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DeFran's weekly installment

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DeFran's weekly installment

Postby young_trig Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:49 am

For those who haven't read the latest ELA website installment from Timperley LDO, Dan DeFrans weekly roundup..

http://www.englishlacrosse.co.uk/vsite/ ... em,00.html

What are people's views on his discussion regarding the length of shooting strings?
He joked that he thought he was going to sound like an ignorant American and that the rule didn't exist in the states. I thought that these were FIL rules and therefore played internationally around the world?

It shows a bit of ignorance to not explore why the rule might exist. Its obviously there to make sure that players do not use excessive stringing that could put opponents eyes at risk. There is obviously a rule needed to make sure that people don't have inches and inches of stringing hanging loose, so a rule is needed with a limit. No point saying 4 inches as this would not remove the danger of being able to reach a players eyes so they made it 2 inches which is fair enough. As a coach of my team, or any other team that I may ever coach, I would always tell my players to ensure that they enter the game with a legal stick. It is my responsibility to inform the players, it is also their responsibility to comply. If they are caught with an illegal stick then they have let the team down. Rules are rules and most are there in the interests of safety!


Or am I on my own with this one?
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Re: DeFran's weekly installment

Postby Chilli Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:19 am

Totally agree, whatever the merits and demerits of an individual rule, we all play to the same set of rules, it's not an a la carte selection.

There is no hierarchy of rules, no picking and choosing, they are all equal.

Yes it's an FIL rule and therefore went through many stages to be accepted by all the countries.

The shocking thing is that after being caught once they went on to be caught a second time!

I'm sure that if there had been any reason for Dan DeFran's team to call a stick check for a pinched head or a deep pocket on the other team they would have happily done so and felt fully justified under the rules.
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Re: DeFran's weekly installment

Postby laxambition Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:13 pm

This:
young_trig wrote:Rules are rules and most are there in the interests of safety!


This:
Chilli wrote:Totally agree, whatever the merits and demerits of an individual rule, we all play to the same set of rules, it's not an a la carte selection. There is no hierarchy of rules, no picking and choosing, they are all equal.


and this:
Chilli wrote:The shocking thing is that after being caught once they went on to be caught a second time!


From memory, all the stick checks I've been asked to make since this rule was amended which have been found an illegal stick on the first request have resulted in a second request later on in the game against the same team and also found illegally long strings
The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent Reading Wildcats Lacrosse Club, SEMLA or, indeed, anybody else......but that doesn't mean that it's not what they're all thinking!
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Re: DeFran's weekly installment

Postby Moaning Git Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:44 pm

I don't think Dan is being ignorant, the problem is that most LDOs are not used to playing FIL rules but NCAA.

That aid the rule was brought into the UK game, it was a point of emphasis, and every club should have known about it and cascaded the information to players and coaches, so there is no excuse for getting caught out on this now.

My only issue is that as this is a health and safety issue then I think refs should not wait for a stick check call to deal with the matter.
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Re: DeFran's weekly installment

Postby young_trig Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:51 pm

Moaning Git wrote:My only issue is that as this is a health and safety issue then I think refs should not wait for a stick check call to deal with the matter.


Interesting point there Mr Git.
I agree to some extent there but it could be too time constraining for a ref to go checking every stick.
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Re: DeFran's weekly installment

Postby UKLacrosse Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:17 pm

This is an interesting discussion and I would applaud the LDo for raising the issue.

Firstly, there is absolutely no doubt that this is a rule to ensure the safety of players, even though all players wear helmets.
Amazingly, there is no such rule in the women's game, where you might have thought there was an even greater risk of injury?

Secondly, despite it being a safety issue, we've had endless comments made that referees are still implementing the rule, only when a stick check is called. Why??? In all other aspects of safety regarding equipment, the referee will stop the game for that to be dealt with. We've had arguments raised that referees are handing over this particular safety rule to the opposing team, yet the response is, that is simple, just make sure the strings are legal. Personally, I would question what would happen in a test case should a player receive an injury, and the referee claim that rules relating to sticks are only applied when a stick check is called by the opposing team.

Thirdly, I would be embarrassed, even disgusted to be part of a team that used this rule to overturn a goal. If you have concerns on safety, then why not have a quiet word with the player, or even ask the referee to do so.

