Welcome to “A Lacrosse Weekend,” my weekly compilation of thoughts, ideas, history, stories, myths/truths about the great game of lacrosse! I hope you find it enjoyable.
It’s hard to believe, and it’s sad to say, but school started yesterday here in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Our schools get out around Memorial Day Friday, which is a solid 4 weeks earlier than schools in Connecticut or Massachusetts where they start back up after Labor day. It’s a tough call to figure out which summer schedule is better. On the one hand, not having August as a part of summer, as maybe the best part of summer where there is nothing to do except get ready for preseason sports, is criminal! On the other hand, getting out of school within a week of July 4th because of snow days would be excruciating! If you have a spare 30K-50K you could send your kids to private school and have June, July and August!
Minto Cup 2018
The teams are set: the Brampton Excelsiors will represent Ontario, the Coquitlam Adanacs will represent BC, and the Okotoks Raiders and the Calgary Mountaineers will represent Alberta (the host province gets two entrants. The Raiders are the Alberta champions and the Mounties will be the 2nd place team).
The format is a round robin to determine a 1st place that gets a bye, a 4th place that is out, and then a semifinal of #2 vs. #3 to play in the best of 5 series.The teams will play up to 9 games in 11 days in this grueling tournament.
The Minto format for many years was Ontario versus BC in a best of 7 game series, but in an attempt to help lacrosse grow in Alberta, Canadian Lacrosse has gone to the 4 team format. In addition, to make Alberta more competitive, Alberta teams are allowed to pick up the best players from their league at any time to load up for the Minto Cup. For example, the Raiders beat the Saskatchewan SWAT in the semi finals and immediately picked up their goalie who was the best in the league. Alberta had a great showing in the 2016 Minto Cup defeating Delta and knocking them out of contention. Last year, the Raiders gave Coquitlam all they could handle in the round robin play.The disadvantage for Alberta this year is their teams will be watered down by virtue of having two teams there.
Brampton is led by Jeff Teat, who many regard as the Wayne Gretzky of lacrosse. I know, it’s a huge label to put on a 21 year old, but he’s got a magic to his game. Think about it, he was a starter on the Canadian National team at 21! Do you know how many incredible Canadian lefties there are? He’s listed at 5’10’’ 140, but that can’t be up to date, he’s gotta be at least 5’11’’ 165 by now. Right?
Clark Petterson is the nephew of the late great Dave Huntley and is a great player in his own right. Petterson scored 44 goals last season as a line-mate with Teat at Cornell.
The Coquitlam Adanacs are lead by goalie Christian Del Bianco, who was up for the NLL Goalie of the Year in 2018. The Adancac defense is lead by Drexel star attackman Reid Bowering and All World Canadian defender Ryland Rees. The Adanacs leading goal scorer is Chase Scanlon, who will be a freshman at Loyola in the fall and who represented the Iroquois at the world games as the youngest player in the games. Coquitlam has a pretty balanced offense with righty’s Scanlon, John Hofseth (Seton Hill ‘20), Will Clayton(Denver ’22), Dylan Foulds (Penn State ’20) and lefty’s Larson Sundown (Limestone ’20), Colin Munro(North Carolina ’21), Dennon Armstrong (recruited by a ton of schools but not interested) and Adam Fulton(Delaware ’21).
I am hoping for Coquitlam and Brampton to make it to the best of five series as it would be epic! The games will be televised on AlbertalacrosseTV.com and Jake Elliott will be on the call.
The NCAA Lacrosse Rules Committee has proposed two big new rule changes: First, a shot clock with the mechanics of 20 seconds to clear over the midline and 60 seconds to begin once the ball crosses the midline.The second rule change is bringing back the dive. There are some pretty fired up people!
Here are my initial thoughts:
It’s going to be great not to have to watch teams stall.
No more possession shots
Face off value could diminish in importance
Rebounds / resets will be fun!
Will the old school screen the goalie (jump up in the air) be resurrected?
The substitution game will go away as a time killer, but will still exist if teams think they can score better in “Hangman” 5v5 situations or by keeping FOGO’s on the field
20 second clearing clock is better for riding than the 30 seconds to get it in clock. Teams will 10-man ride more often as well as deep zone ride to kill clearing clock.
Teams will push transition more if they feel they will score at a higher efficiency than in 6v6
The dive will be exciting and much harder for defenses
The dive will force teams to slide more often and open up rollbacks and ball movement opportunities
The dive will allow players who can hang their man up to dive from behind in multiple ways
The dive will be easier to officiate
Offenses will have to play faster and efficiency will be paramount.
Defenses may play more zone, but they may crank up the pressure too as they won’t have to sustain such pressure for too long.
This won’t bring back the two-way midfielder…. Even in box lacrosse with a 30 second shot clock teams get their best players in on offense and defense.Efficiency is the name of the game.
Joe Keegan’s stats from moneyballlacrosse.comdocument that wing dodging in MLL is by far the most efficient area to dodge from with a shooting percentage of 30%.With the dive, you will see more wing dodging and wing 2-man games in NCAA Lacrosse.
There are some folks who think that there should be an 80 second clock that starts on possession with a 20 second clock for the midline clear.The reason the committee didn’t do this was relative to various mechanics and clock inconsistency.
None of these rules will be in effect for the next 20 years, it’s a work in process and there will definitely be adjustments, but this is a good direction!
Secondary rides will become prevalent where trapping after the ball crosses the midline will be effective in killing clock
How to Coach Youth Lacrosse
I recently did a film study on a girls lacrosse game I was coaching to see if we had balance in our offense. I went through each possession in 3 games and described what happened: LH dodge from X, throw back, RH dodge, pass up and over to the lefty Pair for a RH alley dodge/mirror, throw back and over to the Righty pair for a 2man game, etc. I color coded the dodges from the 3 girls behind in blue, the dodges from the righty pair in red and the dodges from the lefty pair in orange. Part of running a good offense is running a balanced offense and attacking from different spots in different ways, while hopefully playing everyone’s strengths. What I was looking for ideally was all three colors showing up in a possession combined with good shots. I recommend this exercise because film doesn’t lie. You must base decisions for everything you do, from evaluation to adjustments, on film as opposed to basing it on perception and memory.