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PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:58 pm 
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http://www.nll.com/news_article/show/32 ... _id=389128

1. Major penalty goal release has been reduced from three goals to two goals, match penalty goal release reduced from unlimited to three goals.
2. Goaltenders no longer serve their own major or misconduct penalties as the in-home player now serves these penalties while the goalie stays on floor.

It was only a year or two ago that #1 was changed from 2 goals to 3 goals on a major penalty before release, so I'm not surprised it's gone back again. It was only one extra possible goal, but it felt awfully imbalanced in light of the league's efforts to also crack down on head shots. IE, it seemed like more hits to the head were finally being called, but also sometimes over-called.

I am wondering more about #2 though. Goalies don't get penalized all that often, but imo, when they do they should serve it, especially for major penalties. Is the thought that with the rosters reducing back down to 18 again that it will be a greater punishment to have a runner removed from the floor rather than a goalie?

Also, since it occurred to me: not that I ever hope to see it, but who happens to be this year's emergency third goalie?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:26 am 
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Thanks for the questions and good observations.

1. It was changed back after only a year, mainly because most of the Governors and GM's felt it was too penal. 3 goals can change the face of a game quickly. Much of the fear came from how that call could change a game for both sides especially if the call was arguable. Referees are reluctant to make a call to change a game but are drilled into them by the League office how important protecting the players is. Very fine line and the views of those voting on the rules was that 2 goals was the "right" number. All of us are very focused on the protection of our athletes, we are doing everything we can to make sure that hits to the head are eliminated from the game but the "punishment" must fit the crime. Keep in mind the official still has the ability to add severity to the penalty if he sees it as excessive or egregious. Game Misconducts/ejections or a Match penalty can be applied if they see something that really doesn't belong in the game.

2. Goalies serving penalties has been in our rule book since the beginning only for majors and above. I don't think anyone disagrees with your assessment that they should serve penalties, in fact that is why the League has stayed the same for so long but something that happened this summer in the Canadian Mann Cup championship and a couple of games up there gave us pause.

Two goalies were ejected for the Six Nations Chiefs in the Mann Cup and super star Colin Doyle had to exit the floor and reenter in the padding of one of the ejected goalies, providing for a circus show championship experience. Now we understand that both those goalies were ejected because of padding issues and a substitute had to be found (what I found funny is that Colin put the illegal padding on from one of the ejected goalies, and would most likely had been illegal if he had been checked but at that point it was so ridiculous that no one called anything). In the NLL with one goalie out with an injury or an ejection, etc. and then the backup goalie receives a Major penalty, that team would be scrounging around to find a player to do what Doyle did, simply, not very professional. It would be awful tough to explain to a crowd of 16,000 people why Adam Jones is in the locker room putting on goalie pads, and oh by the way there is a 20 minute delay. Tough for a professional league to look professional in that situation and even tougher to fill that 20 minutes for a national television broadcast!!

The third goalie situation is in flux right now. Not a real big concern though. With the practice squad set the way it is this season those players that sign practice player contracts are locked in to a team for the entire season and can't be claimed off another team's roster. Sounds good, but some of those free agents out there right now don't want to be locked in to one team if a potential job comes up somewhere else on an active roster. I don't blame them for that.

Dan Lewis has been offered a practice roster spot with us and is holding off for now in case another goalie goes down around the League early on. Free agents can be signed at any time up to the roster deadline and there are plenty of free agent goalies out there right now finding one won't be a problem.

When you get to the roster deadline in March is when you NEED a goalie on your practice roster as you can't sign free agents after the deadline. We have talked to a number of the goalies out there about our situation and are prepared if something happens but it is not critical at this point to assign someone to our practice roster. As you may have noticed we only have 3 players signed to the practice roster with one spot open, this gives us flexibility to address needs as the season progresses, goaltending hopefully isn't one of them, but we will have a contingency plan. We always have the opportunity to release players off the active or PR to sign someone new if need be.

Hope that clarifies our situation.

SG


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:45 pm 
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It certainly does. The situation in the Mann Cup did come to mind, but I didn't go back to look at the details of how that came about that Doyle ended up in net in the first place. I can see why such a situation would want to be avoided. Thanks for the info.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:28 am 
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Steve,
With respect to rule changes, I know the league's BoG has some say and the competition committee has the challenge of coming up with ways to improve the game by rule implementation.

A few years ago, the face off rules were altered in the hope that there wouldn't be as many stalemate draws and the ball would hopefully be freed quicker to increase game play. With that in mind, we have seen some draws lasting in the 30 second range. This kills any excitement generated from a previous goal and is honestly boring to watch.

Is this a concern to any league officials? I believe it should be.

