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Good call: Officials quick to whistle stalling

College and high school officials are being liberal in interpreting the rules on stalling, and it's actually good for the game. More and more officials are giving less time (about 45 seconds) before enforcing the stalling rule, and it's being called more on the high school level than the college. I like it that way because it forces an uptempo game, and that's the way lacrosse was meant to be played.

We're already in the specialized era where the game is slowed down because teams have offensive midfielders and defensive midfielders. Teams that lack speed can also slow down the game with numerous passes. That's sound strategy, but not the kind of lacrosse I want to see.
I like cutting and I like ball movement. I like fastbreaks and transition. I like the basic concept of offensive lacrosse: Catch the ball, make a move, and if you can't beat your defender, pass it to someone else.
But to deliberately hold the ball and not go to the goal is boring, and hurts the game. In fact, if the officials wanted to enforce the stalling rule faster, I wouldn't mind.

Posted by Mike Preston at 7:25 AM | | Comments (5)


I think it is needed. They should install a 45 second shot clock once the ball is brought into the box. It is more than enough time to run a play and get a good shot. Also, limit defense to three long poles and that is it. The game would speed up dramatically and be more exciting. It would be less specialized with less situational subbing. Unfortunately, what used to be a great spectator game has become drastically boring the way it is now.

I agree-speed the game up.

On other rules-I like watching extra-man opportunities, but the refs call games now as if the teams were from senior homes. Let the teams play and don't call a whistele every time there is an exciting ground ball scramble.

Lastly, I think an experiment with a 1 foot back board around the goal would be interesting to try. There should be a shot clock and you to have a shot that at minimum hits the backboard or you lose possession with shot expiration. Rebounds would be very exciting and lead to transition.

Lacrosse is a great game, but it is becoming too controlled to its detriment. (too many fouls by refs and tactical coaching)

The men's college game needs a shot clock, somewhere between 30 and 45 seconds. Kessenich advocates a 60 second clock, but I would argue that's too slow. I think the pace problem in the game stems from too many coaches who are control freaks, and I think it goes back to Bill Tierney. When Princeton started winning championships, everybody started imitating them. In terms of game pace, that was for the bad. The game right now is like men's B-ball in the age of the 4 Corners, and that wasn't good for basketball, just like it's not good for Men's Lax. Put a shot clock in the game, coaches!

I disagree. The stalling rule is applied indiscriminantly. A simple move to international rules (see the World Games) would solve the game's problems.

Dave Cottle is the all-time champion of slowing down the game, although this season he's letting his guys run more. I like the suggestion by Ebe of limiting teams to three long poles at a time. It whould stop a lot of this nonsense that has made many lacrosse games boring.

I just wonder, would a shot clock improve things? There already seems to be instances in every game "was that a shot or a pass?" Would the game be slowed more by refs having to conference on just what was that last shot/pass? Food for thought.

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About Faceoff
Faceoff is The Baltimore Sun's blog devoted to college and high school lacrosse. Faceoff contributors include Sun reporters Edward Lee, Mike Preston and Katherine Dunn.

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