Club

It’s Time To Quit Lacrosse And Take Up MMA

Fighting
Fighting is old school. So is not wearing a helmet. Glad we changed that!

After a great weekend (and now the MCLA tourney) of college lacrosse, and lots of spots on SportsCenter’s Top Ten, I felt like lacrosse was in a good place and poised to have a great month.  And then a new video hit youtube and all that was lost.

Deadspin found a box lacrosse brawl video featuring a bunch of 16 and 18 year old kids from Canada and called it “Canadian Lacrosse Brawl Is Best Lacrosse Brawl“, and now that is the lacrosse people outside of the sport are talking about.  Not the real athletes playing in college, not the pros heading to the finals, but a bunch of teenagers brawling under the guise of a lacrosse game.

I’ve said it before, and now that I’ve played full contact box lacrosse, I’ll say it again… Fighting is STUPID.  And completely unnecessary.

It does nothing for the sport of lacrosse overall in terms of bringing in new, legitimate fans, and it turns many field lacrosse people away from box lacrosse, who might otherwise be interested.  Those that do come over “for the fights” want fights, and more of them, and this means less actual lacrosse.

If you think that fighting is pulling in the crowds, please remember the NLL is not filling arenas, and neither is any other box league.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  But it is broke.  And it needs to be fixed.

If fighting is going to be eliminated, some things need to change.  Off ball crosschecking must remain legal, and the rules should not really have to change at all.  BUT, they will need to be enforced more stringently.  This means that a no skill defender who survives by crushing people somewhat legally will soon be out of a job.  The pure fighter will also be lost.

Fighting

Fighting is old school. So is not wearing a helmet. Glad we changed that!

But that doesn’t mean the sport won’t still be tough.  Guys like Joe Cinosky, Sid Smith and even Jack Reid could become more valuable than ever for what they can do on the floor defensively.  Reid might be on the bubble there, but I think he could change his game if the rules required him to.

But pure brawlers and enforcers, like Matt Bonterre, would be so heavily penalized that they would become a detriment to their team.  Crosscheck a guy in the face?  Penalty. Knock someone over with a hit to the back of the head? Penalty.  Slash someone hard off ball for no reason? Penalty. Why this is called sometimes and not others baffles me.  The refs simply let it go too much, and when that happens fighting IS required.  But it doesn’t have to happen.

At the Ales Hrebesky Memorial, there was no fighting.  The games were intense and there was certainly some pushing and jostling.  But it never escalated, because it simply wasn’t acceptable. The refs called a clean, tight game for the most part.  Emotions were not allowed to run wild. If the NLL ejected someone for fighting and suspended them two games automatically, we would see a vast reduction in fights.

Pair that reduction in fighting with a cleaner game, and box lacrosse could really start to flourish in a larger market.

There are those who will say that my proposal would soften the game, and that it is impossible to eliminate all cheap shots.  To the latter point, I agree.  But there are cheap shots in basketball, football, soccer, field lacrosse, and many other sports where fighting is simply not allowed.  What exactly makes box lacrosse different?  I’ver never heard a convincing argument here.

As to whether or not it would soften games, I don’t think it would.  The game could still be fast and physical, and skill and speed would remain as premiums.  But there would be less cheap play if the refs called it tighter, and didn’t let so much extra stuff go.  The game wouldn’t be slowed down by fights, and losing teams couldn’t brawl or intimidate their way to wins.

If you want to see a bunch of guys knock each other senseless, go to an MMA event, or take in a WWE spectacle.  But this acceptance, and even promotion, of fighting in box lacrosse is getting ridiculous.  The video above starts with one kid bum rushing another from behind.  Later one kid punches another kid who is pinned down by a third player.  Players leave the bench.  It’s like something out of a bad sports movie.

Even under my proposed changes, fighting could still happen once in a while.  Teams could bring in guys to fight in the first period of a couple games a year to “send a message”.  But the penalties would be stiffer, and I really think it would happen a lot less.  When it did happen, it would be a fight between one man and one man.  And it would probably never escalate to a brawl because of the immediate suspensions handed out.

Fighting would again serve a purpose in the sport, and no longer be an expected norm.  Brawls like the one above wouldn’t be looked at as “part of the sport”, but as the black eye that they truly are.

