This question was sparked in my mind from the continuing conversation on the NCAA stick stringing regulations; it got me thinking – why is it less stringent for players who are supposed to be the best players in the world than for college kids?
When you think about the progression of rules of a few other sports, like baseball, football or basketball, you see that the game gets harder with each level up. We expect that professional players should still be able to compete on the highest level, with the hardest rules. The 3 pt line is not closer in the NBA. Until just recently, NBA players were not allowed to play any zone at all, because it makes it harder to play defense when you have to play man all the time. MLB players have to use wooden bats, but college guys can use metal bats, which hit the ball farther with greater ease. In the NFL, the rules on pass interference are tougher on cornerbacks than in the NCAA in terms of penalization.
Now, of course there is nothing like a pocket in any other sport. In no other sport can the instrument you use vary so much from one player to another, but we’re talking about the rules in which these pockets are based. So the NCAA is essentially making it harder for offensive players with these rules. Seeing that NCAA lacrosse is the most watched lacrosse, by a longshot when compared to the MLL and LXM PRO, and they are implementing this rule because they think it will be better for the game, then why does the MLL and LXM PRO leagues allow players to use pockets that have been banned by the most popular lacrosse organization.
As much as these leagues believe that flashy plays, glitz and glam will gain them popularity, I believe something pretty far from that, and that is that people like to watch players overcoming obstacles, such as tougher rules, and still be the best. What this could also do is bridge the popularity gap between the MLL/LXM PRO and NCAA lacrosse watching, by making the game more of a battle, like college lacrosse. Of course, there are many things that would need to be taken into consideration, like how defense is called, if these stick regulations went into effect.
But, really, it just need to be thought about in the most simplistic way:
It doesn’t seem right that the rules for MLL and LXM PRO players are easier than those for current college players.
Feel free to disagree, but please say why.
And finally, we have all the workshop dates, with finalized specific locations and times following this week. So, if you don’t know how to fix a shooting string, adjust a bottom string or simply tighten your pocket if it’s humid, then you need this, at least once, and even if you never string again. If you listen well, this is the most effective, pound for pound, expenditure of time that a lacrosse player could ever spend – I guarantee that you’ll know more about a pocket than you ever knew before, and, more importantly, you’ll know how to THINK FOR YOURSELF.