New Field Markings Will Help NCAA Officials Call Crease Dives


Goals like this one from Pat Spencer could not be illegal if a player makes contact with the goalie or lands in the new goal-mouth arc.

The NCAA men’s lacrosse rules committee has proposed a clarification that will allow officials to more consistently adjudicate the crease dive, a play that became legal again in 2019 but met mixed reviews from the lacrosse community.

All rules changes must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to discuss all men’s rules proposals via conference call Sept. 11.

If approved, starting next season, the field markings will include a defined area, or arc, within the crease that is a half-circle with a 6-foot radius protruding outward from the midpoint of the goal line. Landing in this space will negate any goal scored on a dive play. The play will be assessed a one-minute penalty if the player makes contact with the goalie. That penalty will be releasable or non-releasable depending on the severity of the contact.

This change removes the uncertainty surrounding the original language that appeared in the rule, which required officials to determine subjectively if a player dove in a direction away from the goal mouth.

If a player lands outside of the newly defined goal mouth before the ball crosses the goal line — regardless of the direction in which he dove — it will result in a goal. The rule remains the same in that if a player makes contact with the goalie or the goal in the crease before the ball goes in, the goal will be waived. 

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