John has made it clear where he stands on safety ... so why shouldn't we apply consistency and commonsense?
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Re: DeFran's weekly installment

Postby JamesA Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:10 pm

Maybe a solution would be to have a word with the teams as they line up at the start (or a quick word with both captains)? That way if a player is called up on it at least they have been made aware before the game and they have had the chance to make any tweaks quickly off the pitch.

UKLacrosse wrote: Thirdly, I would be embarrassed, even disgusted to be part of a team that used this rule to overturn a goal. If you have concerns on safety, then why not have a quiet word with the player, or even ask the referee to do so.


On this point I could not have put it better myself.
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Re: DeFran's weekly installment

Postby young_trig Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:22 pm

JamesA wrote:Maybe a solution would be to have a word with the teams as they line up at the start (or a quick word with both captains)? That way if a player is called up on it at least they have been made aware before the game and they have had the chance to make any tweaks quickly off the pitch.


I understand your point but why should they emphasise that point only? Why don't they just read out the whole rule book while they're at it and give the players a chance to tweak their game before the start? The players have a responsibility to know the rules of the sport they play, its just the referees job to enforce them.
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Re: DeFran's weekly installment

Postby young_trig Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:27 pm

UKLacrosse wrote:Thirdly, I would be embarrassed, even disgusted to be part of a team that used this rule to overturn a goal. If you have concerns on safety, then why not have a quiet word with the player, or even ask the referee to do so.


I agree to some extent.
However, I don't think it should be assumed that a stick-check was called just because of the length of strings. They could have suspected an illegal pocket.
But I'm intersted for you to explain your comment further. Are you against stick checks in general to overturn a goal or are you just against the length of strings rule? Why should one rule be ok to break but others not be tolerated? An illegal stick is an illegal stick. If players are stupid enough to not take the warnings, its their own fault.

Its no different to saying that you would be disgusted to be part of a team that used the offside rule to overturn a goal. I mean the player only went a couple of yards off-side and was never really anywhere near the action so made no difference on the resulting goal. We can ignore that infringement this time and just have a quiet word with the player who went off-side.
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Re: DeFran's weekly installment

Postby UKLacrosse Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:19 pm

young_trig wrote:
UKLacrosse wrote:Thirdly, I would be embarrassed, even disgusted to be part of a team that used this rule to overturn a goal. If you have concerns on safety, then why not have a quiet word with the player, or even ask the referee to do so.


I agree to some extent.
However, I don't think it should be assumed that a stick-check was called just because of the length of strings. They could have suspected an illegal pocket.
But I'm intersted for you to explain your comment further. Are you against stick checks in general to overturn a goal or are you just against the length of strings rule? Why should one rule be ok to break but others not be tolerated? An illegal stick is an illegal stick. If players are stupid enough to not take the warnings, its their own fault.

Its no different to saying that you would be disgusted to be part of a team that used the offside rule to overturn a goal. I mean the player only went a couple of yards off-side and was never really anywhere near the action so made no difference on the resulting goal. We can ignore that infringement this time and just have a quiet word with the player who went off-side.


Gilly, I'm not against stick checks where the stick is possibly illegal, and that is gaining an advantage. Oh that no one cheated in the game,but it's a fact of life I'm afraid. I don't see this 'excess string' rule being anything other than a necessary safety issue. Anyone, who is prepared to use that to overturn a goal, it's in the rules, but do we really need that? In my opinion if the opposing team have picked up on that, then so should the referee ... unless the opposing team were just hoping, but I think not. If it is obvious then a referee should call it and deal with it. He can't duck his responsibility for safety. In SEMLA a goalie scored and was called for a stick check, so that must have been intended as 'excess string'? Off-side is off-side, too many players on the pitch ... both give an advantage? What we're comparing is a rule which is based on safety ... was badly implemented ... the referee doesn't see it as his responsibility (until someone does get injured) ... some teams/ players have used it to their advantage.
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Re: DeFran's weekly installment

Postby Chilli Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:54 pm

There was a time that refs did do stick checks before the game, that was long ago.
There were too many opportunities for cheats to fiddle with the stick after that and make a mockery of the ref having declared it legal.

Now it's for the opposition to spot infringements.

Yes the 2 inch rule has got to be a safety driven rule but them so are many other rules, such as slashing, spearing etc.

As I said earlier, the rule book is not an a la carte menu, if a Club fails to tell players about new rules then others who know the rule will use it at a time that suits them best, usually after a goal.

