US Lacrosse Says Not So Fast NCAA Rules Committee

Posted on August 23, 2012 by

Categories: Coverage


NCAA Rules Committee met earlier this month in Indianapolis to discuss possible adjustments to the college game that would enhance the pace of play. Proposals such as protocol referees will follow, changes to the stick specifications and substitutions made on the fly. But the most unconventional rules involved the face-off and restarts. Ever since the NCAA Rules Committee announced proposals for new rules, many have been expressing real visceral reactions. US Lacrosse is one of them.

All rules recommendations by the committee must be approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to meet via conference call in September. If approved, the change would be effective for the 2013 season. Aware of the time crunch, US Lacrosse, governing body of lacrosse, is acting fast to ensure these proposed rules are intently observed and won’t endanger the players’ safety. In response to the NCAA’s proposed rule changes for the 2013 men’s lacrosse season, the US Lacrosse men’s game safety education subcommittee yesterday provided comments to the NCAA men’s lacrosse rules committee centered around the topic of player safety.

Angelo Calvello, chair of the US Lacrosse men’s game safety education subcommittee, authored a letter that communicated recommendations involving the proposed rule changes for faceoffs and restarts.

Excerpts of the letter are below.

The proposal to start face-off players 12 inches apart seems to increase the likelihood of injury to the player’s neck and head. Increasing the distance allows for more force to be generated prior to any contact between the two players, thus increasing the energy exchanged at impact and increasing the likelihood of injuries to the head, neck, and shoulder. This proposal seems to go against the overall positive trend of structuring the game to reduce the possibility of head injuries and concussions. We would ask that the Committee rescind this proposal.

The banning of the motorcycle grip for safety reasons raises the question of what is unsafe about the technique. From a physiological perspective, the motorcycle grip seems to place less stress on the joints in the right arm, especially when the arm is under force. The conventional grip appears to allow for the possibility of injury because it requires a restrictive movement of the right wrist and typically locks the right elbow, placing the entire right arm and shoulder in jeopardy. From a safety perspective, we can find no reason to prohibit the motorcycle grip.

Removing the five-­second restart raises broader issues that we would recommend the Committee address. While we support the “quick start” proposed by the Committee, we want to point out that serious safety issues arise when the goalie is out of the crease — for any reason — and a midfielder or defenseman steps into the crease as his proxy. These players lack the proper safety equipment required for goalies, most notably a throat protector and full protective chest pad, placing them at risk of injury.

This is highly important because these NCAA rules changes can and will most likely trickle down to the youth leagues. You wouldn’t want laxers getting in harms way when it could all be avoided. Read more at US Lacrosse. View a complete list of the Rules Changes.

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