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Greg Johnson, | September 12, 2019

Goal-mouth arc approved in men’s lacrosse

The top plays from the 2019 men's lacrosse tournament

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved adding an arc within the goal-crease area to clearly define the “goal mouth” in men’s lacrosse.

Starting with the 2020 season, the new arc will extend 6 feet from the center of the goal line to the goal lines extended. NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Rules Committee members think this adjustment will address concerns raised by head coaches and officials in the most recently completed men’s lacrosse rules survey.

Offensive players are prohibited from jumping or diving then subsequently landing in the newly defined goal mouth. In addition, the penalty for initiating contact with the goalkeeper within the goal mouth will result in no goal and a one-minute penalty. Landing in the goal mouth without contacting the goalkeeper will result in no goal and loss of possession.

Chest protectors and shoulder pads

The panel also approved a rule change to help protect players from commotio cordis, an often-lethal disruption of heart rhythm that occurs as a result of a blow to the area directly over the heart at a critical time during the cycle of a heartbeat.

Beginning in January 2021, goalkeepers must use chest protectors designed for lacrosse certified to the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment commotio cordis protective device standard at the time of manufacture or an alternative protective device certified to that standard.

Beginning in January 2022, field players must wear shoulder pads with protectors certified to the NOCSAE commotio cordis protective device standard at the time of manufacture or an alternative protective device certified to that standard.

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