The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Tuesday approved a tweak to the faceoff procedure in men’s lacrosse for officials to follow starting with the 2017 season.

The new rule modifies the officiating mechanic used during faceoffs. During the faceoff procedure, game officials will center the ball five inches from the middle of the head of each faceoff player’s stick. The rules proposal, made this summer by the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Committee, aims to make the officiating mechanic clear and consistent for each faceoff and to enhance the fairness of the faceoff play.

The panel also approved a rule that corrects a loophole regarding timeouts. Under the rule, calling a timeout will also satisfy the clearing rule.

Previously, if a team called timeout, the clearing rule remained in effect and the team in possession had 30 seconds to advance the ball into the attack area.

It has become a tactic used by the team in possession to waste time, particularly late in a game or half, which the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Rules Committee felt was not in the spirit of the rules.

Another rules change approved by the panel will allow communication devices for on-field officials if they are available. Many sports (field hockey, soccer, football, etc.) are using headsets for officials to communicate during play.