Should the MLL switch to a white ball? Yes.

I'm pretty sold on this opinion myself, but I'd love to hear what the rest of the LAS Community thinks. I really believe the MLL would be better off using a white ball.

"But buckethelmet," you say, "what does it matter what color ball they use? They've used it forever! It's only cosmetic! Why are you such a nitpicker? What did the color orange ever do to you?" Let me learn you something.

The orange ball is simply IMPOSSIBLE to see on television. Here's a screenshot of the last Hounds/Machine game as seen on ESPN3. Can you find the ball in midair? Of course not:

image

True, the ball in play is moving at incredibly high speed, and the camera is clearly a little blurred from following it. But the stationary balls on the endline are just as invisible. It is also a screenshot from an online stream, so the quality is perhaps not as clear as it would be on a massive high-def television (though surely not all fans own such televisions). Still, this shot was taken on what my ESPN3 browser called "Best Quality." With sites like ESPN3 and The Lacrosse Network doing the lion's share of MLL broadcasting these days, I'd wager that the scene above is pretty typical of what most MLL viewers actually see.

Of course, lacrosse fans like us can still follow the action reasonably well. We know what it looks like to pass and catch, and we still see the black nets shimmer when the ball stings a corner. But it's utterly incomprehensible to those unfamiliar with the game. How long do you think a bored, pitiful non-laxer would linger, squinting and guessing, to watch that MLL game in Ohio? Not very long. If the point of the MLL is to draw new people to professional lacrosse, an invisible ball probably isn't the best selling point.

In contrast, a white ball actually glows in sunlight like this. In ESPNU broadcasts it's practically a beach ball. For the sake of brevity I'll simply cite the last 100 years of perfectly visible, white-balled college lacrosse. It didn't need the MLL's orange fix because it wasn't broke.

So that's my take. Has my old age made me crazy, or wise?
Ryan Mulvaneyjackmishrushlacrosse

Comments

  • Ryan MulvaneyRyan Mulvaney Supreme Overlord Caldwell, ID
    I noticed the same thing when watching replays on ESPN3. I had to watch players reactions and movements to know where the ball was. Every once in a while I caught a glimpse of the ball, but other than that, it was invisible. The college replays are perfect because you can see the ball in flight. Plus if the ball if white then the Outlaws can rock orange pockets.
    #YoteFam
    #GrowTheGame
    #StringYourOwn
    #StringItForward

    College of Idaho Lacrosse
    Midfield
    Class of 2015
  • jackmishjackmish Durham, NC
    The same thing annoyed and me and I never really knew until now that its only orange for cosmetic reasons. It would also stop the no orange strings rule, which isn't too important but it's still stupid to have such a rule when all you need to do is switch to white. If the MLL would be to complain about what to do with their countless orange balls, they could give them to their local smaller teams that need them. For example the Lizards could donate theirs to the Brooklyn Crescents. It would be an awesome way to Grow the Game.
    I think it's a silly preference that would actually be beneficial to switch if the refs can't tell where the ball is in replay in a controversial play. I completely agree with you.
    #stringyourown

    Grow the Game
    Mark Donahuestickmanlax
  • if its on ESPN its easy to see only cbs messes it up
  • So about this whole thread... This is some great same-day customer service by the guys at @MLL_Lacrosse right here!

    image

    Mission accomplished, fellas.

    image
    Ryan Mulvaney
  • Ryan MulvaneyRyan Mulvaney Supreme Overlord Caldwell, ID

    So about this whole thread... This is some great same-day customer service by the guys at @MLL_Lacrosse right here!

    image

    Mission accomplished, fellas.

    image

    I AM VERY EXCITE!
    #YoteFam
    #GrowTheGame
    #StringYourOwn
    #StringItForward

    College of Idaho Lacrosse
    Midfield
    Class of 2015
    thebuckethelmet
  • What did everyone think of the yellow & whites? I thought it was a huge improvement. The passing was much easier to watch, and you could even see where the lighter balls hit the ground on bounce shots.

    Checking the @MLL_Lacrosse twitter account, I'm amazed at how many fans were retweeted who favored keeping the orange. Some said they just liked the "signature" MLL color, others said it was more visible, but either way I don't get it. The visibility issue is a no-brainer, or else they wouldn't have experimented with new colors in the first place--fans can't see it. And there are much better ways to cultivate a distinctive MLL style than with a tiny, already-hard-to-see piece of rubber.

    Again, I understand that I'm nitpicking. Many fans could probably care less about what color balls the MLL uses. I've simply had too many conversations with my non-laxer friends (and they're people, too, lest we forget) who have all mentioned how hard it is for them to watch MLL games because of the invisible ball. Keeping the ball as-is would frankly be a huge mistake.

    So Mission Not Yet Fully Accomplished, I guess. If you're with me on this, keep bombarding the MLL on Twitter and elsewhere to make the switch to a lighter ball. I think with a moderate amount of grassroots pestering, this Championship Weekend may be the last one we MLL fans have to squint through.
    stickmanlax
  • I thought that the yellow ball was more visible on TV. I just would like the MLL to keep the "grippy" ball. Does anyone know if the balls used during last week's NY/Ohio game were "grippy" balls despite not being the standard orange?
  • jackmishjackmish Durham, NC
    @thebuckethelmet I watched the game with a friend who doesn't play lacrosse that night and I showed him an older game with an orange ball. He agreed you could see white better completely.

    People who say they should leave it for the "signature" MLL style, are not looking at it rationally. Style doesn't decide the game what so ever. I agree @scriff the yellow ball was very visible, about as visible as the white. As for the "grippy" I would assume they were just as grippy. They looked like brand new balls and no brand new ball is a greaser.
    #stringyourown

    Grow the Game
    thebuckethelmet
  • I was really asking if the MLL did already use or would continue to use the balls with the dimples on them. The orange balls used by the MLL in the past have had dimples on them. The league dubs them "grippy balls".
  • jackmishjackmish Durham, NC
    @scriff yeah sorry I misunderstood. I've used those before in white during turf games and I would hazard a guess that they would use them.
    #stringyourown

    Grow the Game
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