The National Lacrosse League announced several important rule changes today which will be implemented in the upcoming 2012 season. The new rules are designed to make the game faster, higher scoring, and more exciting.
Perhaps the most important change is that goalie equipment has been scaled back. Goaltenders were starting to look like behemoths between the pipes who relied more on their massive girth to stop the ball than anything else. This change is awesome and will reward athletic goalies for their efforts.
Here is a list of all rule changes as posted on NLL.com:
Major Penalties are 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 back 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.