Under the recommended new rules, only the defender marking the player with the ball within a stick’s length could remain in the goal circle. Once the ball is in the goal circle, only the goalkeeper or another defensive player would be allowed in the goal circle to play the ball.
The NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Rules Committee has recommended several rules changes for next season, including that players on the defensive team be allowed to move through any portion of their goal circle when their team is not in possession of the ball.
Currently, only the goalkeeper is allowed to be in the defensive goal circle, with the exception of a player entering the crease after the goalkeeper has moved outside the goal circle.
The committee experimented with a modified version of this rule during the fall of 2012. Membership feedback indicated support for the change.
“The committee wanted to create more balance between offense and defense,” said Committee Chair Celine Cunningham, head coach and senior woman administrator at Stevens. “It gives defenders more freedom around the goal circle.”
All rules proposals must be approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which will discuss women’s lacrosse rules recommendations July 17.