Syracuse University men’s head lacrosse coach John Desko calls the rule changes coming to college lacrosse, “major.” Desko acknowledges their impact, but believes other rule changes may have greater significance:
- On-the-fly substitution rules and the elimination of dead ball horns will make things faster but also put a premium on two-way midfielders who must get back and play defense on turnovers and change of possession.
- The rule changes encourage players to pick up the extra ball when it goes out of bounds and start play immediately. Teams must have a certain number of balls on the end lines and sidelines for restarts. Defenders must also give players with possession 5 yards of space. Desko said that move will prevent defensive players from stepping in front of the offensive player on their charge to the goal.
- Officials are doubling the size of the substitution boxes at midfield. It pushes the teams and their coaches further down the sidelines. He said a player being substituted out of the box can get as much as a 20-yard jump on a defender coming out of his substitution box.
The elimination of a dead ball substitution horn, the lengthening of sideline boxes for player substitution and the quick restart on balls that go out of bounds are all major changes that the Orange has been addressing in fall ball.
All of the rule changes approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel this month are meant to speed up play.