There is a really simple answer to all this, cut the strings to 2 inches or less and then there would be no calls for long strings, no disqualified goals.
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Re: DeFran's weekly installment

Postby whopead Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:09 pm

Had a game recently where i called a stick check on an opposing player after a goal as i suspected an illegal pocket.

Turns out it was almost a tennis racket and he kept the ball by his own skill. however strings were deemed to long so goal overturned.

I got a bit of stick from the opposition who then wanted a return stick check on one of our players. (which the coach and ref handled well)

I called the check and was made to feel like the villain

At half time both teams were seen to be cutting off excess stringing.

Doubt it will happen too often for either team now.


Was i wrong to make the call?
should i feel bad?
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Re: DeFran's weekly installment

Postby UKLacrosse Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:14 pm

whopead wrote:Had a game recently where i called a stick check on an opposing player after a goal as i suspected an illegal pocket.

Turns out it was almost a tennis racket and he kept the ball by his own skill. however strings were deemed to long so goal overturned.

I got a bit of stick from the opposition who then wanted a return stick check on one of our players. (which the coach and ref handled well)

I called the check and was made to feel like the villain

At half time both teams were seen to be cutting off excess stringing.

Doubt it will happen too often for either team now.


Was i wrong to make the call?
should i feel bad?


Matt, only you can answer that. If you're comfortable with why you made the call, and the basis on which you did, then I'm not going to argue.
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Re: DeFran's weekly installment

Postby Sour37 Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:17 pm

IMO the coach/captain at the start of the game when asked that all his players are properly and legally equipped takes responsibility for this issue.

The refs should take his word that the strings aren't too long, all have butt ends etc
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Re: DeFran's weekly installment

Postby wildcat Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:39 pm

UKLacrosse wrote:Firstly, there is absolutely no doubt that this is a rule to ensure the safety of players, even though all players wear helmets.
Amazingly, there is no such rule in the women's game, where you might have thought there was an even greater risk of injury?


I have never seen a woman called for it, but there appears to be a rule. I have seen sticks that violate this rule that have never been called.

c. Cross-lacing in a pre-manufactured detachable pocket is
defined as 8-12 evenly spaced pocket nylon laces that are
sewn or traditionally woven between evenly spaced
longitudinal thongs. Extra lengths of sidewall nylon ties must
be cut to 4 cm maximum.
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Re: DeFran's weekly installment

Postby UKLacrosse Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:56 pm

wildcat wrote:
UKLacrosse wrote:Firstly, there is absolutely no doubt that this is a rule to ensure the safety of players, even though all players wear helmets.
Amazingly, there is no such rule in the women's game, where you might have thought there was an even greater risk of injury?


I have never seen a woman called for it, but there appears to be a rule. I have seen sticks that violate this rule that have never been called.

c. Cross-lacing in a pre-manufactured detachable pocket is
defined as 8-12 evenly spaced pocket nylon laces that are
sewn or traditionally woven between evenly spaced
longitudinal thongs. Extra lengths of sidewall nylon ties must
be cut to 4 cm maximum.


Thank you for the correction ... I've seen lots of photo's adorning even the governing body's own magazine showing sticks with huge lengths of spare strings. It doesn't mention excessively long shooting strings, only sidewalls? Most women's sticks don't have sidewall strings any more. Presumably this is not part of the stick check before the game? Then again, having heard that they chose to ignore illegally deep pockets at this summer's World U19's on the basis that users were unable to correct them ..... why would it not surprise me?
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Re: DeFran's weekly installment

Postby oldman Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:41 pm

Then again, having heard that they chose to ignore illegally deep pockets at this summer's World U19's on the basis that users were unable to correct


Actually, I don't think you are correct there UK Lacrosse. The issue was, I believe, not illegally deep pockets but how the main leather or leather replacement actually connected to the head of the cross. Some manufacturers, and I can't remember who, had a leather which terminated in a string or cord and it is this string or cord that runs through the wall of the head making contact. For some reason that was declared illegal and all of a sudden a large number of sticks were effectively illegal. There was no way of correcting that at short notice and so the sticks were allowed for the event.

While the championships were indeed played with sticks using technically illegal pockets, they were not illegally deep and therefore dangerous.
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Re: DeFran's weekly installment

Postby ScottStorey Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:01 am

Just to add the Hallam perspective on this as I was playing and actually asked the captain to call the initial stick check.

