OH No!!! My "V" Strings are gone!
The National Federation of State High School Associations approved new rules that begin to mirror the NCAA rule changes of two years ago. It is good to see the High School game is trying to stay current with the college game but there is still more needed, specifically a shot clock. The NFHS did move to speeding up the game with a quicker restart for the defense upon an offensive violation, the defense no longer has to bring the ball outside the goal area or box before a restart. The quicker reestart will certainly speed up the game but it will also give the defense the option to push the ball right away thus putting pressure on the substitution game of the other team. There has been a lot of talk in the lacrosse world about too many specialized players at the expense of the two way middie, this would essentially make the middies play defense at least during the transition or clear. In my opinion, it would also re define the long stick middie position to be a more offensive minded position. I like the rule change but still would like a shot clock at all levels.
The other big change in rules is related to the stringing of the stick. No longer will a player be allowed to have long strings hanging from the head of their stick or the dreaded "V" string or "U" string that many have used to create hold in the pocket. These shooting strings will not be allowed to be below 4 inches from the top of the crosse, thus eliminaing the "V" or "U" concept. The reasoning behind this change is to allow the ball to become dislodged easier so checks would become less violent and create more passing. I am not sure of the passing part but I do agree that something has to be done to control the excessive slashes and cross checks, that said, lacrosse is a physical game.
The physicality of the game has increased but largely due to inexeperienced referrees, if slashing, cross check, illegal body checks were called consistently the game would function properly and would not need to take away a "V" string. It seems that no matter what the rule change it becomes open for interpretation by the referree, that is where the real problem lies.
There were other rule changes but let's face it most will never get called - like the, what I will call, "Soccer" rule - Rule 6-5-2w: "Take a dive or feigning a slash to the head or body in order to deceive the official and draw a penalty" would now become a procedure call...REALLY! Can't wait for a referree to pull that one out of his back pocket!
One other worth mentioning is the running clock if a team is has a 12 goal or more lead - maybe the winning team should have to keep the ball in the box as well...just a thought!
All in all, it is good to see the levels trying to be consistent with their rule changes but I would like to see more rules geared towards quick restarts and game speed.