Box lacrosse is a tough, fast sport, but getting so frustrated that you cheap shot or fight someone isn’t tough.  Getting beat on and still scoring 7 goals and winning the game IS tough.  I guess I’d just rather see a lot more of the latter, and this is the perfect way to do it.

Okay, fighting enthusiasts… make your best case.  CONVINCE ME that I’m wrong!

About the author

Connor Wilson

Connor is the Publisher of LacrosseAllStars.com. He lives in Brooklyn with his better half, continues to play and coach both box and field lacrosse in NYC as much as possible, and covers the great game that is lacrosse full-time. He spends his spare time stringing sticks and watching Futurama.

30 Comments

    • The suspensions do not change the fact that fighting, and sometimes brawling is “part of the game”.  I like seeing the suspensions personally, and until we see more of them, and at the PRO levels, brawls like the one above will continue to give the sport a bad name.

      A fight is one thing, and can be meaningful when rare.  But they have become too commonplace, and now a brawl is rare, but happens.  Pare back fighting and brawling will disappear.  Brawls are Stupid.  No way around it.  Leave that nonsense to baseball!!!!

      My $.02 on the subject.

      • Why does the rare brawl occur in basketball, soccer, baseball, football where fighting is illegal?  In fact go to youtube and search any sport + brawl and you will probably be able to find one.

          

        • sure, brawls happen in other sports still.  We’re all human after all.  But the suspensions are usually REALLY long (except in baseball, which is silly) and the brawls are VERY rare, and VERY frowned upon by everyone.  

          No one tries to brush them off like we do in box lacrosse.  There is a difference.

          • Connor,

            You are just using rare occurrence to once again bash fighting. You had an eye opening and wonderful experience plating real box lacrosse in Europe. If you spent 1, even a 1/2 of a season playing Can/Am or Sr. of some sort in Canada or the North East US, there is no doubt in my mind that you will see the passion, value, and respect that fighting has in the game. Until then, it is silly to even go back and forth about this or even for you to post about fighting. Because frankly, you’ve never been a part of a league that sanctions it. We as Canadians understand the fact that there is NO fighting in field, so be it. On the other hand, you need to understand, that you don’t understand Canadian Box. No one is trying to brush this under the table that is exactly why there were countless suspension. But it is seriously no big deal. If the video was taken on a shit old flip phone, was grainy, and had shitty sound, it wouldn’t have gotten a wink of press. Because the brawl was as clear as day, and easily viewable, people exploited it, and made fighting, box lacrosse, and these kids out to be hooligans.

          • I have already seen the passion for fighting than many box fans have… it’s on display all the time. I just don’t share it. Not as a fan and not as a player.

            What don’t I understand about Canadian Box Lacrosse? The fact that there is fighting? Is that what I’m missing out on?

            Honestly, I don’t really mind a fight once in a while, and I can see how they have some value, IF it is regulated. But this brawling stuff is STUPID AND COWARDLY, and yes, you are brushing it off.

            Brawls like the one above ARE a big deal, but you can keep saying, “it’s just a part of Canadian box lax man… you just don’t get it” However, that’s the weakest argument I’ve ever heard from you. Do better.

            When the people police themselves, problems arise. That’s what police and refs are for! Look at all the problems stand your ground laws have created in the US… people policing other people for what THEY view as a wrong. It’s biased and ridiculous. The refs need to call it tighter and do a better job and suspensions need to be longer for dirty players.

            Or do you want to keep fighting so players can still play dirty? Is that the point of fighting?

            Seriously, I need much better than “you just don’t get it”… HELP me understand, make ONCE compelling argument. I dare you.

          • Ok, you asked for it. And for the record I never ONCE, not ONE, but never ONCE used the argument of “you just don’t get it”. If you are going to quote me, quote me, quote me properly.

            The biggest point that falsifies your argument is that sanctioned in game fighting leads to brawls like the viral YouTube video.

            You are using a random occurrence in box lacrosse, an occurrence that just as randomly happens in non-fighting sports, to argue against fighting.

            And, then at the end of your post you say fighting is OK… if it is in the first period… every once and a while…

            I realize it is summer, but leave your flip flops on your feet.

            I have a rebuttal coming that will be up on Lax Beauty.

