Grow the Game®

Syracuse vs. Army men's lacrosse 16
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UPDATED: Ryan Powell – Play Fast, Shot Clock Please!

Editor’s Note: As soon as we saw the latest Nike Lacrosse Spot, we knew we had to bring this article back up from the depths!  In the new Nike Lacrosse video below, Powell doesn’t advocate for a shot clock specifically, but he does advocate for the fastest game on two feet to remain just that.  The message is simple: You’re Either Fast, Or You’re Last.

Check out the new Nike spot, and let us know in the Comments Section if you like FAST lacrosse!!!!!  And check out Ryan’s original post from March of 2011 when the shot clock debate was raging on!


What’s up LAS?

I realize I may be going against my fellow blogger Connor Wilson’s article that was posted yesterday about the Cuse’ vs. Hopkins game not being a bore. However, I must say I disagree CW!

Syracuse vs. Army men's lacrosse 16
Syracuse? In a boring game? NO. WAY.

In my opinion that was a boring game (not as bad as some this year), and there are some things that need to change with NCAA lacrosse. With lax finally getting the love that it deserves (over 100 games on TV!), the game needs to be more appealing to the mainstream audiences.

If I’m a lifetime lacrosse nut and I get bored by watching a 3-2 Loyola vs. Towson game on TV, what does the general public think?   Or, what do people think when they see a 6-5 final in the 2010 NCAA Championship game? I was there and the lacrosse vibe in Baltimore was as strong as ever, but the game was boring, and featured very little offense.

We need to keep the number of games on TV, and continue to add to the lineup each year. In order to do that I believe a shot clock needs to be added to the game. I’m sorry, it is not fun to watch a team throw the ball around the outside of the offensive zone for 3 to 4 minutes at a time.  Really, it’s not!

By the way, it is really cool that so many games are being televised.  As a lacrosse player, it is so rewarding to play the sport that you love on LIVE TV. I remember playing in the Final Four each season at Syracuse and how special it was to have those games televised nationally. Players, teams, universities, and the fans should feel great about the exposure the sport is currently getting.

So how do we keep the growth and excitement going for this booming sport? Ever since I finished up at SU, it seems as though there are new rules being added to the book every year. The newest rules being 30 seconds to clear the ball and players having to use a wider stick so the ball is on the ground more; both of these rules along with others in recent years are all being implemented to speed up the game. So why not a shot clock?

shot clock
What, no shot clock?

In my time at Syracuse, we didn’t need to worry about a shot clock because we played the game the way it should be played. Fastest game on two feet, right?! My style of play at SU set me up so nicely for life after college. Both the NLL and the MLL have a shot clock in place. It is a much more exciting game to watch. For what it worth, the NLL is the best lacrosse to watch on TV at this point in time. Fast paced, up and down action that doesn’t stop. Fifty shots on goal by each team, great stick skills, ball control, defense, etc. This could be the NCAA with the addition of a shot clock.

There are so many sick athletes currently playing the game at the college level; let us see how sick they really are. I don’t get excited about watching robots play the game. – “Ok guys, go out there and hold the ball for 3 minutes and then attack the cage with the x-2537-z play.” – Let the players play the game!

This is what I propose for the new shot clock rule in 2012:

Shot clock – 60 seconds. The shot clock starts after the ball has been advanced into the offensive zone (across the midline).

*please note, even if you make it 90 seconds it will be better than the rules today

– If the shot hits the post, goalie or there is a change of possession, the shot clock would reset.

– There would be no rule about keeping the ball in the box.

– There would be no requirements to touch the ball in the box.

– If the Shot clock runs out on a team with the ball, the other team is rewarded with the ball wherever the ball is at that time.

– 20 seconds to clear the ball out of the defensive end

Hold on, that’s not just it. While I have you here I think it would be good to add one more rule change – Bring back the dive!

lacrosse dive shot powell
Bring back the dive to college lax!

Although I think the ref made the correct call at the end of the SU vs. Hop game, I want a goal like that to count in the 2012 season. The big reason the NCAA Rules Committee had for implementing this rule was to keep the goalies safe. I must say, I have never seen a goalie hurt during a dive shot attempt. This is another way that we could improve the excitement level of the game.

With the addition of these two rules I believe that lacrosse would take another step forward to becoming a mainstream sport. Without them, who knows?

All I know is that I’m not watching a 6-2 (Notre Dame vs. Penn State) lacrosse game and enjoying it. Let’s get these rules implemented and make the game faster and more exciting to watch!!!