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  1. #421
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Manhattan
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    By the way, if anyone ever has an opportunity to speak with Duke coach John Danowski, it's well worth it...he's a marvelous individual (as well as the winningest lax coach ever) and he never engages in "coach speak." He's direct and articulate, and a real pleasure to chat with...no wonder he does so well teaching kids how to play lacrosse.
    Two Coach Dano stories:

    1. I was at Duke lacrosse camp in middle school. We were at a morning session with probably forty or so campers and a few players. I kind of got my pads and gear on a bit faster than others, and Coach Dano just said, “let’s have a catch!” Before I knew it I was tossing around with him, his son Matt—arguably the greatest player in Duke history—and midfielder Brad Ross who was my favorite player on the team. Just super cool.

    2. This wasn’t me, but I heard this secondhand. There was a kid trying to get his autograph as the team was boarding a bus to go travel to an away game. Not only did Dano stop the bus to get the kid his autograph, but let the kid on the bus and made sure that every player on the team gave him an autograph too.

    We’re insanely lucky to have him at Duke.

  2. #422
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mount Kisco, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by Native View Post
    Two Coach Dano stories:

    1. I was at Duke lacrosse camp in middle school. We were at a morning session with probably forty or so campers and a few players. I kind of got my pads and gear on a bit faster than others, and Coach Dano just said, “let’s have a catch!” Before I knew it I was tossing around with him, his son Matt—arguably the greatest player in Duke history—and midfielder Brad Ross who was my favorite player on the team. Just super cool.

    2. This wasn’t me, but I heard this secondhand. There was a kid trying to get his autograph as the team was boarding a bus to go travel to an away game. Not only did Dano stop the bus to get the kid his autograph, but let the kid on the bus and made sure that every player on the team gave him an autograph too.

    We’re insanely lucky to have him at Duke.
    I had my sons at Duke basketball camp and we were headed back from the bookstore when the lacrosse camp was making their way past and Coach Dano was coming our way. The guy gave us the biggest smile and greeting as he passed and commented on the Cavs jersey my son was wearing...which tells me he must be doing that kind of thing all day long. Amazing energy and good nature.

  3. #423
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    North of Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by Native View Post
    Here are some of the basics with some key strategic choices that coaches have to make every game.

    Faceoffs: almost every possession starts with a faceoff. Two players must scrum for the ball at the center of the field. When the whistle blows, two other players may come in from the wings to assist in securing possession. If a player “jumps” before the whistle blows to start play, the other team is awarded possession.

    Face-offs are really, really important. If you have a strong faceoff player, you can turn lacrosse into a make-it-take-it affair. This is why teams tend to go on scoring runs, and why momentum can shift so quickly. If a faceoff man is talented enough, he will usually be referred to as a FOGO (Face Off, Get Off) who focuses solely on taking possession before being substituted out. Duke freshman Jake Naso has been a nice surprise this year as a first-year faceoff man for the Blue Devils.

    Players: ten players to a side, including a goalie. Three defenders. Three attackmen—who are typically smaller, faster, and have the strongest stick skills. Three midfielders—who play both ways and are more versatile than either attackers or defenders.

    You must have four players in your defensive zone at all times. Generally, this is the goalie and three defensemen. Sometimes, though, a defender will be in a better position to advance the ball into the opposing team’s zone. If this is the case, a midfielder from that team has to stay back. If you have fewer than four people in your defensive zone, your team is offsides. This will result in a penalty in favor of the other team.

    Defensive-oriented players are allowed the use of long sticks. A maximum of four long-stick-equipped players may be on the field at once. This is a key decision: if you’re a defensive coordinator, to which opposing attackers do you assign your long sticks? Most teams match up three long sticks on the three attackmen, and then assign a long-stick midfielder (LSM) to the opponent’s best midfielder. Sometimes, though, you might double-pole the midfield, meaning you guard an attackman with a short-stick defender.

    In midfield play, as well, you might also see two LSMs at once sometimes, particularly on the wings during faceoffs if possession is crucial.

