In a continuation of the free movement rules it recommended last year, the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Rules Committee proposed another change that will allow substitutions when the game clock is stopped, unless otherwise specified in the rules.
The committee, which met last week in Indianapolis, recommended removing a rule that prohibits players from entering the field as a substitute while the clock is stopped.
After sweeping changes were made last year to allow more free movement in the sport, committee members felt this rule unintendedly slowed the game down.
The 2018 season was the first time players in the sport could keep moving after a foul or violation while the player possessing the ball restarts play. A 2-meter nonengagement area was established around the player awarded possession of the ball. All other players on the field were free to move outside the nonengagement area, too.
“Throughout the season, we saw the substitution rule as one that became hard for the officials to manage,” said Ann Elliott, chair of the committee and coach at Colorado. “It was taking away from the free movement and the increased pace of the game that we all wanted. This small change will have a positive effect and be more in line with the changes we made last year.”
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All rules changes must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which will discuss the women’s lacrosse rules proposal July 25.