The Canadian Lacrosse Association’s new rules on fighting have drawn quite the reaction and it’s coming from both sides of the aisle. Proponents say if refs can call the cheap shots early and set the early tone of zero-tolerance, these new rules will clean up the game and fans will be in for a real treat. Opponents say the refs won’t be able to see everything, cheaps shots will go on without fear of retaliation and there’ll be no way to adequately protect the star players. ILIndoor asked around to get some thoughts from players past and present and when you make the jump, you’ll read what some of the biggest names in the game are thinking about the new rules.
“Love the fact it eliminates staged fighting but it could have been done a better way. Don’t believe it should apply to MSL/WLA, or Jr. A/B. Players can police themselves at these levels.”
– Brad MacArthur, former Brooklin Redmen player and current Green Gaels assistant coach (Jr. B)
“It’s a positive step. We’ve proven we are not capable of policing our own game. Now the CLA must take the next step and implement more severe penalties and consequences for head hits, like the NLL has done. I’ve seen too many players seriously injured with head hits and a 2-minute penalty called.”
– Derek Keenan, former Brooklin Redmen player and current Whitby Warriors coach (Jr. A)
“I’ve never been a big fan of fighting. Not only was I bad at it but it bothered me somewhat to see my teammates fight my battles for me. The game is violent enough without it.”
– Jim Veltman, former Brampton Excelsiors and Victoria Shamrocks player
“In my opinion the CLA is making bad decisions. First, they took out the most exciting play in lacrosse with ragging the ball man down. Now this. It seems way too harsh and is taking out an important role in the game. I fear that it’s going make the game a lot dirtier because there will be no consequences for dirty play or taking liberties which will probably cause more brawls. … We’re grown men from 22-45, in JT’s case. They’re changing the dynamic of a great game. It’s not U.S. hockey or field lax, it’s our game and its been this way and that’s why we love it cuz it’s ours.”
– Billy Dee Smith, current Six Nations player
“The problem in my opinion is not the fighting but the instigating. Make that a stiffer penalty but let two willings players fight. There has to be a way to keep players accountable for head shots, etc.”
– Lewis Ratcliff, current Langley Thunder player
“By making this rule, the CLA is NOT thinking of the safety of the players. There have been many more injuries in today’s game from high hits than fights.”
– Cody Jamieson, current Six Nations player
“Fighting does not seem to have a negative influence on the Canadian indoor game. Occasionally (blowout games/end of games), some situations can get out of hand and the new rules may address these cases. From the games I have attended recently, the type of fights that I witnessed were very controlled and, once over with, seem to settle down what can be a very reactive and emotional stage of a game. If we are talking about rule changes, I think that eliminating offense/defense style of line changes is priority number one for the Canadian league. Keep the O/D in the NLL, that’s fine.”
– Peter Parke, former Brooklin Redmen playerChavez is an avid lacrosse player in Rochester and a journalist for the Democrat and Chronicle as well as a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to RochesterSports.com.
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