    Clearing and Riding (Transition): when a team’s goalie makes a save, that team then starts their offensive possession by advancing the ball towards the opponent’s goal. They must do this in less than 20 seconds. This is called a clear; the opposing team is said to be riding. Because the goalie for the team with possession is part of the clear, riding teams are usually at a slight disadvantage unless they assign their goalie to cover an offensive player. When this happens, the riding team is said to be running a 10-man ride. You won’t see this until late-game situations—think of it like a full-court press in basketball.

    Offensive Play: in traditional six-on-six offense, you’ll notice that much of the coordination is similar to basketball. Offensive players will try to penetrate the defense and draw a defensive slide before dishing it. Teams can run picks, with all of the minutiae of a pick-and-roll scheme included.

    A lot of teams will try to use picks to get the matchups they want—ideally, you want your most skilled offensive player to avoid the long-stick defenders. If you can get a short stick matched up on your best offensive player, that will pay dividends for your team. Again, it’s like basketball: imagine if you got the other team’s center matched up on your star point guard.

    The other interesting thing about lacrosse is that you can attack from behind the goal. This area is referred to as X. A lot of teams try to run their offense through X. Some defenses don’t like sending their defenders behind the goal if they can avoid it because the ball carrier by definition can’t shoot and score from that position. This gives the attacker more space to operate. Offensively, then, it becomes all about making off-ball cuts and off-ball screens to get players open in front of the goal. If that happens, the player at X can make quick feeds to get their team easy goals. A big part of Duke’s offense this year runs through fifth-year grad transfer senior Michael Sowers, who is excellent at playing from X and leads the nation in points per game.

    From the time a goalie makes a save, an 80-second shot clock starts. (This also includes the clearing period.) If a shot makes contact with the goalie or the goal, the clock resets.

    Very important: if a shot misses or rebounds and then goes out-of-bounds, the player nearest the ball when it went out-of-bounds retains possession for their team. This is why you see players seemingly chase the ball after it misses. This is also why teams want to have a player at X—usually that player is in the best position to get “backup” to retain possession for their own team after a missed shot.

    Penalties and Man-Up: There are many ways that a player can be penalized. Most have to do with excessive force. The most common penalties are...

    Slashing: excessive wind-up or using the stick to hit a player in the head. You can do simple poke checks but a wind-up will generally earn you a trip to the Sin Bin.
    Push: pushing the player in the back. All contact needs to be in the front or sides. A push in a loose-ball situation where neither team has possession usually just results in the other team getting the ball. A push with possession is a time-serving penalty.
    Cross Check: using the shaft of the lacrosse stick when making physical contact with another player. If you are pushing or shoving another player, you have to have your hands close together on your stick.

    Generally, any contact to the back or head is what earns you a penalty.

    Most penalties are 30- or 60-second penalties. When a team gets a penalty, the other team goes man-up. It’s the same thing as a power play in hockey. If a goal is scored, usually the penalty is wiped out and play resumes with a face off at even strength. For more severe penalties, though, they might be non-releasable, meaning a team will continue to play man-down until the full time is served.

    This year’s Duke team: historically, the Ivy League is a strong lacrosse conference. However, because the Ivy League canceled spring sports due to COVID, many strong players transferred. One such player is Michael Sowers, who was last year’s front-runner for the Tewaaraton Trophy (think the Heisman) at Princeton. He transferred to Duke as a fifth-year senior and leads a loaded offensive attack. Joining him is freshman sensation Brennan O’Neill, who has been referred to as the “Zion Williamson of Lacrosse.” Our attack is rounded out by Joe Robertson, who has scored overtime game-winning goals against #2 North Carolina and #3 Virginia this season already.

    Because we had strong additions to our attack, many of our strong attackers from last year round out our midfield unit. Because you can substitute on-the-fly, we specialize a lot with offensive- and defensive-minded midfielders. On the defensive side, players to watch are JT Giles-Harris—the brother of Duke Football’s Joe Giles-Harris—who anchors our defensive unit. Mike Adler (Goalkeeper) is a fifth-year transfer from St. John’s who has been very strong in the cage for us this year.

