Embarrassing Lacrosse Fight Video


I’ve seen my fair share of lacrosse fights, and I know (from personal experience) that games can get out of hand quickly. But the fight that transpires below is really leaving me scratching my head in a big way, because SO MUCH goes wrong, and in such a short period of time.

Watch the ridiculousness unfold below, and then allow me to count the ways in which this fight was particularly embarrassing for all involved.


1) The guy who starts the fight was on DEFENSE, and was the guy throwing slashes. I guess that wasn’t enough so he decided to take it a step further and start punching his opponent. Not a good start.

2) As the kids begin to tussle, the ref just stands there and blows his whistle. If the game gets THIS out of control, the ref is to blame at some level. For him to just stand back and not break up the fight immediately shows how this game got to this point.

3) Do I believe my eyes? At the :20 second mark, a fourth, or fifth, player in white enters the fray, turns his stick around, and proceeds to hit someone in the scuffle with the butt end. It is one of the most cowardly things I’ve ever seen. He then backs away with palms raised, the ultimate wimp move.

4) The zebras get touchy. The coach in blue, who is the ONLY one trying to break up the fight, gets escorted off the field by one of the refs with a slight push. So NOW you’re going to get physical, stripes?

5) The coach in red screams at the coach in blue. Um, excuse me, but wasn’t it YOUR boys who started this brawl and not the other guy’s? How about some accountability, red?

6) The refs send everyone to their benches. Honestly, the only right move at that point is to call the game, and walk off the field.

I was involved in a fight in a high school game once. It was in the days before cell phone video, but our coach let us know that if we EVER did anything like that again, he would quit and recommend that the school drop the program. He was embarrassed, and we embarrassed ourselves, and I was at the center of it all. It is easily in my top ten stupidest things done ever.

If you are a high school coach, I HIGHLY recommend you show this video to your players, and hopefully they will see how embarrassing this stuff can be. It’s not cool, it’s not tough, it’s simply a joke, and it has nothing to do with good lacrosse. Trust me on this, I know what I’m talking about from experience.


  1. Shot after the whistle started this whole thing.
    1 Minute Un-sportsmen like on Blue
    3 Minute Un-sportsmen like on White expulsion for the fight
    3 Minute Un-Sportsmen like on White expulsion for the butt-end

    The only reason I see white coach yelling is if the blue coach was physical with the white player.

    Where were the other refs? the players shouldnt have been walking back to their benches with out a ref there.

    I wouldnt have called this game because it looks like someone, most likely the coaches froze the benches and there werent players jumping in. The players (except the 3 involved) were trying to stop this.

    • good call on how it started.
      I think more players could be ejected, but those are definitely the clearest penalties.

      as for the white coach, probably true. But someone had to break it up.

      Looks like it was a 2 man crew.

      Sounds good re: terminating the game. makes sense.

  2. Connor, 

    Thank you for sharing this video and it is always unfortunate when games end up like this and it is an embarrassing thing for the sport we all love to be a part of. I want to provide some insight into a couple of your comments about the officials and their role when a fight breaks out. In response to your #2 above, it is impossible to tell from a 50 second video clip how this game ended up this way. I have been involved in games and witnessed games where everything is going smoothly and all of a sudden two players get the idea to go off the deep end and do something dumb like fight. I often teach officials that yes, if a fight does break out, it is always important to look back to see what you could have done differently. Could the officials have called some stuff earlier? Thrown some more penalties earlier? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Again, it is impossible to tell from a 50 second clip. The second part of your #2 above where you comment that the ref just stands there and blows his whistle. This is exactly what we teach our officials to do first. For a long time we always taught them to never go into a fight and try and separate the players. We have relaxed that rule and now teach, that if you feel it is safe to go in between the players and separate the players than do so. What you don’t want to do is pull one player back, because then you are just holding them for the opponent! Usually the whistle works as you running in though. It is important that officials are safe and they do not put themselves in harms way. The last thing anyone needs is an official getting hit and knocked down. One official (the closest one) is assigned to the fight, while the 2nd official is responsible for freezing the benches. Anyone that leaves the bench area regardless of what there intentions are, are ejected from the contest. 

    Your point #4, yes the official pushed the coach back towards their bench area. I agree and don’t think this is the best way to handle this situation but neither of us were there and I am not sure what that coach is saying to the other players or to that official possibly. It is hard to say, but in the heat of the moment, I may have done the same thing, if it was going to help with the situation and begin to get everyone under control. 

    Your point #6. Yes, and this was the right move as you said. I am curious to know if they finished the game or terminated it there. It really is at their discretion and the best thing for them to do is send the teams to their benches and huddle together to do their best to sort out what they are going to do next, who they are going to eject etc… It allows for everyone including the officials to take a deep breath and make decisions based on the situations that occurred and not on emotion. 