          • I could have reprinted this:

            If you spent 1, even a 1/2 of a season playing Can/Am or Sr. of some sort in Canada or the North East US, there is no doubt in my mind that you will see the passion, value, and respect that fighting has in the game. Until then, it is silly to even go back and forth about this or even for you to post about fighting. Because frankly, you’ve never been a part of a league that sanctions it. We as Canadians understand the fact that there is NO fighting in field, so be it. On the other hand, you need to understand, that you don’t understand Canadian Box.
            to make my point about you claiming I just don’t get it, but I figured you’d know what I was talking about.
            And yes, I said I personally find fighting stupid and needless, I also admitted that it could serve a purpose, if it were reined in quite a bit. Allowing the players to police themselves just isn’t something I’m interested in. It’s why there are rules and refs, but if it is an important and historic part of the game, I’m willing to listen… so I look forward to your post!

            Basically, for me, it comes down to this. If a sport does not allow fighting (or at least doesn’t promote it), when something escalates, it will often only escalate to a fight. The brawl will be rare (except baseball, but come on.). But when the fight is acceptable, the brawl, 2 on 1 fights, and even more cheap shots become the logical next step. I’ve seen more lacrosse brawls than basketball brawls, and bball is a MUCH bigger sport. Same goes for soccer or even American football.

            I think fighting could be done away with, but in the end recognize that maybe it does have a place in the game. All I’m really arguing for is that fights serve a real purpose, and aren’t just some free for all where people fight because they are losing big or because they are less talented, or because it’s what they do.

            For me, the fighting is over the top. There is too much of it, and its purported purpose of “self policing” is far from the only way it is used. I just think it takes away from the game itself.

          • No one is trying to brush this brawl off. I
            don’t know where you’re getting this idea from. What do you think
            brushing things off is? Issuing appropriate suspensions, punishing
            coaches for not controlling their benches, exposing this event in many
            forms of media? These were all done. Would you like to see year-bans for
            young players, legal action, complete rulebook overhauls?

            And quit trying to make brawls and fights
            into the same thing, same goes for 2on1 fighting. Those are all separate
            things, so leave them as such. Also, you’re not gonna raise better
            points than we are, we were born from this game, and we breathe it. You may be able to add to your 147votes or whatever with an agreeing audience elsewhere. With a lack of experience from a European league, your opinion on the CLA’s box game is really no more credible than a passer-by’s . Seasoned players will continue to roast your every point with detailed stories of what has happened to them over the years.

            This article and site, I assure you, lost a ton of respect from many respected lacrosse players. Good job.

          • YOU are trying to brush this brawl off Curtis. Right now… YOU’re doing it. It’s not about the media, it’s about you and Jeff and Matt. Brushing it off is saying that “Connor just doesn’t get it” and “since he never played Canadian box he can’t comment intelligently on this”. THAT is brushing it off, and YOU, MATT and JEFF have all done it in one way or another throughout this conversation. It is a tactic of silencing dissent, it’s weak, and I won’t fall for it.

            It’s time to MAN UP and take responsibility for what you have already said above. Stop making excuses, Curtis. GIve me a REAL reason why fighting is required to go down the way it does.
            I say that I THINK fighting is stupid. That is my opinion. I’m sorry if you don’t agree. But all that I truly ADVOCATE for (read my post again and you all will see that this is true) is less fighting, and using it as a true policing tactic, instead of what it is now: a joke.
            Everyone always says Canadian box players are so tough but I’m really starting to doubt that, especially after the whiny responses I’ve gotten here from you guys. Little kids and spoiled pro athletes fight in games… men just play the game. And I know there are some Canadians out there who agree with me on that… and THEY played the game. So where does that leave you guys? Your argument is that I NEVER Played Can BoxLax, so I can’t know. But people who have done that think I’m right too… but go ahead, toss out their thoughts as “Irrelevant”. What a joke of an argument you’ve put forward here.

            You define toughness as dropping the mittens. I define it as taking a cheap shot, scoring a goal and then still shaking the other guy’s hand after the game because I’m the bigger person.

            Cue the “broker knee cap with a slash” stories. You know what, actually don’t, because they are BS.

            If you have a guy out there who slashes people in the knee with the intent to injure, kick him out of the league for good. He’s not doing our sport any good and we should cut him out. It’s better than someone having to go fight him every game. The latter idea is straight up ridiculous and reminds me of… MMA. Get real.

