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NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Expands Video Review

Photo by ESPN2

It’s happening almost two months too late for Penn State fans, but the NCAA is expanding video replay for men’s lacrosse, it announced Wednesday afternoon.

Although the NCAA’s press release didn’t say it, it’s a good bet that most people who were watching this year’s NCAA semifinal matchup between Penn State and Duke would guess that how that game ended played a big role in this expansion, which was approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel.

Penn State lost to Duke in overtime on a goal that the replay revealed should not have counted.

If this play happened in a women’s game, it would have been reviewable.

But after the Penn State-Duke officials missed it, there was nothing they could do.

The good news for all college lacrosse fans is that, should something similar take place in next season’s NCAA Tournament, something can be done about it.

Here’s what the expansion will consist of, per the NCAA.

  • A coach will be able to challenge until the last four minutes of regulation
  • Referee discretion can be used at any time in the game, overtime included
  • Replay can be used to determine if a loose ball crosses the goal line or
  • If an offensive player was in or landed in the crease before the ball entered the goal
  • If an offensive player landed in the goal mouth because of illegal contact by the opposing defense before the ball went in
  • If a goal resulted from the head of the shooter’s crease coming off during a player’s shot or his follow-through.

These plays will be added to the reviewable scenarios already in place.

Teams will now be allowed two time outs and a coaches challenge per half and will get another timeout should the game go into overtime. A coach can’t challenge a call once the team runs out of timeouts for a half. Coaches will have 30 seconds to challenge a reviewable play that isn’t a goal, and ref’s will stop play ASAP for a review if there isn’t an imminent scoring chance. If a goal is scored during that 30 second window, it won’t count if the non-goal play in question was ruled a goal.

A coach’s challenge can only be used for reviewable plays, and the challenges won’t carry over into overtime. Any review during overtime or the last four minutes of regulation will come via referee’s discretion.

Penn State coach Jeff Tambroni is finally getting his wish.

“There should definitely be a review,” Tambroni told reporters after the Duke game.  “At what point and at what level we implement that? I hope it does go in there at some point. There are plenty of calls missed throughout the course of a lacrosse game. With three extremely capable officials trying to cover 100 yards, it’s bound to happen. It certainly was not a malicious call.”

Now, officials will have more help.

Better late than never.

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