    I applaud you and your team for posting this video as these things can be an excellent teaching for players, coaches and officials. I find it hard to fault the officials in any of this and I think they did everything they possibly could in a situation that seemed to be out of everyone’s hands. 

    Just for reference and I did have to watch this about 10 times (the officials working the game don’t have replay to go off of), I would have ejected the two players fighting, the player giving swinging his butt-end at the players, the two coaches for leaving the bench and the goalie at the end for celebrating the fact that a fight occurred in the game.  

    No one should be celebrating this and I hope everyone involved learned something valuable. This is not what our great sport represents. I feel bad for everyone involved in this. I have been involved in contests that end this way and I can tell you, it is never a good feeling, from a coaches, players and an officials perspective. Again, I applaud you for asking coaches to share this with their players and using this video as a teaching tool and lesson. Hopefully, they will share and we can all play and enjoy this great game as it is intended to be played and enjoyed. Best, Charlie ObermayerUS Lacrosse Officials Program Manager

    • THanks for the comment, Charlie.

      You’re right that we can’t tell how this game got to this point from the video above, but it is very rare that kids just lose their minds over ONE thing. I am making assumptions here, and you are correct that doing so can be dangerous.

      Thanks for the update on how officials are instructed to act and break up fights. I would disagree with refs safety being placed above all else. They are paid to keep games safe for the players… for me, that should be their top priority. I’d love to discuss that point further with you!

      as to point #4, again, you are correct that we don’t have 100% information, but I do think it’s interesting that the ref wouldn’t break up the fight, but he WOULD push the coach off the field. Seems a little inconsistent to me.

      Agree on #6. Stopping the game for at least a while is the bare minimum.

      Would love to connect on this further, maybe do a podcast sometime soon?

      • Charlie is correct in his points.

        And Conner, I see your point that most likely, this started because of earlier happenings. However, I have reffed games where fights do occur seemingly out of nowhere. Sometimes a player remembers you from a game back, a year ago, or whatever, and decides to throw a punch. I know, it’s happened to me. 

        Also, officials are told not to physically break up fights because of player safety. I know this seems counter-intuitive, but hear me out. If a ref tries to break up a fight, and takes a blow meant for one of the players because he/she is trying to intervene, and is injured or knocked out, they no longer will have the ability to ref the game or control players. That is, with a ref down, things can and will get more out of hand, and potentially lead to injuries of more players than just the players in the fight. We’re told that the best thing that we can do is to document everything that happened in the fight, and make sure that all penalties and expulsions happen quickly and correctly so that the game can hopefully continue. 

        • thanks for commenting and educating me! Much appreciated. I see your side of things for sure, and appreciate your willingness to share and discuss it.

          Great point on a ref getting knocked out. Maybe we need them to be wearing helmets? That was a joke, but your point was not. Thanks.

      • No problem at all Connor.

        Just to be clear for everyone, the top priority for all officials is absolutely player safety first and I apologize if I did not state that in my previous post or implied that, that was not the case. Fights always tend to be strange situations and everyone’s safety in those situations should be considered.

        Would love to chat more. Please free to shoot me an email and we can set up a time. Thanks again for allowing me to clarify.


  3. I think the defender in white lost it because the player in blue fired a shot after the whistle (and slashed him on the follow through).

    Not condoning it, but that’s why the defender got upset.

  4. Connor, as a ref of 6 years, one of the more important things we’re taught in relation to fighting is to never get involved physically. You wait for a break in the fight to step in, similar to hockey refs. If you’re holding one of the kids back, and the other player takes a swing at him, you can be held responsible if that player gets hurt. This ref did exactly what US lacrosse instructs him to do, waiting for a break in the fight to step in, while the other ref is supposed to hold the bench back. The only other people allowed on the field are supposed to be the coaches, and that’s if they’re trying to break the fight up. The liability put on us if a player gets hurt due to our actions is not worth the money we get paid. 

  5. One of the biggest surprises that I had jumping into the reffing world, was how immediately physically vulnerable you are as the only person out there without pads or a helmet. We’re not as big, quick or fast as the players, and there’s plenty of opportunities to get knock around in an average game. 

    I agree with the refs who commented that this guy behaved just like the training says you should. I can just imagine him stepping in to separate them right as the butt end comes down on his head, and now we’ve got a big hot mess on our hands.  As it was, if the blue coach had arrived one or two seconds earlier, he’d have been hit with the stick. At that point the game, and maybe an ambulance, would likely be called.

    I agree with TyWebb on the penalties, although I’d probably give a USC on the goalie for celebrating, if I saw it, but I suspect I wouldn’t have seen it given all the other stuff going on at the same time.