Benefits of the 2018 Women’s Lacrosse Rule Changes
After this season’s major changes to women’s lacrosse, we can take a step back and see how these changes have affected the game. Some major changes from our previous article 2018 Womens Lacrosse Rules & Changes include free movement, 90-second shot clock, changes to the draw, and new equipment options. It was an adjustment for all players, but one that made women’s lacrosse more of a modern game. These changes have greatly progressed women’s lacrosse in three key areas: game pace, equipment advances, and equality.
Women’s lacrosse is now a faster paced game
Free movement after the whistle has been the biggest change for the pace of game. Before this season, players were trained to freeze any time a whistle was blown. Any call like a foul, time-out, or a ref’s call immediately meant stopping. With the new rule, players have the freedom to move and keep the game going.
Being able to move on the whistle has helped reduce long pauses that ruined momentum during games. The rule has also increased the need for strategizing during dead balls. With this rule in place, when refs call a foul, players that aren’t being penalized may move freely for a better position. Free movement can then help a team get back on D, or cheat up the field for an easy goal. This new rule has not only lessened the time breaks during the game, but has caused players to think quicker and strategize more efficiently.
Equipment is advancing the level of play in women’s lacrosse
The biggest equipment change in women’s lacrosse is women’s lacrosse mesh! Mesh pockets and stringing have been a big game changer for women everywhere. If you haven’t been able to pick up a piece of women’s lacrosse mesh, there are many possible options for you. Cutting men’s lacrosse mesh into a runner is one choice, or you could check out StringKing.
You must still follow the rules of pocket depth and ball movement, but mesh offers many advantages. The mesh creates a freer environment for the ball to rest in, and provides more immediate control. The mesh heads help the ball feel light with cradling and creates a bigger whip effect when throwing the ball.
The depth of a mesh pocket is also harder to change, which is an appealing feature to players. With traditional stringing, there are many factors that can contribute to a pocket size becoming illegal. Even if you just spent hours trying to tighten all your knots and have a legal pocket, a quick rainstorm can ruin all that.
For the most part, a mesh pocket upholds its form much better against weather and hard passes. In combination, the form and lighter feel that a mesh pocket offers is a whole new opportunity for success. This could just be the change you needed to become an elite player, or just another option for you.
Womens lax & equality among players
Seasoned players have all experienced that game when the other team’s strategy is to “stall” or play keep away from the other team. They never advance the ball to the cage, and they hang back for an easy win.
This strategy is officially revoked thanks to the new 90-second shot clock rule. Once possession is earned by a team, the clock starts a 90-second countdown that they must score within. Many were weary of the rule before trying it out, but quickly realized a minute and a half is a pretty large amount of time to score a goal. This rule evened the playing field, no longer allowing teams to stall for large amounts of time. The clock resets after any shot on goal, or change of possession.
There is also a new rule change to the set-up of the draw and how that will affect equality on the field. Sticks between players taking the draw now have to be aligned parallel to the centerline. This eliminates draw-takers setting up their sticks at an angle, which can give an advantage in controlling where the draw will go.