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Reactions to NCAA Lacrosse Rules Committee Recommendations

Let's roundup everyone's collected feelings.

Drew Hallowell

In the wake of the release of the rules committee's recommendations yesterday, Twitter started exploding with potent levels of "FEELINGS!" From people complaining about the lack of a pure shot clock, to faceoff specialists losing their collective minds, to others responding in the inverse to the first two reactions, Twitter was a symphony of unencumbered "FEELINGS!" Which, of course, led to this:

This happens every two years when the rules congress meets to try and address the blind spots in the game and encourage rules that drive the policies and philosophies of college lacrosse. No group, however, is more vocal about their "FEELINGS!" than faceoff specialists, a lobby that has somehow harnessed the political power and influence of the Teamsters despite putting in labor times significantly lower than grunts working double shifts in warehouses.


To be honest, I give exactly 0.0 damns about faceoff folks that are steamed about tweaks to what they can and can't do at the dot. It's complaining for the sake of complaining, often using straw man arguments that are wrapped in the suffocating embrace of "FEELINGS!" If faceoff specialists would spend their time finding ways to adapt in the immediate release of rules that impact their play while saving their gripes for serious proposed legislation that legitimately and unfairly changes the entirety of the established faceoff regime, they'd likely generate more sympathy from non-faceoff cats.

Look: I work in an industry -- state and local tax -- where the laws change virtually every week. We spend all kinds of time devising planning options and opportunities for clients that are designed to limit exposure and put our clients in the best tax situation possible. States identify our planning options and promulgate laws or revisions to laws that attempt to squash our efforts. When that happens, we let out a Randy Marsh-esque "Awwwwwwww, goddammit" and start the idea generation process again to try and meet the goals of our clients, saving our mega gripes for big issues that are inherently counter to the provisions of the Constitution. (I'm obviously painting with broad strokes here.) The difference is esoteric: Adaption to "You can't do that!" compared to "You're not allowed to tell me I can't do that!" Pivoting from technique eradication is key, as well as staying ahead of the curve and understanding what requires taking a stand and what doesn't.

Prohibiting faceoff specialists from clamping the bean in the back of the stick is a prohibition on technique. Get on the field and find new methods that achieve the same degree of faceoff domination. No faceoff specialist wants to end up in a 30-second scrum at midfield, which was likely the impetus for developing the back-of-the-stick-clamp that permitted a quick grasp of possession. Find a new way to collar the ball without having to wrestle with an opponent and save the big arguments for something that truly impacts how faceoffs are taken.

It sucks for these specialists that the rule is potentially going to change, but that's life. Quit the straw man arguments and get to work.



Coaches React to NCAA Rules Proposals
Inside Lacrosse got on the horn with a bunch of coaches to gauge their "FEELINGS!" on the rules committee's recommendations. Bill Tierney's thoughts on the committee's decision to avoid a pure shot clock in this rules cycle is featured, and the words of Kevin Cassese and Brian Voelker are also highlighted. It's interesting seeing the divide between folks on this particular issue, and it's sure to percolate from time to time until the rules committee assumedly meets the issue again in 2016.

NCAA Rules Recommendations: Breakdown and Reaction
Lacrosse Magazine runs through the rules committee's proposals, providing context to the recommendations while also hauling in some coaches to opine on what came out of this week's meetings. Interestingly, the piece includes this:

Also, stall procedure can be satisfied on the release of the ball rather than crossing the plane of the goal.

I did not interpret the provision in the announcement that pertained to timing as relating exclusively to stalling postures. It was my impression that the rules committee adopted a provision that applied to both stalling postures and end-of-period scenarios (both would focus on the release of the ball rather than the ball crossing the goal line). Inside Lacrosse's Terry Foy -- who also spoke to some officials who agree with him -- interpreted this provision as applying only to timing postures, leaving end-of-period situations to the traditional ball-over-goal-line determination. That's . . . weird.

NCAA lacrosse rules committee decides not to recommend shot clock

"I'm surprised because I did think there had been enough conversation and a lot of proponents for the shot clock," Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala said. "So I am surprised that the committee did not move to a full shot clock given the amount of support there was for it. However, I do believe that they have been very consistent in the way they've done their business."
NCAA Men's Lacrosse Rules Committee Releases Recommended Rule Changes
[W]hile it now should be easier for everyone to know how much time remains on a timer-on call, the debate over an MLL style shot clock on every possession and issues over the subjective nature of the timer-on call will still rage on.
Men's Lacrosse: Rule Changes Will Change Face of Game in 2015
If you're new to watching men's lacrosse, you'd notice this season a couple things that regular lacrosse viewers weren't accustomed to.