Though the season doesn’t officially start until the Rumble travel to Boston this weekend, New York Head Coach Anthony Nuñez is already eager to see how his team will adapt to the recent MLU rule changes.
“The new rules are awesome, especially in terms of Callahans and pulling,” said Nuñez. “The USAU rules and even last year’s MLU rules seemed to be more favorable to the offense, but these rule changes now help both the defense and the offense.”
Among the several new rules announced during the offseason are changes to Callahans (goals scored by a team’s defense by intercepting a pass in its offensive end zone) and the pull. This season, teams that score a Callahan goal will receive the subsequent pull.
“The players love it, and I’m really for it. The fact that you’re now getting the disc back is exciting,” said Nuñez. “The offense can’t dribble out the clock like before because they have to worry about the other team making a comeback. If you’re down one and get a Callahan and the disc, you’re back in the game.”
In addition, a pull that rolls out of the playing field will now be checked in at the spot where it left the greater playing field. For instance, a pull that rolls out of the back of the end zone will be played from the back line, not the goal line.
Now that Teams will possess the disc in their own end zone more frequently due to this rule change, the Rumble may look to alter their tactics to try to force more Callahans.
“It’s not as much a change, per se, but we might want to use some form of strategy where, when the disc is in the ‘coffin spot’, we try to get that team to cough it up and get the Callahan,” he said. “There might be a little adjustment of where we want our pulls to go.”
MLU Commissioner Jeff Snader and Executive Vice President Nic Darling announced in the third episode of Cleats and Cufflinks the changes made this offseason by the rules committee. The new rules are designed to speed up games and foster excitement.
Will New York be the first team to score a Callahan under the new rules? Watch live on Saturday as the Rumble open the season on the road against the defending champion Boston Whitecaps.