NCAA Women's Lacrosse to Adopt Quarters, 60-Second Shot Clock Reset in 2022


The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Wednesday approved a package of rules changes with the goal of making women’s lacrosse more efficient, beginning with the 2021-22 academic year.

Shortening the duration of the game without taking away the 60 minutes on the game clock dominated the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Committee’s discussion last month. Rules committee members also wanted to maintain the freedom-of-movement principles that were established in the summer of 2017.

LaxSportsNet put together a video package that easily explains the upcoming changes, though you can continue below for a full breakdown of the changes coming next season.

Members of the rules committee think fewer stoppages during games can be achieved through these modifications:

  • The game clock will continue running, while the possession clock would stop or reset, during the following:

    • Fouls committed below goal line extended.

    • Fouls committed above goal line extended more than 8 meters from the goal circle.

    • Alternate possession.

  • The possession clock will reset to 60 seconds if 59 or fewer seconds remain on the possession clock if the offense retains possession of the ball after a save by the goalkeeper and rebound or if a shot hits the piping on the goal. If more than 59 seconds remain on the possession clock, no reset is necessary. 

  • The game will be played in four 15-minute quarters instead of two 30-minute halves. Play will resume after two minutes, and teams would switch directions after each quarter.

  • Pregame stick checks will be eliminated.

  • Coaches will no longer be able to request stick checks during their team’s timeout.

    • Coaches can request stick checks at any point during halftime; during the five-minute or three-minute rest time before an overtime period; before the start of the draw before the official’s hands are on the drawers’ sticks; and in between quarters.

    • If the first stick check request is unsuccessful, the team will lose possession of the ball. If a second stick check request is unsuccessful, the team will lose a timeout. A team would have to have a timeout remaining to request a second stick check if the first stick check resulted in a legal ruling.

  • Teams will be allowed up to 12 eligible players on the field at the start of the draw. Once the official’s hands are on the drawers’ sticks, no substitutions will be allowed until a team gains possession of the ball, even if a team has fewer than 12 players on the field. Previously, teams were required to have 12 eligible players on the field before the administration of the draw. This change would eliminate any delay associated with that requirement. 

  • If a delay is caused in administering the draw and fault cannot be determined, alternate possession will be administered in lieu of resetting the draw or administering a redraw. The team awarded possession will be permitted to self-start. 


The panel approved a mandatory card when a player’s stick makes contact with another player’s neck. Also, when a player is behind an opponent, cross-checking to the shoulders and back also would be punishable with a card.

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