    Duke is currently ranked #4 in the country after dropping our first game to Notre Dame last week. The ACC is truly loaded this year—all five ACC teams that field a lacrosse team are ranked in the Top 10.
    Wow. Really well done. Thanks. You struck the perfect balance between sufficient detail but not overwhelming someone with non-critical minutia.

    My only editorial comment is that the addition of the shot clock has made the game a lot more fun to watch. Teams used to be up by a few with a few minutes left and just play stall-ball, which was miserable to watch - dating myself a bit, but Princeton did this to us in our first final four game in 1997 and I was ready to start throwing things on the field, but it was legal and accepted at the time. I guess this is comparable to basketball - RIP four corners.

    My only other addition is that the lacrosse world is a very tight community. Everyone knows each other. People can start using very specialized lingo (which Native did a great job of avoiding) and it can get confusing quickly. The main TV commentators usually avoid this too, but occasionally slip up. Given that everyone is trying really hard to grow the sport, and there has been a lot of success with this, writers/announcers need to be as welcoming as possible.

    Duke has been blessed to have some all-time greats both as players and coaches. Hopefully this will continue for many years.

  4. #424
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC area
    Quote Originally Posted by Native View Post
    Here are some of the basics with some key strategic choices that coaches have to make every game.

    Faceoffs: almost every possession starts with a faceoff. Two players must scrum for the ball at the center of the field. When the whistle blows, two other players may come in from the wings to assist in securing possession. If a player “jumps” before the whistle blows to start play, the other team is awarded possession.

    Face-offs are really, really important. If you have a strong faceoff player, you can turn lacrosse into a make-it-take-it affair. This is why teams tend to go on scoring runs, and why momentum can shift so quickly. If a faceoff man is talented enough, he will usually be referred to as a FOGO (Face Off, Get Off) who focuses solely on taking possession before being substituted out. Duke freshman Jake Naso has been a nice surprise this year as a first-year faceoff man for the Blue Devils.

    Players: ten players to a side, including a goalie. Three defenders. Three attackmen—who are typically smaller, faster, and have the strongest stick skills. Three midfielders—who play both ways and are more versatile than either attackers or defenders.

    You must have four players in your defensive zone at all times. Generally, this is the goalie and three defensemen. Sometimes, though, a defender will be in a better position to advance the ball into the opposing team’s zone. If this is the case, a midfielder from that team has to stay back. If you have fewer than four people in your defensive zone, your team is offsides. This will result in a penalty in favor of the other team.

    Defensive-oriented players are allowed the use of long sticks. A maximum of four long-stick-equipped players may be on the field at once. This is a key decision: if you’re a defensive coordinator, to which opposing attackers do you assign your long sticks? Most teams match up three long sticks on the three attackmen, and then assign a long-stick midfielder (LSM) to the opponent’s best midfielder. Sometimes, though, you might double-pole the midfield, meaning you guard an attackman with a short-stick defender.

    In midfield play, as well, you might also see two LSMs at once sometimes, particularly on the wings during faceoffs if possession is crucial.

    Clearing and Riding (Transition): when a team’s goalie makes a save, that team then starts their offensive possession by advancing the ball towards the opponent’s goal. They must do this in less than 20 seconds. This is called a clear; the opposing team is said to be riding. Because the goalie for the team with possession is part of the clear, riding teams are usually at a slight disadvantage unless they assign their goalie to cover an offensive player. When this happens, the riding team is said to be running a 10-man ride. You won’t see this until late-game situations—think of it like a full-court press in basketball.

    Offensive Play: in traditional six-on-six offense, you’ll notice that much of the coordination is similar to basketball. Offensive players will try to penetrate the defense and draw a defensive slide before dishing it. Teams can run picks, with all of the minutiae of a pick-and-roll scheme included.

    A lot of teams will try to use picks to get the matchups they want—ideally, you want your most skilled offensive player to avoid the long-stick defenders. If you can get a short stick matched up on your best offensive player, that will pay dividends for your team. Again, it’s like basketball: imagine if you got the other team’s center matched up on your star point guard.

