The National Lacrosse League has announced rule changes for the 2012 season that are expected to improve game flow, player safety and allowing goaltenders added mobility. “These rule changes are expected to allow the players of the NLL to further display their speed and athleticism on the floor this season”, said League VP of Operations Brian Lemon.
Major Penalties, now a three goal release instead of two:
When a player commits a Major Penalty, his team will be short-handed until the five minute penalty expires OR the opposing team scores three power play goals. Under the previous rule, a major penalty ended when the opposing scored two power-play goals.
Over and back call is now an 8-second violation instead of 10:
When a team gains possession of the ball in their defensive half of the floor, they will now have eight seconds to get the ball across the center line. Teams previously had ten seconds to cross the center line after gaining possession. Failure to get the ball across the line in eight seconds will result in possession of the ball going to the opposing team.
If the team with possession calls timeout while the eight second count is underway, a new eight second count will begin when play resumes.
Faster transition after a change of possession:
When game officials blow the whistle to indicate a loss of possession, the player possessing the ball from the offending club must put the ball down on the turf immediately. A minor penalty will now be called on any player who throws, retains or rolls the ball away that results in a delay of game.
Better mobility for goaltenders:
Goaltenders will wear slimmer equipment. A reduction in the maximum size of a goaltenders arm, chest and shin pads by one inch each has been put into effect. The changes are expected to improve goaltender’s mobility while not affecting the amount of padding that covers their bodies for safety.
Player Substitution Area:
Players must now keep both of their feet within the boundaries of his team’s Substitution Area while waiting to enter the playing floor. The Substitution Area for each team is the area of the playing surface that is directly in front of the team’s bench. Players were previously only required to keep one foot in this area.
The 2012 season opens on January 8th. Click here for the complete season schedule.