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Maryland vs. Syracuse neon volt yellow lacrosse
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Did The Nike Volt Colorways Help Or Hurt Syracuse Lacrosse?

Syracuse came out in orange, white, and the brightest yellow ever against Maryland and some people liked it and some didn’t.  In my opinion, they lost to Maryland because the Terps were better on the day.  But a lot of people are focusing on the “look”, and not the science or even the score… probably because we’re very visually oriented beings.  But (other than the score! 412 has that!) the science is the interesting part, so I’ll just get the look part out of the way immediately.

Maryland vs. Syracuse neon volt yellow lacrosse
Count the Cuse guys, quick. Can you see them?

Amazing Maryland vs Syracuse photo from John Ridley and!  Head on over there for a FULL gallery.

I was one of those that thoroughly enjoyed the look, even though yellow figures no where in the ‘Cuse color scheme.  Neon blue may have been 100000x better, but hey, hindsight is 20/20.  Neon blue, 2012, think about it Cuse!

Ok, that was quick.  Now back to the science.  Over on Inside Lacrosse, they go into the full details of what the colorways were supposed to accomplish.

Inside Lacrosse Nike Volt claims

So these colorways make a player MORE visible on the field to their teammates, right?  That’s the claim that’s being made here, isn’t it?  I don’t think I would dispute that.  Watching the game on TV, I could certainly notice the Cuse players!  I had a hard time taking my eyes off them actually, as I was totally surprised by the uniforms at the start of the game, after being away all weekend.

But if their teammates were supposed to notice them more, and I noticed them more, maybe, just maybe, Maryland noticed them more.  If Maryland’s goalie is just barely picking up Jojo Marasco on the backside, wouldn’t painting #22 neon yellow help Maryland as much as it would help Syracuse?  Now I don’t know the answer to this question, but I would think yes.  If one person notices it more, someone else should too.  Not that scientific of me, but it does have me scratching my head in a major way.  Maybe one of our readers will be able to explain it to me.

In a game like lacrosse, familiarity, cooperation and “knowing” what your teammates will do, before they do it, is key.  No look passes are a great example of this.  They are done because a player KNOWS what is happening, without needing to see it.  It’s instinct and belief, not reaction time.  They have done it 1000 times in practice.  Great teams know each other that well.

To me, it seems like one would want a uniform that would allow a player to blend in to the surroundings, rather than stand out.  The defense might lose someone, but the O will KNOW what is going on no matter what, and they will find the open man.  A guy wearing neon doesn’t help me when I’m not looking at you, but it might help the 2 slide pick you up.   Just a thought…  The neon technology could be useful in practice though.  If your O guys are wearing it in practice, it could provide an added challenge to them, or a benefit to the D.

Now to me, a relatively simple person, the same holds true in football.  The quarterback should KNOW where his receiver is.  It’s the defense that should be looking around.  That free safety shouldn’t get the added bonus of a glowing wide open receiverstreaking down the back sideline, should he?  So I’m actually not doubting Nike’s science… I’m just saying it might not have been applied in the best way.

So am I way off base here?  I mean, I LOVE the look.  And I’m not blaming it for Syracuse losing.  It’s nothing like that.  But if the claims that Nike made about it helping teammates are true, could it not also be true that it would help opponent?

Curiouser and Curiouser…