NCAA Announces Change to Dive Plays Around Crease in Men's Lacrosse


In men's lacrosse, a goal scored while the offensive player is propelled into the crease/goal mouth due to illegal contact by the defender will count, starting with the 2023 season.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved the new rule during a conference call Wednesday.

Previously in this scenario, the goal would not count.

Plays around the crease have been a topic of discussion for the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Rules Committee in recent years. Committee members were concerned that defensive players were being rewarded for illegal contact.


The panel also approved a more-defined penalty structure for players who contact opponents in the head or neck.

  • Players who make indirect contact to an opponent's head or neck will receive a one-minute penalty.

  • Players who make direct contact to an opponent's head or neck will receive a two-minute penalty.

  • Players who make excessive contact to an opponent's head or neck will receive a three-minute penalty.

Previously, when players were contacted in the head or neck, it was left up to the referee's discretion whether to award a one-, two- or three-minute penalty.


Beginning next season, the crosse on players' sticks cannot have protrusions or sharp edges. The panel agreed with the Men's Lacrosse Rules Committee's rationale to ensure the traditional shape of the head remains an integral part of men's lacrosse.


Men's lacrosse officials will be instructed to pay attention to certain areas of the game during the 2022-23 academic year.

They are:

  • Making sure players are wearing their equipment properly (helmets, arm pads, mouth guards, etc.).

  • Developing consistency when officiating screening plays.

  • Ensuring bench decorum.

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