TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Jan. 4, 2016 — Overt overtime

One rule change that has come into effect for girls’ and women’s lacrosse this year is the format of overtime.

In years past, overtime periods were all over the place when it came to how they were implemented. Your Founder has seen both a single six-minute overtime period, and two three-minute periods of extra time. I’ve seen all six minute be stop-time, but also overtimes played when timing rules for only the last two minutes of each of these periods were enforced. I’ve also read about times when the clock is not used during overtime and the two teams would play until somebody scored. And there are some states where overtime isn’t even played in the regular season.

Starting this year, overtime is the same as in the men’s game: a single three-minute period, next goal wins. Teams will change ends every three minutes if nobody scores.

One might say that the new rules put even more emphasis on the draw-control specialists for each team as well as the midfielders on the draw circle. But it’s no more emphasis than the teams that turned overtime into a stalling exhibition.

Like in the men’s game, women’s lacrosse coaches have started to employ the same overtime tactic: win the draw, call timeout, then stall for  2 1/2 minutes before going to goal. The idea would be to take off enough time so that the opposition could not mount a response in the time left after losing possession or scoring.

Whereas the old rules had you do the same thing for both the first and second halves of extra time, the new rules place a premium on winning that first draw after regulation.

That is, if your state federation hasn’t gone ahead and changed the rules. I’m hearing that a number of states are going back to the old rule rather than adopting the U.S. Lacrosse/NFHS rule.

I guess we’ll see how this plays out as the year goes on.

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