The Western Lacrosse Association will introduce new rules for 2022 designed to make the game more entertaining.
They will also align the way the game is played across five elite Canadian box lacrosse leagues, to enhance game speed, scoring and excitement for fans, while ensuring consistency for players and officials, said a press release from the league.
Among the nine rule changes are:
• An eight-second count: When a team gains possession in the defensive half of the floor, they must advance the ball across centre within eight seconds of gaining possession.
• Sudden death during regular season overtime. During the regular season, if the game is tied at the end of regulation, the first team to score during overtime wins.
• Penalty shots called against teams already with two players serving penalties, who get called for another infraction.
• The leagues will have increased enforcement on two existing rules covering off-ball slashing and illegal picks.
The five leagues that will implement the changes in 2022 are: WLA, BC Junior A Lacrosse League, Ontario’s Major Series Lacrosse, Ontario Junior A Lacrosse League, and Alberta’s Rocky Mountain Junior A Lacrosse League.
“I think they’re great,” said Maple Ridge Burrards GM Lance Andre of the new rules. “We’re way more in line with the NLL, and that makes it easier for the players.”
He said fans will see a constant high pace to the game, with no more scenes of players walking the ball out of their own end, due to the eight-second rule.
“It makes the game faster, instead of trying to slow it down,” he said.
He also likes the sudden death overtime format, which in the WLA will also see three-on-three action.
“That really opens the game up. The game should be over in two minutes.”
A panel comprised of current players, coaches, general managers, officials and commissioners of those leagues approved the changes. Among those panel members were current Burrards coach Rob Williams, and former star player Curtis “Superman” Dickson.
“All these changes will speed up the play of our game and increase scoring, which will boost entertainment for our fans,” said Paul Dal Monte, commissioner of the WLA. “In addition, they’ll provide for consistency for everyone involved in the top levels of box lacrosse across the country.
Detailed information on all of the 2022 rule changes are available online.
The Burrards season begins May 29 as they host the Langley Thunder at Planet Ice at 7 p.m.
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