2013 Rules Are Finalized: Same Story Shows Up Everywhere

college lacrosse 2013 rule changes
Get ready fellas. The new rules are here!

Two really interesting situations are unfolding right now and both have to do with the 2013 Rule Changes. The first is that the proposed changes have made their way through the Rules Oversight Committee, and that the stall warning (and shot clock), and four inch shooting string restriction (amongst other rules), have gone through.

We have a lot more on what the four inch shooting string rules means, as well as the shot clock, and it’s nice to finally know which rules will be put into effect, and which won’t. Check out the NCAA.org article for a full explanation.

Beyond the actual changes, the announcement also brings up an interesting journalism tid bit, and that is the fact that plagiarism and sourcing have becoming increasingly large issues in our world, and lacrosse media is not exempt.

Inside Lacrosse broke the story (meaning that they published it first), and their post is credited as a press release, which is interesting, because a press release had not yet been issued, at least not to the rest of the media. The Baltimore Sun was citing IL as the source, and not a press release, and they basically just copied what IL had up and changed a few key words. Over on LPG, almost the exact same article appears (as it does on the NCAA.org, BSun and IL sites), and the author there is actually credited as Lacrosse Playground, and no mention of a press release or original author is made at all.

All three articles have virtually the exact same language in them as of 12:18 pm on Monday… And that language all comes from an article up on NCAA.org by Greg Johnson. Greg was cited as the author in ZERO of these media outlets.

If you don’t go to NCAA.org, it can be hard to tell where all this information is coming from. Is there actually a press release floating around out there from the NCAA? Did other sites get the press release too? If a press release is excerpted from a credited article by Greg Johnson, isn’t it just an article by Greg Johnson? The problem is that the reader isn’t told what is going on here. All one sees is copy, paste, publish.

The 2013 Rules Changes have been a hot topic of conversation, and somehow these rules were finalized on Friday, without so much as a peep from the NCAA through noon EST on Monday. And yet almost everyone had this “story” up quickly today, and all failed to credit the guy who wrote it. Dear Lacrosse Media, you can do better. MUCH better. Being first is great, doing it right is better, but citing sources, and disclosure of credit, creates a very basic level of expectation. Let’s focus more on the last one, and less on the first!