OT - Lacrosse shot clock article

Submitted by laxalum on May 11th, 2012 at 9:22 AM


This is a hot topic in lacrosse right now.  Interesting angle to compare it to what basketball went through in the 70s.  I would love to hear maizeandbluewahoo's and other mgoblog lacrosse followers' perspectives.

Admittedly, I mainly posted this because the photo they used shows a Michigan player mauling an Ohio player.



May 11th, 2012 at 9:36 AM ^

When would the clock start? Possession or possession in the offensive zone? I'm in favor of the shot clock, I think it'd make for a very viewer friendly game.


May 11th, 2012 at 10:11 AM ^

Currently, they have in place a stall rule where (at the refs discretion)  if the offensive team isn't  attempting to score (ie. passing it around for minutes at a time or running around with no attempt to take it to the net) they call a stall warning and the offensive team then has to keep the ball in the restraining box and if the ball leaves the box there is a change of possession. This rule also occurs in the final 2 minutes the winning team has to keep the ball in the box. 

I think an interesting idea is they keep this same idea but add a shot clock. They keep the game exactly as is, however when the ref deems a stall warning, they then add a 40 second shot clock before a change of possession. 


May 11th, 2012 at 10:38 AM ^

Lacrosse would benefit from a shot clock.  It should start in HS for varsity teams and college of course.  The younger levels don't really need it because they hardly can complete more than 5 or 6 passes in a row without dropping the ball.


May 11th, 2012 at 10:49 AM ^

Please not in high school, or they need to put some sort of score cap when it's used. As a coach of an admittedly bad lacrosse team stalling the ball on offense is one way we can compete and then the other teams tend to take pity on us and also hold onto the ball and work on passing rather than scoring. I don't see a coach employing that tactic if is leads to a turnover every possesion. Most boys hs basketball leagues in the country don't us a shot clock either.


May 11th, 2012 at 12:57 PM ^

In Michigan HS the skill levels of teams vary widely, even in conference. Most higher end teams look to beat lower level teams in transition as well as settled offensive possesions, but the less-skilled teams usually only have a chance by taking long offensive possesions for themselves and hoping to limit transitional play.


May 11th, 2012 at 12:59 PM ^

Grew up playing in Maryland and I never felt there was too much stalling (granted as a d-man anytime I didn't need to run extra was fine with me). But I haven't been home to watch a high level high school game in a while.

The thing I feel slows down the college game so much is unless a fast break is certain teams run down, step in the box, then wait to do a complete line change, then start the offense. At the high school level, at least the lower levels there is as much of an emphasis on the d-middie and offensive middie lines. Hell, I only have 2 guys as subs on a good day.


Tulip Time

May 11th, 2012 at 11:00 AM ^

In basketball, the shot clock benefits the defending team because it is easier for the defense to rebound a missed shot. In lacrosse, the offense recovers a missed shot out of bounds most of the time.  A shot clock would only encourage an intentional missed shot over the goal and out of bounds which the offense would most likely recover and reset the clock.


May 11th, 2012 at 11:28 AM ^

Yep, I agree completely that it is a bad idea. You would obviously have the intentional missed shot, but also it would cause a lot of offenses to hurry. When they hurry, you will see forced passes and shots, and as a result I think you will see fewer 6v6 goals.

I would rather see them adjust the rules now so that if you have a stall you won't get the ball back on a missed shot backup, in addition to not being allowed to leave the box. I am OK with stalling with 3 minutes to go, but not in the second quarter, and I think that adjustment would take care of that.


May 11th, 2012 at 12:54 PM ^

I think the only thing that would be effective is to have an automatic stall timer once the offensive team gets a touch in the box, say 20 seconds so it is consistent with the ref's timer for clears. Once you get a touch, if you haven't shot or changed posession within 20 seconds then get it in/keep it in applies. This wouldn't be too difficult for the ref's, as they just did away with the re-touch rule after everytime you come out of the box for this year. It would re-set after a shot.


May 11th, 2012 at 4:29 PM ^

My gut reaction is that a shot clock would be a terrible idea. I really enjoy watching an offense moving the ball with good passes, even if they have difficulty finding an opening with for a good shot. It seems like a shot clock could almost kill the good patient offense that is still fun to watch.

on the other hand, a team sitting behing the cage playing keep away in the second quarter is grueling to watch. I find myself thining that maybe a shot clock wouldn't be such a bad idea in those cases.

Like others have said, if there was some way to adjust the stall rules to invoke a shot clock after the ref calls to keep it in, or something like that, I think it would be better.

