Monthly Archives: September 2012

NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Rules: Syracuse Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach John Desko Comments On Big Impact Of “On-The-Fly Substitution”, Sideline Restarts, And Increased Size Of Midfield Substitution Boxes To Increase Speed Of Game

The addition of a 30-second shot clock following a stall warning and the tightening of shooting string placements for lacrosse sticks is front and center to the national discussion of changes.

Syracuse University men’s head lacrosse coach John Desko calls the rule changes coming to college lacrosse, “major.”  Desko acknowledges their impact, but believes other rule changes may have greater significance:

  • On-the-fly substitution rules and the elimination of dead ball horns will make things faster but also put a premium on two-way midfielders who must get back and play defense on turnovers and change of possession.
  • The rule changes encourage players to pick up the extra ball when it goes out of bounds and start play immediately. Teams must have a certain number of balls on the end lines and sidelines for restarts. Defenders must also give players with possession 5 yards of space. Desko said that move will prevent defensive players from stepping in front of the offensive player on their charge to the goal.
  • Officials are doubling the size of the substitution boxes at midfield. It pushes the teams and their coaches further down the sidelines. He said a player being substituted out of the box can get as much as a 20-yard jump on a defender coming out of his substitution box.

The elimination of a dead ball substitution horn, the lengthening of sideline boxes for player substitution and the quick restart on balls that go out of bounds are all major changes that the Orange has been addressing in fall ball.

All of the rule changes approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel this month are meant to speed up play.

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Major League Lacrosse: Denver Outlaws Attacker Mark Matthews “Helped Put Colorado Lacrosse On The Map”; Slated To Be #1 Pick In 2012 NLL Draft

Playing for the Outlaws has allowed him to help establish lacrosse in Denver. When asked if he has become a local hero, he remained modest but did concede the following; “My college teammates and I helped to put Colorado lacrosse on the map, and as you can see we get more and more fans at each Outlaws game. It’s definitely impacted the city and also the state.”

Mark Matthews is having quite a busy year. He started off 2012 as a Pioneer at the University of Denver, where he broke school records for both career points as well as goals. He was drafted to the Denver Outlaws as the fourth overall pick in the 2012 MLL Collegiate Draft and joined them for his rookie MLL season, earning 19 goals and nine assists. Now he is slated to be the first overall pick in the 2012 National Lacrosse League (NLL) Entry Draft. Matthews is an incredibly talented player who is just starting to break into his potential at the professional level.

The Oshawa, Ontario native will most likely be leaving Denver for the winter months and heading back to Canada. The NLL’s Edmonton Rush have already announced that they fully intend to use their first round pick to draft Matthews, which takes a lot of pressure off Matthews’ shoulders this Monday at the NLL Draft in Toronto. He admits that it was nerve racking the past few weeks not knowing where he would end up but now he is able to refocus his attention on starting a new season.

“Now that it’s settled it’s pretty reassuring that I can relax and look at the bigger picture. For instance deciding if I’m going to live there or live at home and fly in. It’s great knowing the coaching staff and some of the players and even some of the guys that might get drafted there.”

If all goes as planned for the Rush come Monday, Matthews will be coached by Derek Keenan who he has already played for with the Whitby Warriors (OLA Junior A Lacrosse League) in 2011. When asked how he felt about the opportunity to play for Coach Keenan again Matthews was very enthusiastic about the partnership.

“It’s great, he’s one of the greatest coaches I’ve ever had and for him to be coaching up in Edmonton is going to make it easier for me to transition. He and I have a really good relationship on and off the floor.”

As to be expected, there is a good amount of transition involved with switching from outdoor field lacrosse to indoor, or box, lacrosse. Matthews said the main challenge is going from playing on an open field to a confined space in a hockey rink. However, the ability to make this change is something Matthews considers an advantage. “Being able to play in such tight quarter puts me at an advantage.  It’s a real different game and for everyone playing both forms of lacrosse it’s pretty tough.”

Once the first NLL game rolls around Matthews will have some big shoes to fill, and those shoes are his own.  In his very first MLL game with the Outlaws he scored a hat trick before halftime, but he insists that he wasn’t planning on that performance then and he won’t be trying to recreate it for his first NLL game.  Simply put by Matthews, “I’m just looking forward to getting back into the box.”

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NCAA Div III Lacrosse: Stevens Institute Men’s Lacrosse (Hoboken, NJ) Has “A Proud Tradition” Dating From 1885 (Video)

National League Lacrosse: Washington Stealth Launches “It’s Like Hockey…With Balls” Campaign To Educate Fans On “Hard-Nosed Play” Of Professional Box Lacrosse

The Washington Stealth today announced the launch of it’s new marketing campaign, “It’s Like Hockey… With Balls”, for the 2013 season. The campaign is designed to give new fans an understanding of what professional box lacrosse is and illustrate the hard-nosed style of play embodied by the Stealth. “Hockey With Balls” is a fully integrated marketing campaign developed in house and will be activated through radio, television, print and online over the course of the year. The campaign was officially launched today through the team’s digital assets including social media sites.

