Christian Rodriguez, Assistant Sports Editor
The NCAA implemented a new rule in women’s lacrosse this year that has impacted players, referees and the sports information crew helping to run games in the press box.
In the past, teams were able to have the ball on offense for as long as they wanted, now there is a 90-second possession clock.
From a player’s point of view, sophomore goalkeeper Hali Vandermeulen said the clock “definitely makes the game quicker.”
“It puts a little more pressure on everyone,” Vandermeulen said. “The goalies are getting even more shots to save, the defense feels pressured to run it down and attacks know they only have a minute-thirty to hit keeper or pipe.”
It is not confusing, according to Vandermeulen, but it is “super frustrating”
“Sometimes the refs don’t signal a reset or they do when it’s not needed,” Vandermeulen said.
Freshman attacker Lauren Wolff mentions that she and her teammates feel pressured and “all positions are required to perform their jobs quickly and accurately.”
As an attacker, her logic to the new rule change is “if it takes time for the ball to get down the field as the shot clock is ticking away, the attacking players need to be efficient with their play as they are only allowed so much time before the ball is turned over.”
In that case, the freshman said the team “must work together in transition” in order to get the ball up the field in a timely manner so that they can have “more time to get a shot off and get a goal.”
According to Wolff, the new rule can get confusing “because of the other rules that can alter it.”
“When a shot is released and it hits the cage of the goalie but comes back into play, the clock is reset,” Wolff explained. “Which can confuse both teams.
“There are other times that the clock stops or resets that players may be unaware of and therefore may get confused when they notice the amount of time left on it.”
Off the field, sports information director Gil Burgmaster said that “they are always trying to come up with new rules to improve the game, and this is one of those rules.”
Burgmaster explained that because everyone is new to this it is going to take more time than usual to get used to, stating “there is always a learning curve, but a couple years down the road it will be second nature.”
“Our stat crew has to meet with officials before the start of every game to try to understand the rule as best as they can,” Bugmaster said. “The officials are supposed to signal when we’re supposed to hit the shot clock and sometimes they forget, so even they are getting used to it just as much as we are.”
In the year of the new possession clock rule, the women’s lacrosse team has managed to hold an overall record of 6-5 and 2-2 in Empire 8 action. They will return to Gaetano Stadium on Saturday as they host the Highlanders of Houghton College. Game time is set for 1 p.m.