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Face Off: Ball in back of stick --

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:21 pm
by Mr.Stanford
I've seen the following situation called differently over the past couple of months and thought it may be worth asking the question in order to get clarification, spread the word and develop greater consistency:

Face of guy clamps ball, he gets to his feet with the ball in the back of his stick (through fluke or technique). Face off guy makes no effort to get the ball out of the back of the stick, instead he takes 2 or 3 paces (distance not important really he could go half the field for this discussion) keeping the ball in the back of the stick. He then makes the move to pop the ball out the back of the stick and in 1 clean movement the ball pops out.

If my description doesn't do it for you check out brendan fowler from Duke this season: posting.php?mode=post&f=33
at about 50 seconds you'll see the best example.

From my understanding of the rules and talking with a senior official this is a legitimate technique providing the ball isn't being withheld from play i.e. ball doesn't come out when face off player makes an attempt, ball seems 'stuck' if stick is checked etc

What's the call? and is there guidance/advice from the ELA/Reff's association on this situation?

Re: Face Off: Ball in back of stick --

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:55 pm
by jameskellam
The rule states
If the ball becomes caught in any part of a player’s stick, then the player is with-holding the ball from
play.

There is no specific rule for the face off and there is no rule which says you can only carry the ball in the front of the stick. A ref will be trying to see whether the ball is or isn't caught when the face off comes up with the ball in the back of his stick.
One clue that the ball is caught may be that the face off player keeps the ball in the back of his stick for a long time. As a ref, I'd say you'd be well advised to do everything you can to convince me that you are playing legally and the best way is probably to transfer the ball to the front of your stick as fast as you can.