          • also, as testy and defensive as I get in these responses, I REALLY do appreciate you guys ( @laxallstars-9fc3d7152ba9336a670e36d0ed79bc43:disqus @twitter-121302303:disqus @Fox_Chris:disqus @google-d32ed62ce3be1e94ac884f353c3a7ae6:disqus) taking the time out to talk about this with me, and educate me in the process.

            Thanks fellas!!!!

    • Aswell, this is high-level lacrosse. Many of the players on the Coquitlam team are going to Universities in the US and Canada on Lacrosse Scholarships. Saying these are just a bunch of 16-18 years old out there to fight is ridiculous and a completely un-fair assumption. Remember, when you ASSUME you make an ASS of U and ME, but mainly you. 

  • I do not think the answer is to eliminate fighting, but to curb it definitely. To hand out harsher punishments for fighting may deter it.

    From playing box lacrosse fights do happen when tempers flare. I know that the newly formed NALL has outlawed fighting in their rules. However there still have been a few scrums. It is just the nature of the game, with the physicality of the sport comes fighting just like in hockey. Does it make it right, absolutely not.

    You can institute all the rules you want regarding fighting and hand out suspensions and extensive penalties but that will not completely take away from fights occurring. I do not like seeing these types of videos when you have entire benches clear and the officials are helpless at that point. Those are the types of outbursts that give this game a bad rap.

    Curb it yes, but I strongly believe even if you were to eliminate fighting it would still happen.

  • Brawls like this are rare but are no worse than any “cheap shot” or unsportsmanlike conduct in any sport occurring at any said time around the world. Permitted fighting in box lacrosse did not influence this brawl. I will guarantee that first hand accounts will say this game was physically out of control -in terms of misconduct- way before this happened. We’re watching the inevitable explosion of a brooding volcano.

    Food for thought: As of today. 60,000 views, 287 likes, 63 dislikes. The mob has spoken. …and I would rather see people in the stands at box lacrosse games than MMA any day.

    • if games are allowed to be policed by the players, and fighting is accepted, then brawling is a natural extension of that.

      Why was the game physically out of control before hand as you suggest?  there is simply ONE explanation: the reffing.  Call it tighter and it’s not an issue I would wager.

      The MMA thing was a joke obviously.  Humor must not have translated.

  • Firstly, this: the majority of people who agree with you are afraid of violence, or don’t know enough about box

    What an idiotic statement about MMA and lacrosse. Doesn’t look at all like MMA at all – this is straight up throwing fists by untrained lacrosse players, and is not at all methodical. Also, MMA doesn’t have numerous fights simulatenously happening.  Brutal point.

    These statements are much too righteous. Brawls have been happening from when lacrosse has been invented, why is it all of a sudden super-wrong now? Answer: it’s not. Society seems to panzy out too often on violence. Violence happens, and is a real life thing that must sometimes be dealt with, but many are too goddamn sheltered from it. The proper outlook on violence is to be educated on how to protect oneself, and not be afraid of it.  The underlying important matter of this video is that no one got hurt badly. I will say though, that any fighting 2on1 or more, is unacceptable.

    About the NLL not drawing crowds. Well, would you pay 50 dollars for a nosebleed seat? Yeah right. So, zing, roasted there. Also, most places where NLL teams exist also have NHL teams. The marketing is significantly less for the lacrosse teams, for one, as well as the fact that the NHL teams would rather have fans come out to the Hockey games (applicable to ownerships who own the NLL teams and NHL), which shifts attendance from one to the other.

    QUOTE
    “It does nothing for the sport of lacrosse overall in terms of bringing
    in new, legitimate fans, and it turns many field lacrosse people away
    from box lacrosse, who might otherwise be interested.  Those that do
    come over “for the fights” want fights, and more of them, and this means
    less actual lacrosse.”

    This is altogether wrong, and based on speculation. Many young fans come to watch fights of course, but during the
    other 55 minutes of the game, they get hooked by watching the rippin’ fast
    action that rages on all game. I’ve seen it. And they come back. Also, plenty of field players are stoked to be able to compete in a box style, whether that involves fighting or not. Furthermore, “legitimate fans” of box lacrosse who’ve been watching it their whole lives, don’t acknowledge this brawl is an apocalyptic event. They know that sometimes these things happen and are dealt with.

