The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel has approved changing three-second violations back to major fouls for the 2017 women’s lacrosse season.
The new rule, which was passed during the panel’s conference call on Wednesday, also tweaks how the penalty is administered. Now, the free position for a three-second violation will be administered at the spot of the ball. If the three-second call is made while the ball is in the 8-meter arc, an 8-meter free position will be administered.
This change was made due to unintended consequences after a rules change last year.
Before the 2016 season, the committee voted to change three-second violations to a minor foul. Committee members thought the call was made fewer times due to the rules change, and it led to more players being in the shooting space.
8-meter free position experimental rule
The panel also approved an experimental rule in which players will not only clear the 8-meter arc for a major foul by a defensive player that occurs in the 8-meter arc, but all players outside the 8-meter arc and within the critical scoring area (including below the goal line extended) will have to clear the space. Players will have to move outside the extended hash marks of the 8-meter arc relative to their position.
Essentially, the rule creates imaginary lines that run from the ends of the 8-meter arc to the extended hash marks to the dots and then continue to the end line. Players will have to move to space outside those lines when an 8-meter free position is administered.
The Women’s Lacrosse Rules Committee wants to gather feedback to see if coaches think the experimental rule can lead to fewer shooting space fouls during 8-meter free position shots.
Panel members approved a rule effective Jan. 1 in which any field player choosing to wear headgear may only wear headgear that meets the current American Society for Testing and Materials standard for women’s lacrosse.