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Men's Lacrosse Request #3: Olympic Lacrosse Developments

+2 HS
beserkr29's picture
May 28, 2020 at 12:21pm

I was asked about the new Olympic rules and some OSU lacrosse history in the final two requests for lacrosse content, so I chose the topic with easier to find some detailed records. As an aside, feel free to drop more topic requests in the request thread.

I refer to it often, so it'll get done. There's many months to go of down-time, so don't be shy. Today's post will be focused on the new rules World Lacrosse is trying out to potentially get in the Olympics.

The second half will be me ranting about how they're ruining the game and should be trashed for a straight box lacrosse tournament. You were warned.

Essentially, the Olympics (or lacrosse's governing body) have deemed the international rules for lacrosse to be too tedious and lengthy for use at the games. As a result, the international body has been experimenting with some different forms of the game to make it more exciting and faster for easier consumption.

Reminder, we have Olympic golf, tennis, and kayaking, so….yeah. There is a totally legitimate reason to change up the entire structure of the game.

In any case, this has caused the Federation of International Lacrosse to pare down the game immensely in order to spice it up.

Instead of ten players, the game has been played with 6 players per side, and 7 players per side, including goalies. So, 5 running players and goalie, then 6 running players and a goalie.

There is only a faceoff to start each quarter. Scoring a goal only starts a 5 second clock for the goalie to get the ball back into play in a clearing situation. No long-poles are allowed in the international Olympic version of the game.

The field is about 37 yards shorter (it's 70 meters long in the new version of the game, 110 yards in normal lacrosse). No "collisions" are allowed in the men's game, shooting space is no longer a penalty in women's lacrosse.

The game itself is 4 8-minute running quarters, with a 45 second shot clock. Teams under the new rules would be limited to 10 players, I assume 2 goalies and 8 outfield, but no one has actually done that yet as these rules are experimental still. And, thusly, the game is completely ruined for all intents and purposes.

If you couldn't tell, I hate these rules. It takes lacrosse and mangles it into an unrecognizable mess. Other sports get changed a bit to be more palatable to an international tournament, but this is a fundamental change of the entire sport.

Rugby 7s just debuted, but doesn't alter much of anything other than the number of players on the pitch. Soccer has an age limit. Basketball is very slightly altered dimensionally.

This new version of lacrosse is a complete departure from the sport itself. It takes away all the things that make lacrosse exciting, the physicality, the chess match of O and D, the specialists, and turns it into a sideshow. There's a much easier way to do this.

The FIL should make box lacrosse the official submission, and use some tournament rules, like those of the Ales Hrebesky tournament in the Czech Republic.

It would cut down on running time, still be a recognizable version of the sport, and be plenty exciting for anyone. Plus, two or three rinks would be more than enough for the tournament to function smoothly, even if they're fairly temporary.

Shoot, the last World Indoor Lacrosse Championship game was played in the Carrier Dome on a temporary floor. It's really shocking how much different the game would be in the experimental format, and would be essentially unworkable for most teams. Having only 8 outfield players per country is just nuts.

This is definitely not the way to make the game more appealing to a wider audience. It's an abomination, and should be thrown in the trash immediately.

End of rant.

As I mentioned above, feel free to drop more ideas on the request thread. I have plenty to work with, as college lacrosse is an ever changing landscape, but you certainly won't be the only one with whatever question you have.

Stay safe, and Go Bucks!

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