    Your claims on this whole hurting the game thing are much too “field
    lacrosse”. You haven’t spent enough time around the box game to form an
    accurate assessment of this whole ordeal. Your ideal action should have
    been to step back, and not put forth a preaching misinformed article with errors in it.

    I don’t like how people in positions of power of media can greatly misinform and misguide masses of people, based on one’s ignorance and personal opinions. Really such a shame. Stick to writing about field lacrosse man. I wouldn’t go tell some Grandma what’s wrong and right about gardening. Stick to what you know man, and quit unjustly influencing others.

    I agree witth Jeffery below too. Low blow of sort.

    • Hey Curtis, thanks for the long thought out comment!  Much appreciated.  I’ll try to address your comment point by point…

      You call me out for talking about box without knowing it very well, which is simply not true.  I do know box lacrosse, probably much better than you think.  But in your first sentence you label EVERYONE who agrees with me as ignorant or afraid of violence.  It’s a double edge standard right there. Very hard to say I’m ignorant about box (especially when I am not) and then make a very ignorant blanket statement yourself.  I hope you can see the blatant hypocrisy there.

      I may not like fighting, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know box lacrosse.  Talk about your ignorant statements!

      The MMA reference was only made in the title, and was an attempt at levity.  Sorry you missed out on that laugher.

      Your third argument holds no water.  You basically say “Fights have been happening forever and are totally fine, but the 2 on 1 stuff is unacceptable?”  How exactly do you draw the line there?  Can you admit that at that point it comes down to personal preference? You say 1 on 1 is ok, but 2 on 1 is not.  I say neither is ok. So why is MY personal preference so wrong and yours is so right?  Saying “this is the way it has been” is not a good enough argument.  I need something more from you there.  Slavery existed for hundreds of years and then someone decided to abolish it.  SHould we have kept it around because “that’s the way things were”?  I am NOT saying slavery and fighting in box lacrosse are at all comparable.  All I am saying is that the “it has been this way so it should stay this way” argument is VERY weak.

      I would not pay $50 to to an NLL game and watch guys fight right now.  That’s exactly what I’m saying Curtis.  The NLL does NOT sell out games.  So maybe they could change some things and improve?  Or are you happy with 6,000 fan nights being “good” attendance nights at 7 of 9 franchises?

      I will not argue with you about kids going for the fights and staying for the lacrosse.  You say you’ve seen it happen that way and I trust you 100%.  My personal experience has been different there and I’ve seen many kids laugh off box lacrosse as a joke BECAUSE of the fighting.  I guess we’re both right there.

      In the end, you clearly think fighting is important to box lacrosse, but fail to provide any compelling arguments as to why it is required.  Instead you attack the people that agree with me and label me as ignorant, without truly knowing me.

      I’d love to hear more, and get into WHY it is required and not why YOU like it.  I’ve given my reasons above… please lay down yours!

      Thanks again for the comment and I truly hope we can keep this conversation continues so we can all keep learning!
      -Connor

      • -Willing combattants in a tilt is much different from 2 on 1, don’t play that like it’s the same thing. I understand you’re trying to make a point, but 2 on 1 is straight up unfair. You know this.
        I unfortunately played soccer for many years, as well as lacrosse, and I’ve seen the differences when games get chippy. In lax, if things get out of hand, you deal with the idiot trying to hack your star’s knees. In other sports with no fighting allowed, the violence escalates to way more embarrassing levels (Zidane’s headbutt for example…how ridiculous is that). I’ve seen viscious ankle destroying slide-tackles, and bitch-slaps. Get what I mean? Fighting is a good way to keep people honest and ultimately responsible for their actions.

        -I’m indifferent towards the attendance of NLL crowds. I’d rather attend any WLA game where I can hear what’s going on, instead of my ear being blasted with bunk music, and have some mystery guy on a microphone telling me to cheer. Hokey.

        – I see what you mean by laughing off box like it’s a joke because of scraps, but I wonder if people do the same to Hockey? I don’t think they do. I think this stems from the lack of knowledge in new fans about the sport, and only hearing the most exciting events in the last game their friends were talkin’ about. What’s the first thing you hear people ask when there was a scrap in a game? “You see that fight last night?” Only until much later in that conversation are other things even touched on, and from that point on most the other details for a new fan are intangible.

