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Shot Clock Experiment To Begin This Fall

A visible 60-second shot clock can be used during fall ball games this year.

Pacific v Pepperdine Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Rules Committee has okayed a proposal to let teams experiment with a visible 60-second shot clock for the nontraditional fall season.

The committee met last week in Indianapolis to discuss multiple things, but this one is the biggest in terms of a possible change in the collegiate game.

Similar to Major League Lacrosse, the shot clock will begin once possession is established. However, teams will still have 30 seconds to clear the ball and enter the attacking area, unlike MLL’s 20 seconds.

If the offensive team makes a shot on goal, the clock will reset to 60 seconds, which is also similar to the MLL game. Currently in the college game, if a 30-second shot clock warning is issued and a team makes a shot on goal, the clock is turned off until the referees decide to turn it back on.

The rules committee is specifically looking for teams to keep an eye on consistency during the fall period.

From the press release:

“There is a strong sense that the committee should continue to consider the use of a shot clock for all possessions to remove the officials’ judgment from current stalling rules,” [Willie] Scroggs said. “The committee is encouraging the use of a 60-second clock to study the impact and hopefully see how teams might approach such a change.”

I am openly for adding a shot clock in college lacrosse. I believe it will eliminate stalling and plenty of fans calling for refs to call a shot clock, especially with different crews having different thoughts on when to call a shot clock. The women’s game recently instituted a 90-second shot clock last season, and it worked very well.

Could 60 second be too little, we’ll see. It could result in plenty of offense and some poor quality defense, which we’ve seen a good amount in MLL. I don’t think we’ll see a 60 or 90-second shot clock in the college game for 2018, whether or not this experiment succeeds or not.

A few other notes:

  • The rules committee is reviewing options on allowing offensive players to leave their feet for scoring attempts around the crease. There was no mention of putting back the dive back for now.
  • The committee is also exploring options to reducing the length of the substitution box from 10 yards to “lessen the advantage the defense has at hindering offensive transition.”
  • The rules committee asked everyone involved in college lacrosse to respect the game and one another, “particularly in pregame warmups.” I think I know where that came from...