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Greg Johnson, | June 4, 2021

60-second shot clock reset proposed in men’s college lacrosse

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The NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Rules Committee proposed resetting the shot clock to 60 seconds when the offensive team retains possession after taking a valid shot and in other specific situations in the offensive half of the field, beginning in the 2021-22 academic year. 

All rules recommendations must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to discuss men’s lacrosse proposals July 21. 

The shot clock also would be reset to 60 seconds after loose-ball technical fouls in the offensive half of the field. If a foul is committed during a clear and the clock is above 60 seconds, the shot clock would be reset to 80 seconds. 

Once play is stopped in flag-down (slow whistle) scenarios and the shot clock is at or below 60 seconds while possession remains in the offensive half of the field, the shot clock would reset to 60 seconds. If the shot clock is above 60 seconds, the clock would be reset to 80 seconds.

When play is stopped for a defensive injury and the shot clock is above 60 seconds, the reset would be 80 seconds. If the shot clock is at or below 60 seconds in the offensive half of the field, it would be reset to 60 seconds.

“When the initial 80-second shot clock was put in place, it had to take into account the clearing game,” said Jon Hind, committee chair and director of athletics at Hamilton. “When the offense retains possession after a valid shot, the subsequent reset stayed at 80 this season, even though the ball was already cleared. The committee felt this is slowing down the game, and we wanted to focus on increasing the pace of play.”

When the visible all-possession shot clock was originally implemented in the spring of 2019, the committee wanted a clock that could display the 20 seconds a team has to clear the defensive half of the field and then reset the shot clock to 60 seconds once a team crossed midfield. However, financial and technology obstacles at that time did not allow the committee to fully implement this concept. The result was a visible 80-second all-possession shot clock.

“This was something that everyone had in the back of their minds as being the best option for our game,” said Willie Scroggs, the secretary-rules editor for men’s lacrosse. “We’ve reached the place where we originally wanted to get to back in 2019.”

While this is not a rules change year for men’s lacrosse, the committee is able to make this recommendation to PROP due to a moratorium last year on any rules changes that could impact school budgets for the 2020-21 academic year. The moratorium was put in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This recommendation goes hand in hand with a rule change the committee approved in 2017 requiring schools to have two shot clocks that could be set/reset to two different times. This change was delayed by PROP last year and subsequently a new effective date of 2022 was established. 

Other discussion

Committee members spoke at length about the new faceoff rules that went into effect for the 2021 season. Under the new rules, players are required to stand, and the hand closest to the throat of the crosse must be in a palm up position. 

The committee received feedback from the membership indicating the faceoff change was a positive for the game. 

Additionally, the committee thoroughly discussed plays around the goal crease. In recent years, this has been a regular topic for the committee to discuss. The committee will continue to monitor plays in this area of the field.    

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