Four Goal Rule - Useful or Not?

Four Goal Rule - Useful or Not?

Postby bigwayne » Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:32 pm

picknroll wrote:One interesting aspect of the Power Rating is for comparisons between A teams and B1 teams. There are two U15B1 teams in the top ten for U15: Fair Oaks and Santa Cruz. Those are both a bit of a surprise to me. I think Fair Oaks is the youth feeder club to that HS in the central valley with the wild shorts. They are always fairly competitive when they come to the Bay Area (and those shorts sure are entertaining). I don't know much about Santa Cruz, but it seems the teams in that area have been improving in recent years. I know that there are some quality players in Monterey (which is also a highly rated U15B1 team at #14 overall). Santa Cruz has three wins against U15A teams (Redhawks, Crusaders, and Tomahawks). That's impressive! They have to be the favorite for that U15B1 championship. Fair Oaks has just rolled through their U15B1 opponents (and thus their rating). They play U15A Granite Bay in a few weeks so that will be a good test.

My son is on the Santa Cruz U15B1 team. They have a strong group of kids that have really stepped up from previous years and benefit from the current age group alignment vs. the previous grade based schemes. They have done well against A teams, though they did not face the Firehawks A team as Firehawks had a B1 team for them to play that day. One interesting thing is that the 4 goal faceoff rule has kept some of their games much closer than they would have been. In fact, against the Red Hawks it gave the Red Hawks a decent chance at coming back and winning the game. Against the Tribe it helped make the game a close one.
It makes me wonder when I see these other teams rolling through with 15-1 scores and such whether they are enforcing that rule or not.
bigwayne
Practice Player
Practice Player
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:57 pm

Re: Power Rankings 2010

Postby picknroll » Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:11 pm

Thanks, BigWayne! It sounds like you guys have a good program going down at Santa Cruz.

I hate the 4 goal rule, especially in U15A. While I can understand rules to minimize the impact of a blow out, I can not understand why competitive lacrosse would adopt a rule that can materially impact the outcome of a game. Four goals is nothing in lacrosse, especially with U15A teams! As far as the rule being "enforced" it is at the discretion of the team that is down by four goals to waive the face off. You can waive off the rule and face off, which I think is the right thing to do. I had a game earlier this year where my team was ahead 10-3 in the 4th quarter and then I had a couple of key defensive injuries occur and the opponent was taking the ball on the 4 goal rule playing "make it, take it". They whipped off four straight goals to bring the game to 10-7 before we even had a chance to get the ball in a face off. By that time the momentum totally flipped and the opponent ended up tying the game at 10-10. We scored a buzzer shot to keep the game out of overtime. That was just insane. It's hard to even call it lacrosse.

Even worse you have to start coaching to overcome the 4 goal rule. If the opponent gets to play "make it, take it" then the proper offensive strategy becomes a stall to preserve your lead. Why do we need a rule that encourages stalling? I say let's just play lacrosse. Go to running time when the game gets out of hand. Don't implement rules to monkey around with the outcome of a game. That's just wrong!

I've been down by 4 twice this season and I've never accepted the free face off in those games. I don't plan on doing it in any future games either. I've had opponents take the free face off in four games. The first time we dang near lost. After that we've learned to adapt, but those have been really boring games.
picknroll
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1304
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:05 pm

Re: Power Rankings 2010

Postby bigwayne » Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:12 pm

Thanks for confirming my suspicions about the 4 goal rule. 5-1 is a lot different than 10-6. I would advocate that the no faceoff rule should be changed to be only in effect if the goal differential is equal to or greater than the trailing teams raw score. Besides the scenarios like you saw, you are just taking a big part of the game away and penalizing a team that has worked hard on faceoffs. Your stalling scenario is really troubling, but i could see it happening.

