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PLL faceoff.

PLL Announces 2024 Rule Changes, Including Tweak to Faceoffs

March 1, 2024
Press Release
Nick Ieriadi / Premier Lacrosse League

LOS ANGELES — The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) powered by Ticketmaster today announced rule updates for its 2024 season following the PLL Competition Committee’s review of proposed changes from the league’s head coaches and general managers at the conclusion of the 2023 season.

“As we continue to grow professional lacrosse, we remain committed to collecting gameday data, as well as player, coach and fan feedback, such that we can continue to evaluate ways to enhance the gameplay and evolve our rules, with a focus on player safety and high-performance,” said Paul Rabil, Co-Founder and President of the Premier Lacrosse League.

“We saw both increased offensive output and possessions, as well as new riding, clearing and transitional tactics from coaches, along with our fair share of challenges, all as a result of the introduction of the :32 second shot clock following a faceoff. 2024’s adjustment to prohibit long-poles from facing-off will better underscore the faceoff athlete, keep the integrity of the draw to a short-stick, and create a safer environment for faceoff athlete exits. No different than a goalie stick required to be in the crease or having a maximum of four long-poles on the field at once, the analysis and feedback we received to equalize the faceoff instrument will yield better play. Long-poles will still be able to take wing positions on faceoffs.

“We’re also very proud to be at the forefront of player safety by newly defining a defenseless player on the lacrosse field. The further development of the defenseless player concept, as well as new replay procedures, will protect players and allow us to properly adjudicate in-game penalties and reviews.”

The following changes have been adopted for the 2024 season:

Expanded Defenseless Player Definition

  • Players in a defenseless position are:
    • Any player immediately following the reception of a pass who has not had time to establish possession. If the player has taken two steps, established possession with a cradle, or is capable of avoiding or warding off the impending contact of an opponent, he is no longer a defenseless player.
    • Any player who has just released a shot – a defender may make direct contact with the shooter only up through the defender’s first step after the shot is released.
  • The following contact against a defenseless player remains prohibited:
    • Forcibly hitting a defenseless player’s head or neck area with the helmet, forearm, shoulder, or crosse, even if the initial contact is lower than the player’s neck, and regardless of whether the defensive player also uses their arms.
    • Excessive force into a defenseless opponent, defined as
      • Leaving both feet prior to contact to spring forward and upward into his opponent and,
      • Using any part of his helmet or crosse to initiate forcible contact against any part of his opponent’s body, and/or,
      • Taking more than three strides to accelerate through a body check for the purpose of punishing the opponent.
  • The onus is on the player applying the hit to ensure his opponent is not in a defenseless position, and if so, he must avoid or minimize contact.
    • In determining whether such contact could have been avoided, the circumstances of the hit, including whether the defenseless player put himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or simultaneously with the check, or whether the check was unavoidable can be considered.

Updated Replay Procedures

  • Coaches are allowed two challenges per game to use in any half
  • Coaches will be granted a third challenge if their two previous challenges are successful
  • Added reviewable procedures:
    • Shot clock resets
    • Boundary possessions (run outs, out of bounds plays)
    • Officials can initiate reviews in the last two minutes of regulation, in addition to overtime
    • No coaches challenges in overtime

Updated Faceoff Procedures

A player may not use a long pole to faceoff.

The PLL’s full rule book is available here.