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Face-off legality

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DommoBath
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Face-off legality

Postby DommoBath Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:31 pm

What's the law regarding balls getting stuck into the back of your head when clamping at the face-off. It has happened a couple of times to me, despite my stick being completely legal. One of our guys thinks its to do with the way my head is strung and that the excess string in the back hold the ball in, in certain situations.
Can anyone bring me up to speed???
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LeShark
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Postby LeShark Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:49 pm

Bit of a grey area as the rules are worded.

Rule 16.2: No player shall use a crosse which is constructed or strung so as to be designed to with-hold the ball from play

So, technically, if the fact that the ball gets stuck in the back of your stick is an accident, you've not contravened this ruling! However, if I were reffing you and this happened, I would warn you after it got stuck once, and then, if it happened again, I would declare the stick illegal for face-offs.
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Postby laxwill11 Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:13 pm

assuming its not strung deliberately to do this... surely you have 3 seconds to get the ball to release (by shaking or other method) otherwise its withholding the ball from play?
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DommoBath
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Postby DommoBath Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:35 pm

Yeh, it only happens occasionally, and I don't go running all the way down the pitch with it lodged in!!! Didn't the same used to happen to Jeff's stick Sharky??
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Postby Steely Dan Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:48 pm

Technical question this! If you get 3 seconds to dislodge the ball if it gets stuck, is this included with or on top of the 5 seconds you are allowed to "hold" the ball? Assuming that in the initail 5 seconds you stick may still be in contact with the ground and a lodged ball may be hard to detect?
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dmiddie
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Postby dmiddie Mon Feb 20, 2006 5:01 pm

You will find that the referees committee have discussed this issue. They decided that if the ball became stuck in the back of the stick at face then technically that was withholding the ball and gaining an unfair advantage. They concluded that a technical infringement would be called and possession given to the other side. Repeated incidents would lead to the stick being declared illegal for face-off. However, it appears that despite that decision/ ruling some refs apply it, and others don't!
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LeShark
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Postby LeShark Mon Feb 20, 2006 5:07 pm

dmiddie wrote:However, it appears that despite that decision/ ruling some refs apply it, and others don't!


Never realised it had actually been discussed. I'm on the SEMLA refs panel, and I knew nothing about this. I suppose therein lies the problem!
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cjlax
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Postby cjlax Mon Feb 20, 2006 5:36 pm

Watched a match this weekend at WACS and this happened to the face off man. The game ended up with 4 refs! (two from a match that didnt happen) And the ball did in deed get stuck. The head was a Bionic, so not the narrowest of heads.

Ironically what happened was that WACS seemed quite bothered and asked for a stick check before a call was made by the ref, BUT once the stick was checked, it was deemed legal. It wasn't deliberatly altered and the pocket was the correct depth.

The ref rightfully decided that this stick check call was an illegal proceedure (as the stick was legal) and the player who got the ball stuck in his stick, got the ball!!

So my advice is...DO NOT call a stick check if this happens, wait to see what the ref decideds, otherwise it will work against you!
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Moaning Git
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Postby Moaning Git Mon Feb 20, 2006 6:06 pm

This is an issue which keeps coming up and my understanding, from our panel refs in the north, is that the stick is not illegal, and so any stick check call would be bound to fail, but as the stick gives an unfair advantage it may not be used for a face. The first time it happens a reface is called, if the player continues to use the stick for facing the refs will call unsportmanlike, and that is what I have been doing when refing this season.

From my experience, having had to pull this decision on my son playing for the U12s, any stick can fall foul of trapping the ball. Mud build up can stiffen the stringing, handing strings can get caught and hold the ball. A pinched stick though is a different matter all together.
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cjlax
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Postby cjlax Mon Feb 20, 2006 7:09 pm

Well there is still a difference between an illegal and a legal stick. A stick is legal as long as it falls within the rules, a stick may have been pinched, but can still be legal.

Manufacturers are now making sticks which are at the legal limit, however once a stick is strung, the gap between the sides is even more reduced and this is why there are problems.