How would the rule be written to not allow the shooting team to get the ball back after a shot if a shot clock was implemented? If it was a 40 second shot clock, if you shoot in the last 5 seconds then it has to be on goal? In that case I tell my guys to shoot over the net with 6 seconds to go if they don't have anything. 

It just seems that a shot clock would be difficult to implement in a way that would not hurt the game.


May 11th, 2012 at 4:35 PM ^

Shot clock: bad idea for so many reasons.

Main reason is that defenses would just pack in tight and wait out the clock.  The rebuttal to that is, if I get the ball that way then my incentive is to run run run in transition and try and score quick so that the other team doesn't pack it in also.  Not the way lax teams are currently constituted.  I know a lot of folks want to go back to the "good old days" of two-way midfielders but that's both unlikely and a bad idea - defensive and offensive specialists make the game better because the players are better.  I don't want a bunch of interchangeable players who are only sort of good at everything and not especially good at anything.

Plus, coaches are very risk-averse.  Always.  They will not take a chance to score if it means the other team might more easily score on them, unless it's desperate.  So the next step: in order to avoid transition off of shot clock violations, a team's focus will change in the last few seconds of the shot clock to simply putting the ball on the far end of the field.  Never will a team be caught dead violating the shot clock with the ball at the top of the box.

Then you have the issue of what happens when good teams play bad ones.  You'll get scores like UVA 35, VMI 7.  I do think, when you take away a bad team's ability to level the playing field by playing slow, some will drop out of the sport.

Stalling is sometimes a legitimate tactic.  If a team has a 3-goal lead with two minutes to go, for example, they should be stalling.

A shot clock may well lead to more frenetic, up-and-down play at times.  But overall it'll be worse play.  Offenses will suffer.  More bad shots will be taken, and it'll take more shots and more possessions to reach the same number of goals.  I wouldn't be surprised at all to see a shot clock cause less actual scoring.  People always compare it to basketball, and there's a legitimate comparison between games but not where a shot clock is concerned.


May 11th, 2012 at 6:00 PM ^

You briefly takled about this, but D would suffer from the shot clock.  You are right, D would play it tight until the clock droped down to about 12-10 and then the pressure would come.

I especially think that we would see the end of d-midfield, as coaches would also look for an offensive minded middie that can play d for a few seconds at a decent level at the end of the shot clock.  

Being a long-stick middie i hate the idea of a shot clock.  I always loved when a team would try to work the ball around, taking shots and retaining possession, for 2-3 minutes only to have a bad pass or good stick check that caused a turnover.

There is something special to the idea that a team can retain possession for 5 minutes at a time without giving the ball up.  I think lacrosse is great the way it is and adding a shot clock, yeah it would be great for TV, but for those that played or have enjoyed the sport prior to a shot clock era it would take something away from the sport.  

L'Carpetron Do…

May 11th, 2012 at 5:15 PM ^

A shot clock is not the worst idea ever, but there are ways that the refs can speed up the game and prevent stalling without necessarily resorting to a shot clock.

The sport doesn't necessarily need a shot clock, but just a way to discourage the cheap stalling tactic employed by the likes of Ohio State against Denver (and to a degree against U of M).  If you saw the Denver game, the 4th quarter was excrutiating and not in the spirit of the game.  If you saw the Mich-OSU game, Ohio made the 4th qtr disappear because we did not pressure enough and couldnt get the ball back. 

One way they can do this is to maybe make the box smaller.  Or create a smaller box within the traditional restraining box.

But, the easiest thing to do would be to institute a 10,15 or 20 second shot clock after a stall call is made.  As of now, there is basically no repercussion for a stall unless you step out of the box, or in the crease.  Teams can just hold it and kill the clock and the box is big enough to allow these teams to drain seconds off the clock.  But if they insituted a floating/situational shot clock this would not be possible.   If they dont get a shot on cage within that timeframe then it is a delay of game violation and a turnover.


May 11th, 2012 at 5:30 PM ^

My suggestion has always been this: After a stall, allow the opposing attackmen to roam the field up to the restraining line.  That would shrink the box even further as the stalling team would almost certainly be wary of taking the ball too close to them, since losing the ball would certainly mean a fast break.  Let the attackmen stay until possession changes, and let that team be free from being called offside until either six of their players have crossed midfield or they've gotten a touch in their offensive zone.

I think an octagonal box (not perfectly octagonal, just 8-sided - basically with the corners lopped off) would also be a good idea, except that I'm also not wild about changing the dimensions of the field - it just feels like too fundamental of a change.

Or: during a stall call and after a shot or otherwise a stoppage of play, let the D sub in an extra pole if they like, which, yes, may stay on the field until the next stoppage of play after the change of possession.

These ideas wouldn't apply to the two-minute auto-stall, though.