Also, is there a forum or method where fans can suggest future rule changes or tweaks to existing rules or is it strictly a CC and BoG thing? In speaking to some friends, we have had some good discussions as to how to improve the Game play in the NLL to improve the product and brand.

30+ second face offs are boring, often lead to violations in the end and are terrible TV viewing.

Thanks

Murray


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:41 am 
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Murray,

Excellent point and a very astute observation.

The rules were altered in recent years to do away with the long drawn out faceoff, and amazingly enough, we are right back to the same thing, why?, is ultimately the great question.

You are correct the League's Board of Governors has all the say as each team is afforded one vote each in order to effect changes to the rulebook should there be a plausible recommendation from the Competition Committee.

I happen to agree with you wholeheartedly, long face offs are boring and drive me nuts because rule 44.4 was written to address exactly that issue. "...The ball must come out of the dotted circle. You may not trap, clamp or "dead stick" (clamp or trap and not move your stick) the ball with the intent to withhold play inside or outside of the dotted circle or the opponent's stick or body. This is illegal and a technical penalty for illegal procedure shall be called...."

If I had to guess as to why this has crept back in to the game I would tell you that I believe its because a violation could be called on every faceoff and then ultimately the referees are deciding who gets possession every time. Frustrating, I admit, but explainable. With continued specialization for faceoff players, the battle that they engage in can be intense, added focus has created some effective techniques that have become the battle within the battle. Guys have gotten really good at countering the other player's moves. Result: stalemate.

Regardless, you are correct, the ball should be coming out quickly and not dragging into 30 seconds of standing around. I hate it. Your question has prompted me to bring it to the attention of the Lacrosse operations people with the League.

Fans can always reach out to the League to provide feedback and have questions answered at Comments@nll.com. Hope that helps.

Thanks for a great question.

SG


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:27 pm 
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Let's just do a womens LAX face-off.

Or just do what they did with Basketball however many years ago, Loser's outs. Just do face-offs to start a quarter.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:13 pm 
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Mtn_Scott wrote:
Let's just do a womens LAX face-off.

Or just do what they did with Basketball however many years ago, Loser's outs. Just do face-offs to start a quarter.


While I tend to agree with a "losers out" approach or even a "make it, keep it" rule, I don't think I'd like to see it in the NLL.
My brother suggested a Braveheart style charge for the ball where players were lined up behind the restraining lines and set free after a single ball at the dot. I like the thought behind it but think if put 8 guys behind the restraining line then two players outside of the circle, on a whistle the two inner players battle for possession.
I'm sure that there are better ways to do things other than what we see now. Hopefully Steve and the rest of the BOG can approve a better way to get the game going after a goal.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:35 am 
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I just got off the phone with Brian Lemon at the League office about this very subject and prompted by this question. This past offseason they eliminated a single word from the faceoff procedure in an effort to eliminate additional violations, in hindsight, it might be causing more and creating the issue we all don't like. In the past the officials would say, "down", pause, "set", then blow the whistle, by removing set, the players go down and then the whistle is blown. The distance (basis for a rule change in recent seasons) between the sticks garners less focus, so everything happens faster. They have a regular referee conference call and this was re-emphasized last night on the call.

Remedies in the future are to re-introduce the "set" call so that the officials can assess their positions. Increase the distance between sticks OR as was the custom in Canada for a number of years, eliminate the space all together and put the sticks together with the ball firmly placed within the back of the sticks where only a draw can take place, without lengthy clamps!!! Interesting.

I have often said a women's faceoff would create the same situation, a loose ball that comes out quickly, its been met with resistance but worth another look in the offseason. Not too long ago we did discuss a "trapezoid" behind the net where play would start immediately following a goal, much like basketball, eliminating the faceoff except for starts of quarters, the conversation was also met with resistance. The face off does have a traditional nature in the game of lacrosse and I think we are all a little resistant to a change of that magnitude but it has been discussed. A "rugby" toss has also been discussed, not unlike a "jump ball". All interesting discussions but not sure how much traction they really have.

Thanks for bringing it up, hopefully all of us will be better because of it!! The goal is to be entertaining and if we aren't doing that well, then knowing and trying to fix it is very important.

SG


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:00 am 
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This has nothing to do with the issue at question, I just wanted to say thank you to SG for taking a question and not just answering it but taking the issue to the league office. THings like this make me appreciate this sport and this organization even more.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:24 am 
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devildog wrote:
This has nothing to do with the issue at question, I just wanted to say thank you to SG for taking a question and not just answering it but taking the issue to the league office. THings like this make me appreciate this sport and this organization even more.


I agree, I'm also quite pleased that I could get things moving on the FO issue.

I've never understood why the league uses a field style FO in the first place, the box style that Steve mentioned above always seemed to create fast breaks off of the draws.


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