Apologies for once again being late to get in on Ron's excellent thread below.
I'm sure there are many people who fall in love with a sport for its unique qualities. Likewise, they fall out of love when their favourite game becomes too predictable. With that in mind, two of lacrosse's greatest skills are the ball ragger and the draw man. Perhaps not totally unique from other sports, however they are qualities which stand out in our game.
Lately the drawman's influence has been minimized slightly. Change the rules to speed up the game, which means awarding possession after stoppages, rather than having a draw. I've never understood how it speeds up the game. Does the clock run faster if you give the team with a power play automatic possession?
Now the fun issue is the thirty second clock during shorthanded situations. I do agree that philosophically there is a contradiction when the clock doesn't run for the shorthanded team - changing the rule to reward the team which committed a penalty. Yet we cannot over look that ragging the ball is a great skill and if you run the clock then that skill has been lost to the game.
I admire the innovative qualities of CLAX in trying to tackle these modern problems in order to make the game more entertaining for the fans. They are certainly more progressive than the lacrosse establishment, which seems content to be a victim of changing times, rather than giving the game forward guidance.
Two suggestions I'd like to make regarding the shorthanded situation:
1) reduce the offensive zone by moving the lines to hockey's blueline. Perhaps in a smaller space the team with the power play can better dispossess the ball ragger. The problem now is that ball ragging is, at times, too easy. Therefore make it more challenging for ball ragging.
2) if the team with the power play chooses to not try and regain possession then bring in a rule where the referee warns them to engage the ball. If they still do not then cancel the penalty. If they're content to stand around for 90 seconds wasting everyone's time then let's return the other team to full strength immediately and save the 90 seconds.
It's a great issue and there's no right or wrong answer. I get just as exasperated when ragging becomes too easy. Yet we shouldn't lose sight that it's not the fault of the penalty killers. They are simply doing their work extremely well. There should be just as many players trained to check ball raggers. If there isn't perhaps it's because coaches think it's easier to just change the rules rather than doing the extra work to teach players properly.
Posted on Jul 16, 2012, 10:08 AM from IP address 126.96.36.199