        • Is Zidane’s headbutt any more ridiculous than Marty McSorely sticking Donald Brashear in the head? Or how about Bertuzzi sucker punching Moore in the back of the head? Or Burrows biting Bergeron?

          There are as many instances of dirty chippy plays in sports/leagues that allow fighting as there are in the sports/leagues that don’t.

          Frontier justice doesn’t work, whether it’s fighting or eye for an eye. The only way to eliminate dirty play it is to eliminate the benefit you get from it, and when talking about sports, it’s preventing people from playing if they choose to play dirty.

          • The answer I give to your first question is “no”, but I find it pretty irrelevant, that whole paragraph of examples.

            I disagree with the justice thing. A few years ago an intermediate A team was getting slaughtered. In the 3rd period a guy from that team decided to play with a woody, and we all know what the usually entails. So the captain of the winning team immediately got to him before he could carve anyone up. Beat his face in before any of his teammates took any cheap shots, that were inevitably coming. This is a perfect example of why this works.

            The way to eliminate dirty play is already written in the rule books. The is no way to eliminate the benefit one can get from cheap shots. If someone wants to break a scorer’s knee with a slash, it will happen regardless of if the offender gets a penalty or not. Just because there are punishments for things, does not mean it will stop them from happening.

          • Hey I picked up a new stick, so please come over and punch me in the face!

            ARE YOU SERIOUS WITH THIS CURTIS? He picked up a woody, DID NOTHING wrong, and got beat up by a thug for a captain? Sweet.

            Which is better, slashing someone or punching them in the face? You’d go with punching clearly, even if the guy hadn’t slashed anyone. THIS is how violence escalates, especially when it’s pared with poor reffing. Guys policing themselves!

            The captain from the winning team decided the guy with the woodie was guilty before he ever did ANYTHING. Is that justice, Curtis? Is that fair?

          • This comment from you seals the fact that you are in no position of experience to form an opinion respected by most box players. If you had any experience like this to draw from you would know what I’m talking about, like the rest of the CLA. Professional referees would even tell you that the guy had it coming, bringing out a woody. Your righteous points may hold a little weight, I will admit, but you fail to grasp game sense, game management, flow, and general culture of box to know what actually goes on in our games. And tell me – have you ever been slashed with a woody? Oh okay, well let me know when that happens, then get back to me.

            Your last paragraph – a good one actually! I guess I would initially say it’s not that fair…You got me there. So, with the refs doing their job properly, and not having self policing(like you said), IF the guy using the woody chopped someones leg, then he would get a penalty right? Right! Because that’s how it’s supposed to go according to the rules.

            Ah, but see the problem now? Your best scorers been beaten over the knee with a wood stick. He now can’t play in for the rest of playoffs… At this point, who gives a shit if he got a penalty- no one! Suspension? Still doesn’t matter -doesn’t bring your star back. It’s more important to take care of the boys, than worry about a penalty, and it’s ludicrous to think refs can control everything. They can’t. Just like police can’t.

            Like I’ve said before – just because penalties are there, doesn’t mean someone won’t go for a crippling “dirty” the odd time. This is where fighting comes in. People, regardless of the consequences, will do bad things, every so often. Can’t expect to keep everyone in line by having words on paper (rulebooks), or even law for that matter! Sometimes it needs to be done.

            So, taking into account all these factors, I would change my initial statement, and say that, yes, it is fair. The wood-stick team knew what they were doing, and they got what was coming to them. I know Brascia and Foxxy can vouch for this sort of thing, and even provide their own example, or two! Hope this provides some sort of insight. It is box season man, there’s tons of games goin on, I suggest maybe going to watch heaps. Maybe it would shine some light on some things you may not be getting.

          • This comment from you seals the fact that you are in no position of experience to form an opinion respected by most box players. If you had any experience like this to draw from you would know what I’m talking about, like the rest of the CLA. Professional referees would even tell you that the guy had it coming, bringing out a woody. Your righteous points may hold a little weight, I will admit, but you fail to grasp game sense, game management, flow, and general culture of box to know what actually goes on in our games. And tell me – have you ever been slashed with a woody? Oh okay, well let me know when that happens, then get back to me.

