Lacrosse makes updates to scoring system ahead of third season

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2022 / Credit: Krystina Brown
Savanna Collins
Apr 27, 2023

The 2023 Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse season will feature updates to the unique scoring system that is the staple of the league. Adjustments were made to four statistical category values: saves, goals against, caused turnovers and turnovers.

Each stat point value update aims to create equal opportunities for athletes to move up the leaderboard, regardless of position.

Throughout the offseason, the AU Lacrosse Player Executive Committee met to not only plan for future seasons but review the two years under the league’s belt and identify areas of adjustment.

“We wanted to maintain competitiveness while closing the gap in potential points that has emerged across the different positions,” the PEC explained. “Our defenders are excellent but did not have the same opportunity to earn points as attackers and middies. On the other side, our goalkeepers are also excellent, and we felt raising the standard for them not only encourages a high level of play but also showcases their immense talent.”

Reducing points for Saves (+6 to +5) and an increased deduction for Goals Against (-1 to -2) affect the goalkeepers.

The rule changes for goalies were made with a couple of key points in mind. Goalies don’t have as many opportunities to lose points as other positions because they rarely turn the ball over. At the same time, goalies have ample opportunities to earn points compared to other positions like defenders.

Goalies dominated the top of the leaderboard in 2022. While the position represents only eight athletes in the league, all four of the goalkeepers who played 48 periods or more finished in the final Top 10.

Those four goalies also tallied more than 100 saves (Champion Taylor Moreno recorded the most with 132 on the season) and each finished with a .500 save percentage or higher.

When viewing just stat points on the final leaderboard, goalies rank No. 1 – No.4 overall in the category.

An increase for Caused Turnovers (+12 to +14) intends to boost opportunities for defenders.

The 2022 AU Lax Top 10 featured only one defender although the position represents 29% of the league roster. Depending on a defender’s skill set, some only have the opportunity to earn points in three categories: caused turnovers, ground balls, and shot clock violations committed.

The highest-finishing defender, Lizzie Colson, recorded points for not only those two categories but also one goal, an assist, 23 draw controls, and 22 shot clock violations committed. Even still, the top goalies earned more than double the stat points compared to Colson.

An increase in Turnover deductions (-8 to -10) affects everyone in the league, but with a bigger impact on attackers and midfielders. The PEC and league’s decision to stiffen the penalty for turning the ball over hopes to emphasize the value of taking care of the ball and hold high standards as the quality of women’s pro lacrosse continues to increase.

The full breakdown of the AU Lacrosse scoring system can be found under ‘How We Play’.

Tickets are on sale now for the start of the season on July 20 at USA Lacrosse Headquarters in Sparks Glencoe, MD.

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