October 5, 2012

Weekend Preview: Busy Schedule Will Showcase New Rules in Action

by Corey McLaughlin | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

Players, coaches and officials will be working through a new set of rules for the first time in widespread game settings this weekend. What will the results look like?
© Kevin P. Tucker

Somewhere on Saturday, maybe outside Philadelphia, in Virginia or Chicago, an unknown official will become the first to raise his arms in an L-formation, signaling a stall warning. What happens next is anyone's guess.

On the busiest fall ball weekend of the season to date, a handful of major events highlight the slate, including the Colleluori Classic, Play for Parkinson's, the Capital Lacrosse Classic and the ongoing US Lacrosse Stars & Stripes event in California.

There's a lot of lacrosse to be played this weekend, and a lot to watch for.

On the men's side, it's the first time we'll see a new set of rules – a 30-second shot clock after stall warnings, no horns and quick restarts among them – in effect in widespread game action across the country. Coaches, players and officials are only starting to realize what the changes mean. One thing is for sure. Nobody will be yelling "Horn!" unless they want to live in the past.

"I think we will see the speed of the game pick up," said Marquette coach Joe Amplo, whose first-year Division I program from Wisconsin debuts at the Colleluori Classic on Saturday in Folsom, Pa. "Mostly due to the no horn rule. In practice it has changed the way you play the game between the whistles and I think it can have a dramatic effect on the speed of the game. From a coaching perspective I am curious to see how the substitution patterns translate to game speed and if we are able to get our personnel on the field like most teams used to."

Amplo, the former Hofstra assistant, suggested the 30-second shot clock may not be as noticeable in the fall because officials may be less likely to put it on quickly. "Time will tell," he said. How will the mechanics of the countdown (a stall warning call, followed by a 20-second timer followed by a 10-second officials' hand count with no visible shot clock) show up on the field?

And, have you heard? It's not only the men who will be experimenting with the shot clock. The Syracuse women, under coach Gary Gait's lead, have played this fall with an experimental 90-second shot clock in practice. Syracuse, Canisius, Cortland, Colgate, Cornell and Albany will use a 90-second clock at the Orange's play day on Saturday, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Syracuse assistant coach Regy Thorpe said this summer that Gait would like to beat the men's game to a all-out shot clock use. Clearly, Gait is not backing down, especially after becoming frustrated with Northwestern's stall tactics in an 8-6 win over his Orange in the national title game in May.

"Bottom line is we're never going to make it on TV unless we get rid of it," Gait told the Post-Standard this week about stalling. "[The game is] hard enough to understand as it is. Then to stand around? Who wants to watch it?"

Gait intends to show tape of the games Saturday to the NCAA women's lacrosse rules committee to show the impact of a shot clock.

All said, if fall ball is about the unknown, lacrosse's 2012 version more than fits the bill. Coaches, players and officials will be gauging the impact of new rules while trying to learn systems and sharpen skill.

It's unlikely, but "If the action on the field looks a little boring, I would suggest looking at the substitution box," Amplo said of the upcoming men's games. "It will be crazy until the coaches figure out how to best utilize the new rules."

At least we still have that motorcycle grip.

Saturday, Oct. 6


MD1: Playing for Peace at Hales Franciscan High, Chicago – 8:30 a.m.
Notre Dame faces Bellarmine and Detroit in the morning, and all three teams will take part in community service work throughout the day. "We are going to bring people together to watch Division I men's lacrosse, which there isn't any in Chicago, and do community service work," Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said.

MD1: Nicholas Colleluori Classic at Ridley High, Folsom, Pa. – 9 a.m.
The sixth annual event gets going Saturday with Division I games and continues Sunday with Divisions III and III. NCAA tournament teams Colgate and Lehigh will be there along with first-year programs High Point and Marquette, and Hofstra, Marist, Mount St. Mary's, Robert Morris, Villanova and Michigan now in "Year Two." Some games will be streamed at: http://www.livestream.com/accesslacrosse. Check back to LaxMagazine.com for an event report.

MD1: Play for Parkinson's at Episcopal High, Alexandria, Va. – 10 a.m.
Organized in part by former U.S. men's team defenseman and US Lacrosse board member Christian Cook, Play for Parkinson's this year includes games between Air Force, Towson, Georgetown, Princeton and Virginia. Questions abound: Will we see a Hoyas mosh pit under new coach Kevin Warne, who comes from the sideline of Maryland? Who replaces former college lacrosse regulars Steele Stanwick (Virginia), Tyler Fiorito and Chad Weidmaier (Princeton).