            Your last paragraph – a good one actually! I guess I would initially say it’s not that fair…You got me there. So, with the refs doing their job properly, and not having self policing(like you said), IF the guy using the woody chopped someones leg, then he would get a penalty right? Right! Because that’s how it’s supposed to go according to the rules.

            Ah, but see the problem now? Your best scorers been beaten over the knee with a wood stick. He now can’t play in for the rest of playoffs… At this point, who gives a shit if he got a penalty- no one! Suspension? Still doesn’t matter -doesn’t bring your star back. It’s more important to take care of the boys, than worry about a penalty, and it’s ludicrous to think refs can control everything. They can’t. Just like police can’t.

            Like I’ve said before – just because penalties are there, doesn’t mean someone won’t go for a crippling “dirty” the odd time. This is where fighting comes in. People, regardless of the consequences, will do bad things, every so often. Can’t expect to keep everyone in line by having words on paper (rulebooks), or even law for that matter! Sometimes it needs to be done.

            So, taking into account all these factors, I would change my initial statement, and say that, yes, it is fair. The wood-stick team knew what they were doing, and they got what was coming to them. I know Brascia and Foxxy can vouch for this sort of thing, and even provide their own example, or two! Hope this provides some sort of insight. It is box season man, there’s tons of games goin on, I suggest maybe going to watch heaps. Maybe it would shine some light on some things you may not be getting.

          • This comment from you seals the fact that you are in no position of experience to form an opinion respected by most box players. If you had any experience like this to draw from you would know what I’m talking about, like the rest of the CLA. Professional referees would even tell you that the guy had it coming, bringing out a woody. Your righteous points may hold a little weight, I will admit, but you fail to grasp game sense, game management, flow, and general culture of box to know what actually goes on in our games. And tell me – have you ever been slashed with a woody? Oh okay, well let me know when that happens, then get back to me.

            Your last paragraph – a good one actually! I guess I would initially say it’s not that fair…You got me there. So, with the refs doing their job properly, and not having self policing(like you said), IF the guy using the woody chopped someones leg, then he would get a penalty right? Right! Because that’s how it’s supposed to go according to the rules.

            Ah, but see the problem now? Your best scorers been beaten over the knee with a wood stick. He now can’t play in for the rest of playoffs… At this point, who gives a shit if he got a penalty- no one! Suspension? Still doesn’t matter -doesn’t bring your star back. It’s more important to take care of the boys, than worry about a penalty, and it’s ludicrous to think refs can control everything. They can’t. Just like police can’t.

            Like I’ve said before – just because penalties are there, doesn’t mean someone won’t go for a crippling “dirty” the odd time. This is where fighting comes in. People, regardless of the consequences, will do bad things, every so often. Can’t expect to keep everyone in line by having words on paper (rulebooks), or even law for that matter! Sometimes it needs to be done.

            So, taking into account all these factors, I would change my initial statement, and say that, yes, it is fair. The wood-stick team knew what they were doing, and they got what was coming to them. I know Brascia and Foxxy can vouch for this sort of thing, and even provide their own example, or two! Hope this provides some sort of insight. It is box season man, there’s tons of games goin on, I suggest maybe going to watch heaps. Maybe it would shine some light on some things you may not be getting.

          • This comment from you seals the fact that you are in no position of experience to form an opinion respected by most box players. If you had any experience like this to draw from you would know what I’m talking about, like the rest of the CLA. Professional referees would even tell you that the guy had it coming, bringing out a woody. Your righteous points may hold a little weight, I will admit, but you fail to grasp game sense, game management, flow, and general culture of box to know what actually goes on in our games. And tell me – have you ever been slashed with a woody? Oh okay, well let me know when that happens, then get back to me.

            Your last paragraph – a good one actually! I guess I would initially say it’s not that fair…You got me there. So, with the refs doing their job properly, and not having self policing(like you said), IF the guy using the woody chopped someones leg, then he would get a penalty right? Right! Because that’s how it’s supposed to go according to the rules.

