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College Lacrosse Official: Pray For Us

The awesome power of the whistle.  Or something.
The awesome power of the whistle. Or something.

So, on Friday a bunch of new rules are going to go into effect for college lacrosse. This is a pretty exciting time to exist, you guys, as a lot of these provisions have the potential to reposition the game and bring back some pop. Of course, as with anything new, there are some concerns about the new rules. How will they be applied? What are the actual consequences? What new rules? (That last one applies to Dave Urick, who is likely on a sun porch somewhere sipping lemonade and not giving a damn about watching players run wind sprints.)

In these times of worry and wonder, who can we turn to to alleviate our fears and tell us that everything is going to be alright (other than me)? College lacrosse officials, of course. Specifically, U.S. Lacrosse Officials Program Manager Charlie Obermayer, who, I am to assume, is like your grandfather and will make you feel better with a cookie and a nice pat on the back.

Obermayer published a piece on Lacrosse Magazine yesterday, detailing his thoughts on some of these rules. I have to say that after reading the article, I'm not really sure I have a great grasp on reality anymore.

On the implementation of the new rules:

There are still a lot of questions out there regarding the new rules. The officials want to know what they are, in print, so they can learn them inside and out. We don’t really care what they are; we just want to know what they are so we can be as prepared as possible for when that first whistle blows to start a game in the spring.

Unfortunately, because of the timing – the revised proposed rules are subject for approval Sept. 21 -- we still may be sorting some things out come the spring. Fall ball games traditionally occur in October and we use this time to figure out what and how we are going to enforce these new rules come the spring.

Oh, so things will still be sorted out in the spring. That's okWAIT, WHAT?!? THOSE GAMES, LIKE, COUNT AND STUFF! TO THE FALLOUT SHELTER!

On the implementation of the modified shot clock following a stall warning:

Once a stall is on, the officials are then responsible for counting the 30 seconds. We will be using the timer on our belt for the first 20 and then count out the remaining 10. This should be interesting to see as officials are humans and we are not programmed digitally. One official’s 10 seconds is bound to be slower or faster than the others. (Don’t believe me? Set your watch and time yourself counting to 10 seconds.)

Officials are humans and aren't programmed digitally? Unacceptable. Why wasn't a robot referee provision appended to the shot clock provision? Are we this short-sighted as a people to not understand that if you have a shot clock in some athletic pursuit, that athletic pursuit must be officiated by a robot that makes clever comments and has no time for a coach's nonsense? I understand that the robot revolution is a very real fact of life in our near future (enslaving us all to mine the fields from RAM and other things that robots need so that they can enslave an entire civilization), but can't we make a small exception for robot referees so that our human lacrosse games are officiated perfectly?

But, yeah. Nobody is going to like this hand-count business or the lack of a displayed shot clock count when it goes into effect. This is the stuff of tyranny, folks, and I don't think the officials are quite ready for the onslaught of disgust they're going to get relative to this rule.

On failing to catch everything and making adjustments on the fly:

We won’t catch everything and we will have to make some adjustments on the fly.

Good to know. Lacrosse rules = 48-bar improvised jazz solo on the saxophone.

On your impossibly high expectations of the officials:

I can promise you we won’t be perfect either, because we never are. But we will be trying our best out there. Before the season and during it we will preach consistency and keeping the game fair between both teams.

A lot has been made as to how coaches and players are going to have to significantly adjust their strategy and play to comply with these new proposals. Lost in the shuffle are the referees, and the job these guys have to do is as hard as anyone's on the field. So, cut 'em some slack out there. They're doing the best they can (at least until we finally get those damn robot officials). For serious, you guys.