that side of the ball.

The new regulations might seem like a disadvantage, but some might help different aspects of the game.

“I think the stick changes work in my favor, and the defenses favor,” said Shanker. “Now with the new rule changes, I think it will be more of a challenge for the offense, and more fun for the defense because they will be able to get more stops whereas before, the offense could control the game.”

The changes can be looked at as a positive from many different aspects, including the perspective of the spectators.

“It could catch on with more excitement for more people watching it and seeing a faster paced game with more scoring,” said Ricardo.

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