            Ah, but see the problem now? Your best scorers been beaten over the knee with a wood stick. He now can’t play in for the rest of playoffs… At this point, who gives a shit if he got a penalty- no one! Suspension? Still doesn’t matter -doesn’t bring your star back. It’s more important to take care of the boys, than worry about a penalty, and it’s ludicrous to think refs can control everything. They can’t. Just like police can’t.

            Like I’ve said before – just because penalties are there, doesn’t mean someone won’t go for a crippling “dirty” the odd time. This is where fighting comes in. People, regardless of the consequences, will do bad things, every so often. Can’t expect to keep everyone in line by having words on paper (rulebooks), or even law for that matter! Sometimes it needs to be done.

            So, taking into account all these factors, I would change my initial statement, and say that, yes, it is fair. The wood-stick team knew what they were doing, and they got what was coming to them. I know Brascia and Foxxy can vouch for this sort of thing, and even provide their own example, or two! Hope this provides some sort of insight. It is box season man, there’s tons of games goin on, I suggest maybe going to watch heaps. Maybe it would shine some light on some things you may not be getting.

          • Hey Curtis, let me answer your first questions. Yes, I have been slashed with a woody. I even own a woody. So stop assuming I don’t know anything just because I’m not Canadian.

            I appreciate this comment very much Curts, because I think we are both starting to get somewhere here. You are starting to see portions of my points, and I’m seeing portions of yours.

            My reaction to the woody is to simply make them illegal if this is such an issue. If ANYTIME a guy brings out a woody, he is going to slash people, make them illegal. If the people can’t play nicely with wooden sticks, take them away. THe native players may use them out of love for the game, but most of the white guys just use them to slash. Why leave that in the game?

            Are we leaving woodies in the game just so people have a reason to fight? It’s like saying shafts made out of steel are illegal. That would make sense, especially if people only used them to injure each other.

            You argue fighting is needed to clean that stuff up, but why not just make woodies illegal if they are SUCH A BIG ISSUE, as you seem to suggest.

            ANd if it’s not a woodie. SOmeone slashes you on the knee with a regular stick… well that’s just life in lacrosse! You get slashed, especially if you are a great offensive player. Sometimes you get injured. And when the other team goes after you really bad, you send out your checking line and check them back. But WHY IS FIGHTING REQUIRED? How does further escalation help with de-escalation? Or is that not the point? If it’s not, I struggle to see how fighting has any part in the game other than you and the fans and players liking it?

  • @Fox_Chris:disqus @laxallstars-9fc3d7152ba9336a670e36d0ed79bc43:disqus @connorwilson:disqus #DonCherry
    “First of all, the fans love it,” said Cherry. “These are the guys that pay the money. The players like it. The coaches like it. So who doesn’t like the fighting? It’s the reporters…..who don’t pay to get in.” “This is war. This has been going on forever….Quit whining that this stuff has not been going on. If you don’t like it, take up tennis, with your little white shorts.”

  • Above all else, I want to point out how quickly things escelated and
    almost equally deescalated. For 16-18 year old kids who are just getting
    established in senior box lacrosse, the discipline level is actually
    relatively good. These teams understand that when the bell is rung and
    your team is facing an entire bench looking to physically regain any
    sense of pride in a lop-sided game, to not participate would mean losing
    the battle entirely. Usually, one-sided games provoke one or two fights
    from players who are comfortable playing those roles. However, in this
    instance, when a weaker team tries to physically intimidate another when
    they can’t do it with the score, to stand strong is almost just as
    significant as the win itself.

    Yes, this game was physically
    out of control from poor reffing from the start, but ultimately, the
    players have to fend for themselves. A team that can outscore any other
    but is physically intimated, will ultimately see their season end early,
    especially in playoff box lacrosse. This is one of the BEST parts of
    box lacrosse. It is not as simple as being the most talented or the
    toughest. The only way to go far in this sport is to have a combination
    of both. With that being said, those teams are also usually the most fun
    to watch and the views and ‘likes’ reflect that.

    These kids
    experienced a few minutes of absolute anarchy, but ON THEIR OWN -’cause
    you can’t say the officials helped- they settled down and returned to
    their benches. Some suffered injuries and suspensions, but they have a
    learning experience they could never be taught. As “out of place” these
    events look in the sport, they will bring both of these teams closer as a
    family without a shred of doubt.

    And it doesn’t get much more Canadian than that.

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