March 07, 2014

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 12 comments

Andre Miller's shoelaces and socks.

posted by Hugh Janus at 08:35 AM on March 07, 2014

Probably just as well that Coach Wooden isn't around to see stuff like that.

Miller can do whatever he wants and it still won't be as painful to look at as what Scalabrine and Rik Smits did. Those guys were ratchet hose.

posted by beaverboard at 09:50 AM on March 07, 2014

Dr. Frank Jobe has died

posted by tommybiden at 11:18 AM on March 07, 2014

ESPN's MLS site calls standings a "table" and the schedule "fixtures." As God and Queen intended.

posted by rcade at 01:03 PM on March 07, 2014

Quint Kessenich on (lacrosse) face-off men:

"I'd like to see a simple rule change: A face-off man cannot leave the field until there is a shot on goal or change of possession.

Make them run a real shift."

posted by Hugh Janus at 03:46 PM on March 07, 2014

"A face-off man cannot leave the field until there is a shot on goal or change of possession."

Should that rule apply to LSMs on the faceoff too? Force them to play offense if their guy wins the face? There are middies who only play defense, attack who only play man up, long poles that only play man down. They are aren't required to play every facet of the game.

While I hate FOGOs on the youth level, I think its acceptable at college and pro. Besides going off topic with the cheating thing, at the end, he doesn't make a very good argument against the FOGO.

posted by umrlax at 05:35 PM on March 07, 2014

They are aren't required to play every facet of the game.

I think what Quint's saying is that LSMs and special teams players do indeed specialize -- certainly they don't play every facet of the game (I doubt he would argue that goalies aren't specialists as well) -- but that they play enough of the game to require some degree of skill at passing, catching, ground balls, checks, dodges, zones, plays: playing lacrosse. When it comes to FOGOs, however, he notes that they are uniquely not required to have much lacrosse ability at all, to the extent that they only need practice the draw and the dump and the sprint back to the sideline.

It kind of reminds me of baseball pitchers in the American League, who have a DH to hit for them. They don't have to play the whole game the way National League pitchers do. Some people love the DH rule because it adds an offensive threat to the lineup, or more precisely removes an offensive liability. Some hate it because it detracts from the purity of the game, and dealing with liabilities makes for more interesting management.

I don't know if I agree with Quint but I think he makes a decent case. I agree that addressing cheating is a bit of a reach. It really isn't material to the discussion of the FOGO. Nor is the mention of the shot clock to speed up the game, though I think he's right that a higher tempo leads to more shots, more scoring, and thus any given face-off is less important in the grand scheme of things.

I love the shot clock and the 2-point line in the pro game.

posted by Hugh Janus at 10:45 PM on March 07, 2014

I don't know if it only comes into play late in the game, but there is a sort of time limit after which the offense has to keep the ball in the box, which makes it easier for defenses.

I played high school lacrosse in Southern California, when it was just starting to take hold, so I don't know if my experience was really different from others playing at that level, but our special teams were just made up of guys that were regular position players. Every middie line had a guy who practiced faceoffs, although we'd generally try to have the line with our best guy out when they happened.

posted by LionIndex at 12:41 AM on March 08, 2014

Lacrosse rule changes over the last few years have been very counter productive, IMHO. I am also looking at them from a youth coach perspective, not the college or pro game.

They add shot clocks but then change the stick stringing requirements. More shots, less ability to posses the ball. Then they change penalty calls to increase the chance of fast breaks, especially off a face off.

Lion, I can only speak for Missouri. Over the last 10 years I've coached (this feels like forever), the high school game went from the style you described to a more specialist style like Quint was referring. All varsity teams use FOGOs now. Some JV teams do as well. I even used one when I last coached JV 4 years ago (he also played man down defense at his request, no interest in attack).

Now I coach middle and grade school teams. I am starting to see some of the elite programs using FOGOs, which is a disservice to those kids for the exact reasons Hugh mentioned. They don't learn the whole game.

posted by umrlax at 02:51 AM on March 08, 2014

Yeah, and since the time I described, San Diego County has gone from 19 high schools playing lacrosse as a club sport, with some schools having girls on the teams because there was no girl's team, to just about every school (44 or something) in the county playing. When I played, we were lucky to have enough guys to fill out a team, so having one ultra-specialized guy wasn't really an option.

posted by LionIndex at 10:45 AM on March 08, 2014

Holy crap, I wish they had the FOGO concept when I was in high school ('89-'93). That was one of the few things I could do at the varsity level, but I never got the chance because the rest of what I could do well at that level was:

  • Hit people legally
  • Hit people not as legally

posted by yerfatma at 01:15 PM on March 08, 2014

  • Hit people (legality irrelevant)
  • Hit people again (legality even less relevant cuz I like hitting people)
  • FTFY, Yerftma

    posted by billsaysthis at 02:33 PM on March 08, 2014

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