New Head Design Rule for 2010

New Head Design Rule for 2010

Postby lax4real » Wed Nov 07, 2007 11:13 am

Thought I would start a thread on the NCAA rules committe decision to change the manufacturer specs on stick heads. I was not aware until the Lacrosse Magazine article came out this month. They make some very good points about the problems with existing heads. Basically the design is so liberal that head width coupled with pocket depth has all but made the poke check takeaway obsolete. The transition game has suffered as well since the transition is basically surrended on change of possession and teams use slow break to sub in and out their respective specialists. Also - the aggression arguement is pretty strong too. SInce it is much more difficult to dislodge the ball - defensemen are getting very wild and hardcore with their checks. Finally - since the ball is so difficult to takeaway - we see more ISOs and less passing. I for one love the idea of te retro head. It may take away some of those incredibly cool moves these young players make today - but it will ease some aggression, bring back the takeaway defense, and bring back swift perimeter passing and tough transition play.

Not sure how much this is seen at the HS and Junior level but I think at the College level - these points are clearly valid. Question is - will the NFHS rules change to align with NCAA? And what about all that inventory on the retailer shelves. The rule change was pushed to 2010 because of pressure from the manufacturers. But you have to wonder - why would a player buy a new head next year if it becomes obsolete the year after?
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Postby Shibby » Wed Nov 07, 2007 11:36 am

you've made some very good points. personally, i feel that the rule should be universal...at EVERY level.

with regard to this...

- why would a player buy a new head next year if it becomes obsolete the year after?


hey, the manufacturers created this situation. left unchecked and to their own devices they disregarded any respect for the game and ran reckless and unchecked whenever possible for market share. classic greed.

don't get me wrong, i do hold organizations such as the ncaa, uslax, etc. responsible as well. they clearly kowtowed to corporate pressure and failed to move early.

yep, how they deal w/ the excess surplus plastic will be an eye opener. but then again, they're all educated men w/ the game's best interest at heart.
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Postby Lax Daddy Man » Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:14 pm

I would assume that head design has gone the direction that it has as a result of what the players wanted. To hold on to the ball better!

Manufacturers have merely responded to the needs of the players. Can't really fault them for that.

Dimensions have been regulated, but maybe not enough.

Better defensive stick skills would be one alternative to reckless aggression........... :shock:
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Postby lax4real » Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:12 pm

True Lax Daddy Man - better defensive skills would be one answer. My point though is that given the exact same defensive skills and execution on pokes and slaps - a defenseman of 20 years ago would have far more caused turnovers than a defenseman playing in todays game. And the reason is that the ball is just too well protected giving the offense a huge advantage. I'm looking forward to the return of triangle head and the balance it will bring back to the game. Look out attack!! Your "glue-stick" days are numbered
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Postby picknroll » Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:26 am

When Dr. Naismith nailed those peach baskets ten feet high none of his players were seven feet tall. In 1967 the NCAA banned the slam dunk because of a seven foot guy named Lew. That lasted until 1976 when they gave up, just in time for Phi Slamma Jamma and Air Jordan.

I played baseball with a wooden Louisville Slugger (Willie Stargell model) and I could hit pretty far. When I was about 12 my friends started showing up with those bats that go “dingâ€
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Postby lax4real » Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:48 am

Not sure of the distinction between purist and fan. But if you mean uncompromising old fart traditionalist - then no - I'm not a purist. I am a fan.

Some interesting points though picknroll - good argument. But the essence of my issue can be found directly in what you say:

picknroll wrote: The game will evolve in ways that make it easier for players to play and more exciting for fans to watch.


Why "evolve" the game in a way that makes it easier for the offensive players at the expense of the defense? Because the "FANS" want more goals? When did lacrosse become about fans? We certainly evolved the game in the past 500 years - great. Suspect we'll continue to do so. I would just like to see it done in a way that does not upset the competitive balance of the game. And the pocket and head changes of recent years have significantly tilted the scale in favor of the offense.