One thing to note is that NCJLA has the 4 goal rule only applying to regular season.
bigwayne
Practice Player
Practice Player
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:57 pm

Re: Power Rankings 2010

Postby Jersey47 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:23 pm

Sorry but I'm going to have to come out in favor of the 4 goal rule. I know this puts me in a VERY small minority, but so be it. Our Club is fielding it's very first team ever into the A division (U-15). We are doing so with a 16 man roster. In the past when deciding what division to declare for my teams, I have always strived to put my team in a situation that would allow for basically a .500 record. If we played poorly we would finish below that, if we played well we finish above that. I always wanted our games to be competitive, and my players to be challenged. I believe that this is the best way for my players to develop. Since, most of the boys on our U-15 A squad have been in the program the longest and will be playing at least JV ball next year I thought they needed to get a real taste of the type of talent was out there. So I choose to go A, this season knowing that I was basically putting myself in a very unenviable position. I knew we would be taking a TON of lumps this season against this level of competition. I knew we would be fortunate to win a few games at best. Still, I thought is was the best thing to prepare these players for the High School game where there are no "divisions". At best we are a B1 team. We have had our share of success in the past at the B levels, and I felt is was important for my players to see what true A level teams looked like. With that said we have been blown out in several games, the 4 goal rule has not made a bit of difference in any of the games. In games like that I cannot see how a defense that would never see the ball come into their half of the field without the 4 goal rule would enjoy watching their offense conduct a clinic on the opposing team. I do believe that two "evenly" matched teams can (and should) choose to waive their right to the 4 goal rule and should do so at their own discretion. I know this is "asking" a lot of these two said teams and their "moral compasses", but isn't that what this game teaches? To honor you opponent by letting them bring out the best in you? The argument that 4 goals is not a big enough difference kind of sounds hollow to me. Example: Score is Team A-4, Team B-0, team B elects to take the ball at midfield, and proceeds to score (A-4 B-1) there will now be a face-off. As long as there is less than a 4 goal margin of difference there will always be a face-off. It is not like the losing team gets the ball at midfield until the game is tied. So a team coming back from a four goal deficit has more to do with the other team's defense or offense if you ask me. I really don't think that when a team is beating another team by double-digit goals they should complain about the other team taking possession at midfield and trying to generate some semblance of an offense. During the past few years there has been a HUGE push by the NCJLA to have Clubs put teams in the A division, if they want to continue to have Clubs test the "A division" waters for the "good of the game", then they need to do something to try and level the playing field. Maybe it's time for the NCJLA to think about AA and AAA divisions. That makes more sense to me than having two B divisions. I really do not see the benefit to a team "blowing" out another team 17-1 or 15-0. Who does this help? What is the goalie and defense of the winning team getting out of this? For that matter what is the offense getting out of it? The losing team might get motivated to work on their skills to improve (provided they are mature enough to find some positive in such a demoralizing loss). I think many of the coaches out there would tell you that is something much easier said than done. You can "hate" the 4 goal rule all you want. You can refuse to accept the rule, (by the way if you know you are evenly matched with another team, I would admire you for this). You don't want to use the rule? Fine that is certainly your prerogative. But, please do not begrudge a "clearly" overmatched opponent the opportunity to at least "try" and test your defense. And don't come at that team with a "holier than thou" attitude. Is it really necessary to make a weaker opponent, feel embarrassed, and demoralized because they choose to take advantage of this rule? For the dominant teams out there... do you really need to win by 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 or more goals to feel good about yourselves? If so I would say your players and organizations may have more "problems" than your winning records would indicate.
Jersey47
3rd Line
3rd Line
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:46 pm

Re: Power Rankings 2010

Postby bigwayne » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:37 am

Jersey,
I don't think anyone is advocating a situation you describe of beating a team by 10 or more points.
The issue we have is with a situation where teams are relatively evenly matched. I know our kids
are not NCAA quality, but I have seen many D1 games on TV where teams come back from 5 or 6 goal
deficits without the help of this rule.

