The National Lacrosse League has announced a modification to the number of permitted video replay challenges. Beginning this season, teams will be permitted to challenge an on-field call once during each half of the game, for a maximum total of two challenges. A third challenge will no longer be permitted to teams that win the first two challenges during a game.
The Crew Chief and Assistant Referee will continue to initiate all replay reviews with two minutes and under remaining in the fourth quarter and in overtime.
“The league’s Competition Committee felt this change would help improve game flow”, said Brian Lemon, NLL VP of Operations. “There can now be a maximum of two replay challenges initiated in each half, one by each team. Under previous rules, you could have as many as six. This change will allow coaches to challenge plays while minimizing the number of additional stoppages of play during the game.”
Other rule changes for the 2012 season include reducing the maximum stick length for all runners (non-goaltenders) from 46 inches to 42 inches. Defensemen who previously used the maximum 46 inch sticks will now be adapting to a shorter stick length. “The Competition Committee felt the previous stick length gave the defense a disproportionate advantage”, said Lemon.
In September, the league announced rule changes for the 2012 season that should make the fastest game on two feet even faster, including a shorter time for teams to get the ball across the center line, faster transition after a change of possession, and a three-goal release for a player committing a major penalty (up from two). Goaltenders will also wear slimmer equipment with a one-inch reduction in the size of pads.
The committee is also studying an additional potential rule change during scrimmages and exhibition games leading up to the 2012 season. During the preseason, goaltenders are defending the goals furthest from their team’s bench in the first and third quarters, and the goal closest to their team bench during the second and fourth quarters, as well as overtime.
“This change may result in teams pulling their goalies for an extra attacker more often in the later stages of the first half, the end of regulation and in overtime”, said Lemon.
The Rock will play their first of three exhibition contests this Saturday at 6pm at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Six Nations taking on the Edmonton Rush. The game is open to the public and there is no charge for admission. The 2012 Toronto Rock regular season opens on Sunday, January 8th at Air Canada Centre as the defending champs host Calgary. For more information on tickets, please call 416-596-3075 or visit www.torontorock.com.