Quint Kessenich takes a look at the current lacrosse landscape and questions the way things are things are being handled at every level of the sport.
If lacrosse players can effectively shoot with both hands (righty and lefty), why aren’t there goalies playing with both hands? Why have we not seen a two-handed tennis player or two-handed baseball pitcher? Why have we never seen a two-handed quarterback?
Virginia played Cory Harris, Matt Dziama, Dave Smith, and John Fox at the short stick defensive midfield position while winning the 2021 NCAA title. Ryan Conrad served as an offensive midfielder/faceoff wing, Grayson Sallade was injured, and Jack Peele was a second line offensive middie. When LSM Will Rock, John Fox, and David Smith were on the field together in the Final Four, Virginia went to a zone defense. Maryland utilized four defensive midfielders during their resounding season of 2022 with Jake Higgins, Bubba Fairman, Alex Smith and Roman Puglise all sharing shifts; all of them ended up in the PLL.
So why is it that teams believe they can thrive and survive with only two shorties? Do you really think a team can defeat a pair of quality opponents in the shot clock era while leaning on just two shorties? If you’re going to invest in depth on your roster, start here with defensive midfielders, the most physically taxing position on the field.
Why do coaches feel it’s ok to use school and program associated social media accounts to promote their own camps and prospect days? In the real world, employees don’t have the luxury of using corporate social media accounts to promote personal projects. That just doesn’t happen. Why don’t those same coaches post when their team plays on television, or post to sell tickets to an upcoming game?
Why not force a winning faceoff player to stay on the field for the offensive possession?
Why doesn’t lacrosse have a uniform set of rules in all states at every level? Growing the sport of lacrosse is difficult when youth, high school, college, and the professional league all use different rules. Example, why doesn’t the two-point goal live everywhere? Some high school states use a shot clock and some don’t. Why can’t we standardize faceoff rules across all levels?
Why is college lacrosse starting games in late January and early February while ending the regular season early in May? College baseball ends a month later in late June. Why can’t lacrosse be a true spring sport by starting in late February and finishing in June? Warmer weather equates to a better fan experience.
Why does the NLL and PLL, who share many players, have overlapping seasons? Why does the PLL play games on Sundays in September that overlap with the NFL? Placing games during NFL Sunday is a losing proposition. Perhaps play some PLL events midweek at night in September if you must, in order to lock in more advantageous television windows.
Paul Carcaterra’s favorite beef, why are we playing lacrosse in massive football stadiums with football lines? No meaningful lacrosse game, at any level, should be played on a field with football lines. Playing in a cavernous empty stadium with thousands of empty seats is a buzz kill.
With NIL now a part of the collegiate landscape, why do coaches switch jersey numbers during fall and preseason spring scrimmages? When coach asks me to change my jersey number for a scrimmage, I say no.
Why does every college play on Saturday at 2:00PM? Wouldn’t it be better for attendance, local media coverage, and television ratings to spread the action out like a typical college football weekend slate? Slot some games on Thursday night or Friday night, and spread out the start times all day Saturday with some games on Sunday. Compete across a wider timeline and play more games in warm weather. The exposure and benefits are self explanatory.
Why can’t the men’s and women’s NCAA lacrosse tournaments coexist seamlessly instead of games overlapping? Why can’t the men’s games push the women’s and vice versa? The cross promotional benefits raise all ships.
Why does it seem like the same college teams are always on TV? I would love to see more Ivy League teams and Georgetown. Haven’t they earned that distinction? It would be fun to see more mid-major programs on weekday nights.
Why are there boys recruiting events every single day in June and July during the summer? Last year there was a two-week stretch where some prospects did not have one day off from playing lacrosse. Certainly the players themselves could have sat out from an event or two, but then they feel as if they are hurting themselves in the recruiting process by doing so. Why can’t the schedule be more family and player friendly?
Why are club coaches more involved with the recruiting process than high school coaches? Club coaches only spend a few hours a week with prospects at practice and then at tournaments. Meanwhile, a high school coach can provide a much better holistic view on how the prospect behaves and handles school, competes in other sports, and how he interacts with his high school teammates. High school intel will always trump the club coaches lacrosse-only opinion.
Why don’t more lacrosse coaches carry stop watches?
Why isn’t there more formal emphasis placed on speed and quickness at recruiting events?
Why aren’t more college teams utilizing GPS technology in practice?
I’ve got questions. Do you have answers?