NCAA Approves A Goalie Stick Rule Change for 2019 Season
By Coach Damon on April 1, 2018
The NCAA Lacrosse Rules Committee recently approved a change to the lacrosse goalie stick rules that should impact the way us goalies approach the game.
The rule will kick in the 2019 season so I want to explain it here to get everyone up to speed and to start prepping goalies for the change for next season.
With the game changing so rapidly and most of the equipment upgrades in the last decade benefitting offensive players, I believe the rules committee wanted to give a little advantage back to the goalies.
And as the creator of a lacrosse goalie blog, I say well done.
Starting in the 2019 season, lacrosse goalies are no longer limited to one crosse on their stick. Instead of a butt end on the end of the shaft, starting next year, goalies will have the option to put another goalie head.
This kayak style of lacrosse goalie stick will certainty give the goalie more of an advantage as no stick rotation needs to occur to save a lot shot.
STX Releases Prototype
In an effort to get out in front of this 2019 rule change STX recently released a mock of the kayak style goalie stick that will be legal.
That’s two STX Eclipse 2 heads on an STX Outlet shaft and boy does it look pretty.
I think most of the basics of making a save will still hold true for us goalies but there’s no longer a need for as much stick rotation. As a result, driving the top hand to the ball doesn’t make sense anymore. Simply drive whatever hand is closest to the shot to the ball.
Every lacrosse goalie, once they become accustomed to this new style of play, should see a drastic rise in their save percentage as a result of this rule change.
While this rule change is unexpected, I for one, applaud the NCAA rules committee. While many will complain that they’ve changed the game too much with this rule edit, those complainers are not goalies.
Those complaining are likely the same ones who want to bring back the “dive” play and forever ruin lacrosse goalies knees just to give the offensive players yet another advantage.
Lots of goalies took to Instagram to show off their new kayak stick style setups.
2019 = A New Style of Goalie Play?
When you think about making a save on a low shot, a quick aggressive stick rotation is usually the first thing that comes to mind.
But with this new style of lacrosse goalie stick, that’s no longer needed. You already have a goalie head down there ready to make the save.
So I think this new style of stick will really usher in a new style of goalie play. It remains to be seen how else this rule change will impact the game but I think as goalies practice with the kayak style stick they’ll invent even better methods of making saves.
Who knows I might have to rewrite a bunch of my old blog posts as the goalie strategy could be altered that much.
We setup the new style of stick for one of the youths I coach and he was able to pick up the kayak style pretty quickly. He called it the two-headed orange dragon.
So much less stick movement was involved in making the saves. It was incredible. Adios 5-hole!
Throwing outlet passes and cradling was a little tricky but I think most coaches would take a 90% save percentage in exchange for removing the goalie from the clearing game.
The second goalie head is optional so we might see a bunch of lacrosse goalies stick what they’re comfortable with and continue with one goalie head.
The NCAA rules committee doesn’t often make rule changes that benefit the goalie. Their interest in making sure the game continues to grow and let’s face it – low scoring defense battles are just not as entertaining as the high scoring shoot outs.
But I truly applaud the NCAA for making this rule change to benefit goalies.
The new two headed stick will take some time to get used to. But I think once every goalie gets some practice with the kayak style lacrosse stick, lacrosse goalie save percentages across the nation will skyrocket.
Until next time! Coach Damon
What are your thoughts on this rule change?