Some National Lacrosse League teams holding back players from Major Series Lacrosse

Posted: July 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

Original Article Posted Here

 

Canadian lacrosse recently held a 150th anniversary celebration of the game in Montreal. Considered founded in 1867 when a set of rules were published in a Montreal newspaper on July 1, 1867, the game’s legacy goes back centuries.

As subdued as the celebration was, those involved in the Montreal event left feeling good about the lacrosse. Now is the time to really look at the game, the game the fans knows and lacrosse sells as its current product. There are problems and they are growing.

Concentrating on the aspect of the game we in Peterborough experience, the elite box game or indoor game, everything is not rosy. In fact the trend is heading downhill.

The two main indoor leagues, the Canadian Major series games played in British Columbia and Ontario in the summer and professional National Lacrosse League, a winter league with teams in Canada and the United States, are often at cross purposes.

The Canadian leagues supply the NLL with the majority of their players and practically all their star players. Yet there seems to be a big divide between the two leagues working together to make a better product for both. There is no attempt to mesh the schedules. The NLL never arrange spring playoffs so the Canadian leagues can have a workable period of time to play their schedule.

Now some of the NLL teams are making noises that since they have these Canadians under contracts, they will be limited their ability to play in Canada in the summer. There are currently some MSL players being held back from playing because their NLL teams feel injuries they received in NLL games need more time to heal.

For Peterborough fans, the most discerning observers of the indoor game anywhere, there is creeping erosion in the entertainment value of the MSL games. Early in the season teams come into the Memorial Centre with some of their key players still involved in NLL playoffs.

More disturbing is the decrease in intensity in many of the games. Since the majority of the players in the MSL are also on NLL teams, there is a familiarity among them that works into games. Until late in the season and the playoff many games lack the bite they used to have. The players compete but in a physical game where sticks are involved, every play has an opportunity to send a physical message.

On a positive note the game of today, when teams have full compliments of players, are faster, much more skillful but definitely less physical that earlier eras.

The changing from defense to offence by teams has become some good, mainly because teams push the rules; there are rarely odd-man situations or opportunities for the especially skilled player to do some magic on transitions.

Today’s game is and up-and-down 30 second track meets usually ending up in a long range shot, easily handled by the goaltenders who then restart the process the other way.

Referees, especially now they have their heads now safely ensconced in plastic, are quite content to let the track meet continue. With the lack of physicality, there are fewer penalties, consequently fewer powerplays where the stars of the game can shine.

Also the Canadian Lacrosse Association’s intrusion into the elite game with its “no fighting” rule has definitely sanitized the game

The more physical players are fewer and are often marked by the referees for extra attention. Cheap shots artists now thrive. Retaliation is always penalized.

Even though the entertainment value of box lacrosse is still there, management better take heed that their product is being adversely affected by a number of factors that should be addressed now.

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