The National Lacrosse League has announced rule changes for the upcoming 2015 NLL season following a comprehensive review by the league’s Competition Committee. New regulations include player safety improvements, an additional instant replay challenge and revised procedures for faceoffs.
As part of the league’s commitment to player safety, the time frame of a player deemed to be a Repeat Offender (Rule 41.4) has been extended from a one-year to two-year span. Players assessed a second Match penalty or a second Dangerous Contact to the Head penalty (Rule 77), or combination thereof, will be deemed as a Repeat Offender if the incident occurs within two years of the first offense.
Furthermore, the discipline has increased from an additional game suspension to a five-game suspension for the second offense, and from a two-game suspension to a 10-game suspension for the third offense by a Repeat Offender.
“Player safety is our main priority when reviewing potential rule changes,” said NLL Vice President of Lacrosse Operations Brian Lemon. “There is no room in our game for dangerous play. This new regulation will deter repeat offenders and help ensure that sportsmanship remains at a high level. We continue to make tremendous progress as the league remains committed to the safety of our players.”
From a competition standpoint, the league has also implemented changes with respect to instant replay challenges and faceoffs.
For Instant Replay Challenges (Rule 17.82), an increase of an additional challenge has been approved for a maximum of three per team per game, provided the head coach is successful on the first two challenges. Teams were previously allowed one challenge flag per half.
The league will enforce new faceoff regulations requiring players to be “set” prior to the whistle to improve the proper positioning of sticks and feet of the players. During the 2015 NLL preseason, the league will experiment with minimizing the duration a faceoff man may carry the ball on the back of his pocket on a faceoff. The Contesting the Ball on the Face-Off (Rule 44.4) procedure will be analyzed and reviewed by the Competition Committee before the start of the regular season.