Lacrosse In The Community: Oakland Lacrosse Club Formed To Bring Sport To Inner City Schools And Programs In Oakland, CA

Despite having a reputation of being a rich white sport, this fall, hundreds of students at Oakland public schools will be introduced to the game of lacrosse. The Oakland Lacrosse Club – which is a newly created, but not yet completed 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation – intends to work with several Oakland schools to introduce lacrosse to students that the sport has not traditionally served. Photo courtesy of Nora Mitchell

“I want every kid in Oakland to have access to play lacrosse,” Kevin Kelley, the boys game director for the Oakland Lacrosse Club, said. “My goal is to expose the sport to 500 middle schoolers and then in the spring create two under 13 teams; one boys and one girls.”

The Oakland Lacrosse Club will provide youth living in Oakland and attending public, charter or parochial schools with the opportunity to play the sport using P.E. classes and after school programs. This month, Kelley has started working twice a week with Claremont Middle School, in North Oakland, and plans to hold clinics next month with a host of other Oakland schools such as the Oakland Military Institute, Brewer Middle School and the Downtown Oakland YMCA.

“The plan is to have 25 kids in the spring for each team,” said Kelley, who also is a lacrosse coach at the University of California, Berkeley, and Oakland Tech High School. “You need 18-20 healthy players to have a functional team. Typically, a P.E. class has 50 kids to a class. To get 50 kids who have never touched the sport … that’s a great start.”

Although the club just formed this month, for the past couple of years, awareness and interest for the sport has moderately increased. In the spring of 2009, a varsity boys lacrosse team was formed at Skyline High School. That same year, work was started to create a boys Junior Varsity and a girls team at Oakland Tech High School.

“Lacrosse is a spring sport and it takes about a year to launch a program and team,” Nora Mitchell, the executive director at the Northern California Junior Lacrosse Association, said. “The lacrosse programs at both Skyline and Oakland Tech High School have been hugely successful. Kids get better grades by playing lacrosse. They are motivated and work hard. That’s why I got involved, because I know how positively it can affect them.”

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NCAA Lacrosse: Ohio State Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach Nick Myers Talks About Start Of Practice And Fall Ball (Video)

Ohio State Men’s Lacrosse: caught up with Coach Myers and Dominique Alexander as fall practice gets underway.

NCAA Lacrosse Recruiting: Interview With Michigan Men’s Lacrosse Freshman Attacker Brendan Gaughan (La Costa Canyon, CA)

Next up for the Class One Q&A is Brendan Gaughan of Carlsbad, Calif., who discusses knowing teammate Andrew Hayden, the welcoming nature of the team and choosing to attend Michigan.

On knowing teammate Andrew Hayden from high school (La Costa Canyon in Carlsbad, Calif.)… “Knowing someone from a school who is on the same team and just having a familiar face eases the whole process. He is most definitely a

Brendan Gaughan

role model to me, not only on the lacrosse field, but in general. On and off the field he is a great friend and a great person all around.”

On fitting into Coach Danehy’s new offense when the season starts … “I’m definitely not going to take anything for granted. Everyone is fighting for a spot here, lefties, righties, and even players from the X position. No matter what, Coach Danehy is going to start the people that deserve to start. I’m not saying that it is going to be anyone in particular. Everyone is fighting for a spot. I trust in Coach Danehy to put the best people on the field.”

On participating in the Under Armour All-American game… “It was a huge honor to play in the game. But I’m also not going to take that for granted. There are a lot of people in San Diego and California in general that deserved that spot just as much as I did. It was a very humbling experience when I was chosen for this game out of all the West Coast. The game was pretty fun, and then we got cool gear, but sharing the experience with other kids who are going DI was the best. We started new friendships, got phone numbers, and still keep in touch. Meeting everyone around me was a pretty cool experience.”

On being on the cover of Lacrosse Magazine… “Well to tell you the truth I was not expecting that. Lacrosse Magazine just mentioned that they wanted to take a couple of photos of my friend (Kiki Gibson). We had no clue it was going to be on the cover whatsoever. We thought we’d have a good time with it, and the picture that was chosen was chosen.”

On being part of Class One… “I feel like it’s a huge honor. I’ll speak for every other freshman that is coming to Michigan. We are all really excited to help create a new team brand and legacy. The guys already on the team have done outstanding jobs preparing this team for us to join. We learn from them. They are our role models, and they are great leaders as well. We look up to them, most definitely.”

On what drew him to Michigan… “The academics are second to none, one of the top 10 schools in the nation, if not top five. Ann Arbor is so lively and so happy. You walk across the street and glance at someone and they smile and wave back at you. Back in San Diego, that doesn’t happen, and I love the welcoming presence here. The athletics are unbelievable, that is the only word I can use to describe it. The support system is unlike any other school in the nation. I am really happy that I chose the University of Michigan.”

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