Let's look at another aspect. The 2nd and 3rd string guys. When you get up by 5 or 6 goals, it
is very appropriate to rotate your lines and put the 2nd or 3rd string guys in much more. Now you
have this 4 goal rule that keeps the game close, which encourages a coach to either put the 1st
string guys back in, or run the score up some more before taking them out.
bigwayne
Practice Player
Practice Player
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:57 pm

Re: Power Rankings 2010

Postby Jersey47 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:06 am

BW- Regardless of whether anyone here is advocating beating a team by double digit goals, it does happen. I have already stated that I believe two evenly matched teams should elect to waive this rule. I even commend them doing so. To be fair NCAA D1 and NCJLA lacrosse should not be mentioned together in the same sentence. There is NO comparison. NCAA D1 lacrosse teams are made up of the top 1%-3% of players in the country. We are not even talking about High School lacrosse here. This is YOUTH lacrosse. True there are many very good players in the NCJLA, but the truth of the matter is that despite what parents, coaches, and players think, the vast majority of these kids will not play NCAA D1 lacrosse. Again I knew our club would face long odds by testing the "A" division waters. I have no delusions of where my players are talent wise. I am merely objecting to teams that take a "holier than thou" approach to their philosophy of how the game should be played. I also find it irksome that some teams simply seem to think it is okay to demoralize their opponent. We have been beaten badly by classy teams and we have been beaten badly by classless teams. There is a difference! We recently played one team that despite being up by at least 8 goals thought it was necessary to place a long stick middie in the attack half of the field to immediately "jump" all over the middie bringing the ball in on the "free possession". Good strategy? Perhaps. Good sportsmanship? I don't think so. That really does not sound like "Honoring the Game" to me.
Jersey47
3rd Line
3rd Line
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:46 pm

Re: Four Goal Rule - Useful or Not?

Postby SkylineCoach » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:31 am

The 4-goal rule was briefly discussed at the NCJLA meeting last night. Some were in favor of eliminating it, others like it as-is, others think 6 goals is a better differential. My suggestion was that it remain 4 for all B divisions, and be eliminated for A divisions.

But at least its on the radar...
SkylineCoach
NCLF MVP
NCLF MVP
 
Posts: 298
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:12 pm

Re: Four Goal Rule - Useful or Not?

Postby picknroll » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:41 am

I split this discussion into a new topic as we were off track in the Power Rankings discussion.

I have no problem with referees actively containing a blowout situation between two obviously mismatched teams. Waiving face offs has always been a tool for refs to use in that situation. I am all for that.

But now to presuppose that any 4 goal lead in a lacrosse game is leading to a blowout is where I have a problem with the rule. The referees have no lattitude. They have to blindly award the ball to the team that is down by 4 regardless of the situation. Bigwayne, just told us that his U15B1 team was playing a U15A team that was taking free face off possessions against them. BTW, that particualy U15A team has 3 offensive players on the U15 Nor Cal Festival team. Is there anyone out there that thinks this B team should really have to give the ball to an A team stacked full of All Stars? Is that what this rule is about? If anyone can explain how that could possibly be good for youth lacrosse I would like to understand it.

Four goals in lacrosse is nothing. That's just something normal that happens in a lacrosse game. You can overcome a four goal deficit in a couple of minutes in higher levels of play. Even six goals is not much of a lead. I learned that the hard way last year. I had a 6-0 midway through the 3rd quarter in a game last year. It was the first game of a double header so I decided to give my backup goalie some time and rest my top players. It was 6-4 before I knew it . The momentum totally flipped and it was all we could do to hold on to a 7-5 lead. It was very presumptuous of me to think we could coast on a 6-0 third quarter lead against an "A" level opponent. You have to play through the game.

The other thing that I've only recently come to appreciate is that sometimes there are only small differences in two teams that result in greatly exaggerated outcomes in scores. It is quite possible for a blowout to occur between two teams that are relatively evenly matched in talent. I recently watched film of a HS game that ended 17-3. While watching the film a knowledgeable coach explained to me that there really wasn't that much talent difference between the teams, but pointed out several things that caused the wide margin of victory. Most of those things were correctable coaching opportunities, even in the course of the game. I am sure that many of you of experienced games where the score was not indicative of the difference of talent level between the teams. I hear that comment all the time. It takes a very astute observer to figure out exactly what causing the scoring anomaly and take action to change it. That is called good coaching. So now do we also throw out tactical coaching competency in an effort for parity?