I think the way Moaning Git has dealt with the situation is a good one. This way a player is not fully penalised for having a 'legal' stick, but also the other team is not at a disadvantage.
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UKLacrosse
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Postby UKLacrosse Mon Feb 20, 2006 8:26 pm

This subject raised its head some years ago when a SGS lad was facing with a Blade strung with 6-Diamond. The Refs & Rules committee were close to calling the Blade illegal but the fact is that as manufactured it was legal. The problem arose when facing and with the thicker guage mesh. No stick check actually checks the ball being withheld on the back of the stick! I tried several old sticks from a variety of manufacturers and invariably the ball could be retained in the back of the stick to a greater or lesser extent. The existing rules do give the ref's the opportunity to decree that withholding the ball and thereby gaining an unfair advantage is clearly against the rules regardless of the make-up of the stick. Whether you call it a technical, or unsportsmanlike or whatever.......

As I recall the ref's committee in the north has discussed this several times and I thought they'd agreed to award possession to the opposing side. Any recurrence could lead to the stick being banned for face-off. Trying to call for a stick check would be a waste of time as the ref's shouldn't even check the back of the stick.

I would have thought that commonsense would say that an unfair advantage was being gained so it can't be legal? I watched one Premiership game this season where this occurred several times by more than one player from the same team and each time the ref gave a reface.
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cjlax
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Postby cjlax Mon Feb 20, 2006 11:15 pm

thats a good point, but though I'll ask...... Is it an unfair advantage for the ball to be stuck in the stick?? If its stuck, it isn't getting into the goal very easily! I'd just call this a 'problem'!
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Moaning Git
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Postby Moaning Git Mon Feb 20, 2006 11:36 pm

My lad did not see it as a problem..... he was off like a whippet and had no problem passing the ball off! Then I blew....
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dmiddie
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Postby dmiddie Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:03 am

Do you really need it spelt out? Oh go on then.........ball is stuck in back of stick, ball won unfairly.....runs away from danger, kicks it out....picks it up.............great game. Come on just think about it, please!!
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ArmourAsh
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Face Off rules...

Postby ArmourAsh Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:15 am

I think that it is a common sense issue for the referee in question - so I have to agree with John's interpretation.

In terms of the technicalities - the stick in question is probably legal, and therefore cannot draw a penalty, and the ruling is only concerned with the player gaining an advantage, which only occurs after the ball becomes unstuck and the player gains a usable possession, which is why a quick reface call is the most common solution - certainly in the college game.

So Dommobath - if the ball becomes stuck in the back of your stick, you should alert the referee and he/she should award you with a reface. If the ball is stuck and you dislodge it and take possession THEN you have unfairly gained possession and should be given a procedure foul, (I suppose it depends on how you dislodged the ball - if you used your free hand then perhaps an illegal touch???), either way you would lose possession, but not be sent off. If you or your equipment persistently creates this problem then YOU should address this situation yourself by making a change to bring you into line with 'the spirit of the game'. If you fail to do so then the referee can penalise you for unsportsmanlike/delay of game/withholding etc as he/she deems it appropriate.

Your sidewall stringing, depth of pocket, or choice of mesh, may cause this problem to occur more often - but Dommobath, it sounds like you are winning a lot of possession with a powerclamp or plunger based face-off move - my advice would be to modify your technique on the ground to include a rake of some kind to free the ball immediately - most FO guys would kill for their biggest problem to be how to dislodge a ball from the back of their stick!

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DommoBath
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Postby DommoBath Tue Feb 21, 2006 8:26 pm

Cheers for all the replies guys...and it seems I'm not the only one who sometimes finds himself in this situation! My main technique is the plunger but to rectify this problem I have been working hard on the jump and the rake...hopefully I'll have a few more better and more legal tricks up my sleeve soon!
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Postby cjlax Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:46 pm

cant beat the CLAW!! AGHHAH!
DommoBath
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Postby DommoBath Sat Mar 04, 2006 7:37 pm

I got called up on this today, the only time the ball got stuck in this way during the match (I faced 12 times). Their coach asked for a stick check, then as our own guy was reffing, he felt obliged to let their coach do the stick check...he placed the ball in the back of the stick inside all the mesh and found it illegal and I got sent off for 3 minutes. This seems to go against what you guys were saying...
Any more opinions?
kayftara
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stick check

Postby kayftara Sat Mar 04, 2006 7:46 pm

They were wrong, the stick is not illegal simply if the ball gets stuck in the back, other criteria apply.
your stick should have been banned from face offs.
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Moaning Git
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Postby Moaning Git Sat Mar 04, 2006 10:18 pm

They were wrong, and the ref was wrong in defering the decision to the opposition coach. You was robbed boy!

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