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