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Shot Clock in NCAA Lacrosse? A Better Solution

The NY Times recently publiched an article  Stalled Sport Ponders New Tactic: A Shot Clock ( By JON BRAND, Published: May 10, 2012)

Lacrosse Field

The article was interesting and had some good points.  But it does come back to commercializing a great sport.

Who says the sport is stalled?

  • MLL set an attendance record last year 
  • There are hundreds of club teams throughout the university system.   There are new Division 1 teams arising every year.
  • Quality lacrosse is expanding West (geographically).  Last year, Denver made it to the Final Four.  It is just a matter of time before the California Schools start competing in D1.
  • More games are getting coverage on ESPN.

So Lacrosse is having organic growth.

Adding a shot clock “may” speed things up but the game is typically not slow.  The examples given in the article are the exceptions and not the rules.

From the article:

Lacrosse purists once called M.L.L. a blasphemous game, the league’s commissioner, David Gross, said. The M.L.L. also has a 2-point arc 16 yards from the goal that encourages offensive risk and stretches defenses. Many believe a 2-point arc and a shot clock go hand in hand.

“With the clock, teams will start to pack in a zone more, and that’s why the 2-point arc needs to be there,” said Boston midfielder Paul Rabil, who also plays in the National Lacrosse League, an indoor league featuring a 30-second clock.

Oh. So now we will need a shot clock and a 2-point shot.  That will dramatically change the game.

Suggestion:

Keep the rules as is. Call more stall warnings.  Shrink the offensive box by 5 yards on each side of the box.  This will not change the rules and it will make it more difficult to play “keep-away”.   If the box is smaller and a team successfully slows down the game, they have earned it.

If you can stall with less places to hide, you are talented and good for you.

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