HMMMM.... In fact, now that you mention it - the changes made in our game do seem to resemble the motives of what baseball, football, tennis, and a host of other commercialized sports have done. Scary thought. I'd rather not see lacrosse go that way. Not because I'm a purist but because it's LACROSSE.
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Postby picknroll » Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:30 am

The first time I went to a Dragons game I kept asking my buddy: "Why are there only three poles on the field?", "Where's the restraining line?", "Why did they screw up the score and put two points for that goal?", ...

It's always about the offense - sadly.
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Postby lax4real » Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:37 am

And the shot clock - yikes!! The whole professional lacrosse thing is a thread in itself. The Dragons play a different version of what we coach and play in the amateur and youth ranks. And the Stealth - well Box has its own great history and traditions so not fair to compare to the field game. Mainly, I just don't want the pro stuff backing its way into NCAA and NFHS play. We clearly benefit in lots of ways by having MLL and NLL here in NorCal and I will continue to support both. It's still lacrosse, just have to accept that it has a heavy slant to offense!!

Another thought though; since the amazing popularity and phenomenal growth of lacrosse really stems from the game as played at the NCAA and Junior levels - why did Jake and his marketing experts at the MLL opted to make the changes they did? Why mess with what was clearly working? To make it better? TV? Sponsors? Not seeing the betterment myself. And if they thought it would bring the fans - well the proof is in the numbers. Maybe the problem with attendance is actually due to their decision to make some fairly aggressive modifications to basic game play. Just a thought.
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Postby Shibby » Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:03 pm

It's always about the offense - sadly.


not really. of course we're discussing apples and oranges when comparing the ncaa to the pros. but, i do agree that the all mighty dollar has been the biggest driving force in recent years.

for example, defensively, a brief moment in the late '80's-early '90's had teams being allowed to have six poles on the field. in NY, for example, many hs leagues allowed this to compensate for team abilities. kind of retaining dignity w/out the slaughter because of the various talent differences between teams in many leagues.

prior to the clearing rule change for "TV" a good riding team was an essential part of the equation.

i fully agree that many of the changes implemented since the early '90's have been done with the sole intent to speed up the game (TV equals $$$). on the surface that may be well and good. however, there's always a consequence for everything. a great example of this is an unfortunate side effect that the brain trusts continue to deal with...substitution.

quality coaches always tinker w/ their environment for an advantage...and push those rules to the limit. remember how weaker teams once caused a tech. (and still do) on a face-off to offset facing a 4 on 3? a short-lived rule change was to award a 30-sec. tech...which quickly faded away. the same occurred for clearing (goalie interference) which eventually became another thought kicked to the curb. both aspects are crucial to game momentum. coaches, within the framework of the rules, took advantage of gray areas and slowed the game for equality. it will always exist...and the god's above will continue to scratch various body parts for a positive solution.

great examples for the D are the clearing time constraints and the O-box tap-in rule in reference to stalling. back in the day a good clearing team could play cat-n-mouse to shed time off the clock. and, prior to the tap-in rule, good O teams could pull a "Dean Smith" on ya by spreading the field...forcing the D to come to them.

in the majority of cases fall-ball is used as the experimental lab. it's fun being a "fly on the wall" at some of the major events. listening to the teams "discuss" their feelings about a particular new "issue" can be very entertaining. yes, Myrtle, grown men DO cry!!! LOL................. :lol:
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Postby quickstick » Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:25 am

Ok so I thought I would chime in on this topic. I spoke with Matt Ward last year at the national convention about this topic since he and his Virginia team mates use the California designed P34 pocket. We agreed that the new dimensions would have little effect on the installation and performance of this pocket, so I purchased a Brine Vapor which has the legal dimensions required in 2010 and strung it with my version of the P34 pocket. Then I strung a Kanon, one of the most pinched currently legal sticks with the 321 pocket (the P34 can not be installed in this head without the ball becomeing trapped in the lower half of the stick). I photographed the hold points and release points of each and have it posted as a public album on Picasi 2 site:

http://picasaweb.google.com/dnourse10/C ... inchedHead

There is almost no difference in the hold and shot characteristics between these two heads. I believe that the push for the pinched heads was to give factory strung heads similar hold and shot characteristics to custom strung heads. Other than reigning in this new head every year syndrome, the rule change will have little effect on those who use custom strung sticks.

My 2 cents
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