USTC Fall Classic at Downingtown, Pa. – 8 a.m.
In action, nine games: Duke, Temple. Lehigh, Bucknell, Villanova, Salisbury, Stevens, Shippensburg, Millersville, Messiah, Lock Haven, West Chester, St. Francis, Hadenosaunee.

WD1: Catamount Classic at Thayer Academy, Braintree, Mass. – 9 a.m.
Benefitting Lacrosse for a Cure, this event features Boston, Brown, Bryant, Central Connecticut, Holy Cross, Marist, Siena, UConn and Vermont.

WD1/Team USA: US Lacrosse Stars & Stripes, 10 a.m. PT
10 a.m.: Cal vs. Canada
Noon: Team USA vs. Australia
2 p.m.: Canada vs. Australia
4 p.m.: Cal vs. Team USA
6 p.m.: Team USA vs. Canada

WD1: Navy Play Day, Annapolis, Md. – 11 a.m.
Featuring Navy, Johns Hopkins and George Washington, which replaces Vanderbilt. The Commodores withdrew from the event as part of penalties imposed by its athletic department.

WD1: Virginia Tech at North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C. – 10 a.m.
WD1: Northwestern at Loyola, Baltimore – 2:30 p.m.
WD1: Florida at Maryland, College Park, Md. – 4 p.m.
WD1: Syracuse Play Day

Sunday, Oct. 7


On Sunday, Play for Parkinson's in Alexandria, Va., once again brings the nation's best women's teams together, including Northwestern (and Taylor Thornton, above), Maryland, Florida, Penn State, Duke and Towson.
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com

MD1/Team USA: Capital Lacrosse Classic at Landon School, Bethesda, Md. – 10:30 a.m.
Cornell, Johns Hopkins, North Carolina and Penn State will scrimmage before a group of 52 players (Full roster) will be evaluated in an intrasquad Team USA scrimmage in this first annual event presented by the Mario St. George Boiardi Foundation. Team USA head coach Richie Meade will be there, as will U.S. assistants Jeff Tambroni and Dave Pietramala, who will switch gears to evaluating and coaching U.S. players after leading Penn State and Johns Hopkins, respectively. These are four teams that are all expected to be ranked in at least the top 15 throughout next spring. The event will raise funds awareness for the Boiardi Foundation. George Boiardi died in 2004 after being hit in the chest with a ball in game while playing goalie for the Big Red. Tambroni was then the Cornell head coach and Ben DeLuca, the current head coach, was Tambroni's assistant.

Catamount Classic at Thayer Academy, Braintree, Mass. – 8 a.m.
Northeast lacrosse fans, players and parents will be all over Braintree on Saturday. Twenty games in all will be played among Providence (under new coach Chris Gabrielli), Brown, Hartford, Hobart, Holy Cross, Siena, Bentley, Southern New Hampshire, Endicott, Post-LIU, New England College, Merrimack, Southern New Hampshire, Springfield, Quinnipiac and Vermont.

MD2/MD3: Nicholas Colleluori Classic at Ridley High, Folsom, Pa. – 9 a.m.
Adelphi, Albright, Arcadia, Chestnut Hill, Dowling, Marymount, Misericordia, Neumann, Randolph-Macon, Rosemont, Richard Stockton, Thiel and Widener.


Team USA: US Lacrosse Stars & Stripes - 8 a.m. PT
The highlighted game of the weekend gets going at 10 a.m. PT when Team USA faces Australia in a rematch of the 2009 FIL World Cup final. Here's an in-depth preview from Lacrosse Magazine's Clare Lochary.

WD1: Philly 5 Tournament, Philadelphia – 8 a.m.
Drexel, St. Joseph's, La Salle, Villanova head to Temple.

WD1: Play for Parkinson's at Episcopal High, Alexandria, Va. – 9 a.m.
9 a.m.: Northwestern vs. Penn State
10:20 a.m.: Florida vs. Penn State, Northwestern vs. Duke
11:40 a.m.: Maryland vs. Duke, Florida vs. Towson
1:20 p.m.: Maryland vs. Northwestern, Towson vs. Penn State
2:50 p.m.: Towson vs. Duke, Maryland vs. Florida

Check back to LaxMagazine.com for coverage from a busy weekend of lacrosse.

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