NCAA Rules Suggestions; Unify All Levels of Play

(Photo Credit: Greg Shemitz)

As the NCAA rules committee meets in Indianapolis this week there has been much discussion around rules that could take effect in 2019. Among these is the infamous shot clock controversy. The discussion into whether college lacrosse needs to implement a set shot clock or not has been around for quite a while. In addition to the shot clock there are many other rules that have been talked about such as a two-point line and more.

I wanted to take a look at some of the rules that personally I would love to see eventually get implemented into college lacrosse. I really think these rules can help the game better and unify all levels more than the rules do now.

1. Shot Clock

Now this is a very popular topic these days and we will hear by next week if college men's lacrosse will have a shot clock in 2019. I for one fee very strongly that we should have a set shot clock. There are many variations of the shot clock that people have come  up with and think we should implement. I feel that the best shot clock for college would a 60 second shot clock that starts when a team gains possession of the ball. I also do like some of the other variations like a 30 second that starts once the offense crosses the midline and others. But to me the straight up 60 second shot clock that starts when you gain possession.

This will do many things for the game of lacrosse at the college level and just the overall game in general. The first thing this will do is speed up the pace of play a little bit more. I really don't think pace of play has been that big of an issue in the past few years with the emergence of teams like Albany and Brown with Lars Tiffany being pretty successful. There are still some games where I feel the pace of play is too slow but that is a very small number now compared to what is was five to six years ago. In all the pace of play will be more enjoyable for the fans and the players. If you look back at history lacrosse is supposed to be played fast and that is what most players would like anyway so it fixes any issues of playing too slow. 

A 60 second shot clock will also help unify the top to the bottom. What I mean by that is that it will help unify the college and pro game as well as the high school and youth game. we see the same in basketball where they have shot clock in college and the NBA but only a few states allow a high school shot clock. This unification will help players develop better because the lower level will somewhat prepare you for the next level of play. If lacrosse is ever going to get to the level where we call it a big four sport in this country, yes I left out baseball for you hardcore lacrosse people, the college game will need to be more of a breeding ground for the MLL and NLL and not just a place where guys can use lacrosse to help them get an education. The shot clock will help with that tremendously because the MLL and NLL both have shot clocks and the game is a lot faster. 

2. Two-Point Line

I know all you traditionalist may have already clicked out of this article but a two-point line could be good and even great for college lacrosse. I don't think we will see this for some time, if we ever do, but we could. If you have ever watched an MLL game you will know that they use a two-point line and it is fun to watch guys shoot and make two point goals, especially long poles. I think that we should put a two-point line in college that is 15 yards from center of the goal line.

What this rule would bring to the college game is excitement from both a fan and player perspective. I think the two-point arc would be a great addition to the college game in that sense. Also, it could possibly speed the game up in terms of guys shooting twos on fast breaks. It really would bring another dimension into the game just like the three point arc did for basketball.

Another thing that the two-point arc would do is prepare guys for the next level, just like the shot clock. This could be another step into unifying the college and pro game and I would even say that we may see a two-point arc in high school in the next decade or so. Yes, it's not the most popular opinion but that is the exact same thing they said when basketball implemented the three pointer.

3. The Dive

BRING BACK THE DIVE! The Dive is one of the things that people miss most about the old rules that we used to have in college. The Dive is only illegal in youth, high school, and College. I understand that there is a safety concern for the goalies but c'mon lacrosse is already a contact sports so it's not gonna help much more to keep the dive out of the game. 

The dive is one the most athletic plays in the sport and it's juts fun to watch and perform. We see guys in the MLL, NLL, and FIL Championships perform the dive and it brings back great memories for college fans. I really think that the college game would be much more fun if we brought the dive and hey it might even get lacrosse on Sports Center more often?
One of the main practical reasons to bring back the dive is yet again the unification of rules among college and pro. It would just be another step that lacrosse needs to take in terms of the sports growth at all levels and becoming more serious about the college game being a breeding ground for pro players. And again who doesn't want to see the dive comeback?

4. Hockey Assist

C'mon guys let's start tracking second assist, or hockey assist. You hear it all the time in lacrosse and basketball as well that we need to track the second assist. The only problem here would be actually following the ball and tracking them but other than that I see no reason why they don't track hockey assist in college lacrosse. Hockey assist give the guys that initiate the play more credit and makes everyone happy. Let's do it!

Other Suggestions

  • Switch to orange balls
  • No more faceoff changes
  • Six long poles on the field at once, maybe???
  • Pay the guys! (post coming soon)