Push or Dive? Under Proposed Rule Change, It Won't Make a Difference


Under a proposal by the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Rules Committee, a goal scored while the offensive player is propelled into the crease/goal mouth due to illegal contact by the defender would count, starting with the 2023 season.

Currently in this scenario, the goal would not count.

The recommendation was made during the committee's meeting this week in Indianapolis.

All rule proposals must be approved the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to discuss men's lacrosse rules recommendations July 20.

Plays around the crease have been a topic of discussion for the committee in recent years.

"The committee addressed excessive contact around the crease area, and we were concerned that defensive players were being rewarded for illegal contact," said Jon Hind, the director of athletics at Hamilton. "The committee had concern with illegal action by a defensive player taking a goal off the scoreboard."


Committee members proposed a more-defined penalty structure for players who contact opponents in the head or neck area.

  • Players who make indirect contact to an opponent's head or neck would receive a one-minute penalty.

  • Players who make direct contact to an opponent's head or neck would receive a two-minute penalty.

  • Players who make excessive contact to an opponent's head or neck would receive a three-minute penalty.

 Currently, when players are contacted in the head or neck, it is left up to the referee's discretion whether to award a one-, two- or three-minute penalty.

"With respect to contact to the head and neck, the committee was looking to standardize the penalties to create greater consistency in how these fouls are adjudicated," Hind said.


The committee recommended that the crosse on players' sticks cannot have protrusions or sharp edges. The rationale for this proposal is to ensure the traditional shape of the head remains an integral part of men's lacrosse.


Men's lacrosse officials will be instructed to pay attention to certain areas of the game during the 2022-23 academic year.

They are:

  • Making sure players are wearing their equipment properly (helmets, arm pads, mouth guards, etc.).

  • Developing consistency when officiating screening plays.

  • Ensuring bench decorum.

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