The two referees for the game were new to the game. For one it was their first game, for the other it was their second.

Our captain brought the issue of lengthy strings to my attention after the first quarter and asked me to keep an eye out. I drill it into everyone to sort your strings or risk losing a goal, before the game I wouldn't allow some of our players to warm up until they sorted strings out and it's pretty common for them to check a stick with myself before the game if they are unsure about if it is legal and I go through the standard ref stick check on it and tell them why it is/isn't legal so they know for the future. Surely this is something all coaches/captains should be doing if they suspect one of their players kit is going to be dangerous?

I asked the captain to call the first stick check and the goal was disallowed for lengthy strings. Now we aren't talking just over 2 inches in length, we are talking 6+ inches on some of these sticks that could very well of blinded players very easily. Considering I was playing D on the crease and tend to get shots quite close to my head, i'm not a fan of strings flailing at my face.

I made it very clear, very quickly to people that I had no problem with having the game abandoned on health & safety grounds as I would not subject my students to the danger if it wasn't sorted (I work at the students union and have a legal obligation to ensure their safety, especially if I am there and especially when I'm a qualified ref myself and know the dangers).

After this Manchester all had a big team huddle and sorted out the worst of their strings.

The captain then called another stick check after another goal, for the life of me I don't have a clue why as he was at the other end of the pitch. This was on a player not involved in the play at all. Again, the stick was illegal. The goal was NOT disallowed. I told the referee after the stick check that the player was in no way involved in the goal and the goal shouldn't be disallowed, and it wasn't.

Quite frankly the coaches reaction to the second stick check was disgusting. Shouting at the top of his voice at the opposing team in a sarcastic manner and the referee. Had I been officiating I would have had no second thoughts about giving him a 3 minute penalty for the way he conducted himself at the side of the pitch.

Coaches/captains have a responsibility to ensure that their players are using safe and legal equipment. If they are ignorant enough to ignore rules that are in place for safety I would question their ability to coach as they are willingly subjecting opposing teams to dangerous equipment. God forbid if something did happen to another player I would like to see them tell the players parents that their son has been blinded because they thought it was a stupid rule they didn't think was worth abiding by and like to see them deal with the court case that would shortly follow.

It really makes no difference at all to me if it is before a goal, after a goal or a dead ball situation. If a players equipment is dangerous....it's dangerous. And before people ask I have asked for a stick to be checked in a dead ball situation.
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Re: DeFran's weekly installment

Postby UKLacrosse Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:42 am

oldman wrote:
Then again, having heard that they chose to ignore illegally deep pockets at this summer's World U19's on the basis that users were unable to correct


Actually, I don't think you are correct there UK Lacrosse. The issue was, I believe, not illegally deep pockets but how the main leather or leather replacement actually connected to the head of the cross. Some manufacturers, and I can't remember who, had a leather which terminated in a string or cord and it is this string or cord that runs through the wall of the head making contact. For some reason that was declared illegal and all of a sudden a large number of sticks were effectively illegal. There was no way of correcting that at short notice and so the sticks were allowed for the event.

While the championships were indeed played with sticks using technically illegal pockets, they were not illegally deep and therefore dangerous.


Well, Susie Ganzmuller, the Chair of the FIL Rules Committee, told me otherwise! She stated quite clearly that they had to waiver the rules on pocket depth .... the central pocket was unadjustable, and too deep. I don't recall claiming they were dangerous?
Last edited by UKLacrosse on Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DeFran's weekly installment

Postby young_trig Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:00 am

ScottStorey wrote:Quite frankly the coaches reaction to the second stick check was disgusting. Shouting at the top of his voice at the opposing team in a sarcastic manner and the referee. Had I been officiating I would have had no second thoughts about giving him a 3 minute penalty for the way he conducted himself at the side of the pitch.

Coaches/captains have a responsibility to ensure that their players are using safe and legal equipment. If they are ignorant enough to ignore rules that are in place for safety I would question their ability to coach as they are willingly subjecting opposing teams to dangerous equipment. God forbid if something did happen to another player I would like to see them tell the players parents that their son has been blinded because they thought it was a stupid rule they didn't think was worth abiding by and like to see them deal with the court case that would shortly follow.


Well said Scott.
What surprises me even more is that the ELA have given him website space to moan about this and talk negatively about Hallam for calling a stick check on an illegal stick.

I would like to add though that I have enjoyed his weekly updates up till this point.
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