The four goal rule is simply an unnatural situation that can change the outcome of a game that is still in question. It goes beyond containment of blowouts.

So what do you do as a coach if an opponent is taking free face offs? Do you passively sit back and watch the outcome? I tried that once and almost watched my team lose a game that should have been easily won. If the opponent is using the free face off possession it is my job as a coach to find tactics to neutralize that advantage - while the outcome of the game is in question. It's just another tactical coaching situation like MDD, settled clears, etc. Now I have this articicial situation (free face off possession) that we have to add to the list. We now have plans for that situation too and practice it. I don't like it but that's what we have to do. I'm not going to roll over and give a goal away on a free face off.

Lastly, there is much knowledge to be gained from losing - even if it is by a painfully wide margin. Most things that I've learned about lacrosse have come from losing and then asking why that happened and how to change it. If you are really smart you can figure out and change those things in the course of a game. Sometimes you have to wait until the next game as correction takes practice. Sometimes you even have to wait until the next year as some imbalance take longer time periods to correct (such as stick skill inadequacy). To me losing is no disgrace as long as you are taking the long look in the mirror to understand why and then take steps to improve. That is the beautiful thing about competition. It drives us all to improve. Believe me, I've been on the wrong end of plenty of blow outs myself. It drives you crazy. It makes you watch coaching videos, send kids to offseason camps, recruit football players, etc. It's easy to get complacent when you win, but man those losses stick with you and drive you to change. The lessons from wrong end of the blow out have been golden. Getting free face off possessions to stay in those games ... well, I don't think that would have helped us improve much at all through these years.
picknroll
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1304
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:05 pm

Re: Four Goal Rule - Useful or Not?

Postby EvilLax » Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:09 pm

I am not in favor of the four goal rule. [-X

4 goals is not a lot in the game of lacrosse. Two face-offs with a face break each and you are back in it. And why punish the other team for good execution? The point is to scoree more goals then your opponent correct.

This comment won't be popular, but I think we are getting to sensitive with respect to our kids "feelings." Our team just took a whoopin' by 12 goals. After the four goal lead the refs asked us if we wanted a face off or not. We said "of course we want to face off!"

We were getting beat at face offs obviously, but we also were getting beat on other aspects of our game. We were not playing/showing the normal discipline or skillset I was used to seeing. The players recognized this as well. What better way to improve then continue to play and make those corrections.
I contiuned to encourage my players and told them at the half the score didn't matter any longer, this was about testing your ability to overcome, testing your mental toughness, gut checking yourself...are you a quitter or a hitter? To my surprise and pleasure, they didn't give up and although the other team contined to score, my players went out there and continued to fight.
After the game they weren't happy, but we used that fire to fuel the next practice. I told them to remember that feeling and not let it happen again. We got our team break and left.

At practice on Tuesday, the game and score meant nothing to them. We did a quick debrief about where we failed at the game and how we needed to correct it. We got into practice and they were laughing, having a good time and playing lacrosse again.

We learned something about our team that day and they learned something about themseleves.

Kids are much tougher then we give them credit for at times.
User avatar
EvilLax
Fan
Fan
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:24 am
Location: Concord, CA

Re: Four Goal Rule - Useful or Not?

Postby ZLaxMom » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:56 pm

I hope it's OK to answer pick's question about the wild shorts club here since I noticed it asked elsewhere but I don't think he got an answer.

Fair Oaks feeds primarily into Bella Vista (some to Orangevale club, a few to Jesuit). BV used to be the team with the wild shorts. I don't think they've worn them for a few seasons now, though.
I'm happy to be a Lax Mom.
User avatar
ZLaxMom
1st Line
1st Line
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:19 pm

Next

Return to General Youth

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron