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College Lacrosse Shot Clock Debate Renewed - Lacrosse All Stars

edited August 4 in Recent Articles

imageCollege Lacrosse Shot Clock Debate Renewed - Lacrosse All Stars

The Rules Committee for NCAA Lacrosse is meeting so the college lacrosse shot clock debate is relevant fodder wherever lacrosse is played or consumed.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • Connor-

    Ok... So call me crazy, because everybody who has heard me say this does..but I wanted to get it out there so others might hear it and think about it just a little. Like you I am not a fan of the shot clock, I'm a little bit too much of a traditionalist and don't think you need to mess with the game to "make it more like whatever sport"... But I can see that people are frustrated with some coaches idea of how the game is played. Offences slow down...the defense stands and waits for them to do something..fans get restless and start yelling crazy stuff...i was personally embarrassed by a lot of what was coming out of the mouths of some of the USA fans during the FIL championship...so there's a lot of emotion caught up in this. The thing is..I played in the 80's..and I don't remember anybody ever yelling about a "stall"..so I started thinking about why that was..It wasn't just more ball movement and off ball movement..it wasn't any strategy or defensive package or something like that....it was the heads...yup, I said it...it was the heads...with the wide heads we played with, there was no way you were running through multiple defensemen and keeping the ball..you couldn't just run behind the cage and stand there beacuse the pole would follow you and beat the hell out of you..because he had a reasonable chance of getting the ball from you. You had to run..you had to move the ball..there was no place to hide. The heads kids play with now we could only make if we wired and baked them untill they were super narrow....and illegal..and hope you didn't get caught..no, ours were wide with shalow pockets and sidewalls that didn't get anywhere near 2"..even when the Laser Hi-Wall showed up, it was still wide enough the the poles had a chance. The hold in todays heads...very narrow and deep.. is just too great. If you want confirmation of this, just look at the way the younger kids who are just starting catch the ball. I've done youth clinics since the early 90's..then we had to teach you to "catch" the ball..soft hands...kids now just simply snap or snach at the ball..it's not a skill thing..I don't think they're worse or anything..it's just that the heads allow this beacuse of the maximum hold they have. I've seen third graders who could barely cradle run through multiple checks..not from any skill..but from the fact that the ball simply woldn't fall out. I played post-collegiate in the USCLA..that was some good ball..some of those teams had the best in the world at that time playing for them...and nobody ran through checks like they do today..they couldn't...we had strong individuals..but not individual players..we had to play team offense..move yourself and move the ball..because standing still was an easy way to get killed.. Go back and watch the finals from back then...'85 and '86..or just skip right to '89 for maybe the best lacrosse game ever...no slow downs..defense still able to press out...and very fast exciting play...

    shallow those pockets..widen those heads...and all this talk of "shot clock" will go away...

    or maybe I'n just crazy..
    scriffconlax14Connor Wilson
  • Interesting article- way to cover extremes on both side of the issue.

    The shot clock will not eliminate take away defenders- look at Lee Zink, playing with a shot clock and still consistently stripping the ball. Just because a zone defense is in place, does not mean one on one match ups will not be exploited on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.

    Will transition defense disappear? Possibly, but it still exists in the MLL. Most of the subbing is done in a settled situation. Trapping offensive midfielders on defense because of a quick transition would be a strategy that would be crazy not to exploit.

    The 30 shots a team- while it is a good theory, you're completely removing transition from the picture, as well as fast paced teams that don't need a shot clock. I think you need to view it as a positive thing that theoretically no team will be below 30 shots. Teams above 30 will stay above 30.

    Will the Rules Committee then feel pressure to make zone defenses illegal?
    -Is that even possible...?

    Will physical defense become outlawed?
    -Does this even need to be addressed?

    The shot clock has been successful in the MLL and has not entirely change the game. I believe it will be successful in the NCAA shortly, I'm just hoping for 90 seconds.
    Connor Wilson


  • shallow those pockets..widen those heads...and all this talk of "shot clock" will go away...

    or maybe I'n just crazy..

    I think this is an easy fix to the game's "problems". Wish it were a bigger topic of discussion! I'd love to see Universal heads at the very least, and further head restrictions as we move forward. Tech has done a lot for the game, but has also changed it, as you suggest. Excellent points!

    Will probably never happen b/c of pressure from manufacturers, but I like where your head is at!
  • Interesting article- way to cover extremes on both side of the issue.

    The shot clock will not eliminate take away defenders- look at Lee Zink, playing with a shot clock and still consistently stripping the ball. Just because a zone defense is in place, does not mean one on one match ups will not be exploited on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.

    True, but my point is that takeaway guys are less valuable in the shot clock game. I think we will continue to see less of them, especially if the shot clock hits college lacrosse. The reward is no longer there if the risk doesn't pay off consistently. Other than Zink, are there a lot more takeaway guys? And when did Zink play in college? I think he's a dying breed.


    Will transition defense disappear? Possibly, but it still exists in the MLL. Most of the subbing is done in a settled situation. Trapping offensive midfielders on defense because of a quick transition would be a strategy that would be crazy not to exploit.

    In my humble opinion, you'll see less tranny D. Denver is still my main example. They don't transition D, even if their O mids are on the field. With a 60 second shot clock, there is little statistical benefit in playing out so far. Pack it in early, make them beat you six on six. Not playing the numbers is crazy to me, and to teams that practice so much more!


    The 30 shots a team- while it is a good theory, you're completely removing transition from the picture, as well as fast paced teams that don't need a shot clock. I think you need to view it as a positive thing that theoretically no team will be below 30 shots. Teams above 30 will stay above 30.

    I don't know about all this... I guess we'll have to wait and see. Efficient teams will be happy with lower shot total games. If the rules allow for even fewer shots, those teams should be happy with that.

    Will the Rules Committee then feel pressure to make zone defenses illegal?
    -Is that even possible...?

    It happened in basketball, and that is where a lot of the reasoning is coming from. Why not?

    Will physical defense become outlawed?
    -Does this even need to be addressed?

    I think so!

    The shot clock has been successful in the MLL and has not entirely change the game. I believe it will be successful in the NCAA shortly, I'm just hoping for 90 seconds.

    I still think that one day vs 5 days of practice per week will show the big differences between the two. Larger rosters, more prep, etc will let college teams figure out all the nuances much more, and expose the shortcomings of the shot clock. Also, no 2-point line changes it all as well.

    Can't wait to see how it goes!
  • The shot clock is a band-aid. Fix the problem. The ball is difficult to dislodge due to the advance in mesh technology and tight pinch on most sticks.

    The game was different years ago, not because coaches got wiser, but because stick technology hadn't progressed to the point that dislodging the ball was unrealistic. Defenses feel no need to press out on attackers.

    Get rid of the "pinch" and/or the offset in the heads. Consider even going to the extreme of requiring traditional pockets like the girls game.

    -Bring back 'take-away' defenders and the true art of the 1v1.
    -Allow the best stick handlers to truly showcase their skill.
    -See more pressure defense schemes and less packed-in zones.



    skilletheadmark
  • The final at the Worlds was one of the best strategic lacrosse games ever. Canada used a number of techniques to defeat the "run and gun" game played by the USA in full compliance with the rules of lacrosse. If you can't master the subtlies of the game within the rules, change your style not the rules. Simple.
    I agree with comments relating to head technology and the effect that is having on the game, whether it is a good thing or not can't say but some of the bags on sticks used in the worlds I would be happy to use when travelling. Perhaps, a larger minimum throat and playings sticks checked prior to commencing a game by the refs might be an idea. Interesting discussion but for me I like the game as it played under FIL rules, the tactical scope is then only limited by your imagination.
  • A few talking heads say the shot clock is the solution, but what exactly is the problem? Apparently the field lacrosse game is too slow for some observers, but consider the evidence -- and take care not to roll out a solution without a problem.

    Without a shot clock in youth, HS or college levels, lacrosse is already the fastest growing sport in the U.S. On sidelines around the country, parents of fresh young lacrosse players rave about our sport -- seemingly unaware that lacrosse is broken from slow play. Consider that football touchdowns, baseball runs, and soccer goals all usually take much longer than a lacrosse goal, and you can see why newcomers find the game thrilling. How much faster does the game need to expand?

    If the aim of a shot clock is to increase scoring, we already have experimental data that shows little effect. This season through 8/2/2014, Major League Lacrosse games averaged 26 combined points [note: this includes 2-point shots, which would decrease the goal total compared to DI.] Compare to 21 combined goals in each game of the 2014 NCAA DI playoffs. Exclude play-in and often uneven first round matchups, and from the 2nd round through the championships there were 24 combined goals per game. At the highest levels, goal totals really aren't much different with and without a shot clock.

    In fact, the one area where growth of lacrosse has been uneven is the pro level -- with a shot clock. The MLL has expanded and contracted over the years, with teams searching for supportive markets, all while college teams like DU are selling out at home. No problem. Will the shot clock really draw new fans to the college game? If it ain't broke...

    Steven in Colorado
    skilletheadmark
  • bsigmund90bsigmund90 Grove City, PA
    Posted this on the original IL article:
    As a whole, I just don't enjoy the pro game. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but i feel like the shot clock devalues goals, and encourages individual play over team play. I understand that a portion of that is attributed to the practice time limitations of the pro game, but i think the shot clock feeds into it as well.

    I don't want to see college lacrosse turn into the NBA for the sake of "having more scoring" or "creating more excitement".

    It's going to turn into a pure athletic contest vs. one that combines athleticism and a very specific mix of skill and knowledge (lacrosse IQ). he who has the best pure athletes, not he who has the best lacrosse players, will win more games.

    there's intricacies in play development, baiting, shading, misdirection, strategy, etc, that i feel like are going to be lost if a shot clock is implemented, especially one that's too short.

    There's an organic quality to attacking and defending based on personnel, clock left, score, momentum swing, time on offense / defense, etc. and i don't want to mechanize that, or at least mechanize it incorrectly.

    for the record i only watched Canada play Iroquois, Australia play Israel, and Australia play Iroquois... can't even remember if i watched a US game... maybe watched the pool play vs. Canada... i could care less which team won the final and how...
  • bsigmund90bsigmund90 Grove City, PA
    And people need to quit whining about the sticks. You think Lyle Thompson, rabil, pennell, etc could do 1/3rd of the things they do with wide non-offset heads? It's a better game than what was played in the 70s or the 80s, way better. Anyone who thinks otherwise is living in a fantasy world based on pure nostalgia. Simple as that.
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