    The other interesting thing about lacrosse is that you can attack from behind the goal. This area is referred to as X. A lot of teams try to run their offense through X. Some defenses don’t like sending their defenders behind the goal if they can avoid it because the ball carrier by definition can’t shoot and score from that position. This gives the attacker more space to operate. Offensively, then, it becomes all about making off-ball cuts and off-ball screens to get players open in front of the goal. If that happens, the player at X can make quick feeds to get their team easy goals. A big part of Duke’s offense this year runs through fifth-year grad transfer senior Michael Sowers, who is excellent at playing from X and leads the nation in points per game.

    From the time a goalie makes a save, an 80-second shot clock starts. (This also includes the clearing period.) If a shot makes contact with the goalie or the goal, the clock resets.

    Very important: if a shot misses or rebounds and then goes out-of-bounds, the player nearest the ball when it went out-of-bounds retains possession for their team. This is why you see players seemingly chase the ball after it misses. This is also why teams want to have a player at X—usually that player is in the best position to get “backup” to retain possession for their own team after a missed shot.

    Penalties and Man-Up: There are many ways that a player can be penalized. Most have to do with excessive force. The most common penalties are...

    Slashing: excessive wind-up or using the stick to hit a player in the head. You can do simple poke checks but a wind-up will generally earn you a trip to the Sin Bin.
    Push: pushing the player in the back. All contact needs to be in the front or sides. A push in a loose-ball situation where neither team has possession usually just results in the other team getting the ball. A push with possession is a time-serving penalty.
    Cross Check: using the shaft of the lacrosse stick when making physical contact with another player. If you are pushing or shoving another player, you have to have your hands close together on your stick.

    Generally, any contact to the back or head is what earns you a penalty.

    Most penalties are 30- or 60-second penalties. When a team gets a penalty, the other team goes man-up. It’s the same thing as a power play in hockey. If a goal is scored, usually the penalty is wiped out and play resumes with a face off at even strength. For more severe penalties, though, they might be non-releasable, meaning a team will continue to play man-down until the full time is served.

    This year’s Duke team: historically, the Ivy League is a strong lacrosse conference. However, because the Ivy League canceled spring sports due to COVID, many strong players transferred. One such player is Michael Sowers, who was last year’s front-runner for the Tewaaraton Trophy (think the Heisman) at Princeton. He transferred to Duke as a fifth-year senior and leads a loaded offensive attack. Joining him is freshman sensation Brennan O’Neill, who has been referred to as the “Zion Williamson of Lacrosse.” Our attack is rounded out by Joe Robertson, who has scored overtime game-winning goals against #2 North Carolina and #3 Virginia this season already.

    Because we had strong additions to our attack, many of our strong attackers from last year round out our midfield unit. Because you can substitute on-the-fly, we specialize a lot with offensive- and defensive-minded midfielders. On the defensive side, players to watch are JT Giles-Harris—the brother of Duke Football’s Joe Giles-Harris—who anchors our defensive unit. Mike Adler (Goalkeeper) is a fifth-year transfer from St. John’s who has been very strong in the cage for us this year.

    Duke is currently ranked #4 in the country after dropping our first game to Notre Dame last week. The ACC is truly loaded this year—all five ACC teams that field a lacrosse team are ranked in the Top 10.
    Nice summary! For those who want to find this later, I stuck a link in the first post of this thread.

    -jk

  5. #425
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    To prove that Coach Dano is a man of great patience, I have often found him sitting alone watching Duke football games (not a pass time for meek), and he's been kind enough to indulge my praise...he's truly a really good guy.

  6. #426
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Sea Island, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post

    Today, unc at Syracuse, that should be interesting...
    So far, not so much. Unfortunately.

  7. #427
    Quote Originally Posted by Native View Post
    Thanks! And yep, that’s exactly right. You have 20 seconds to get it across midfield.
    And as we learned on Thursday night, the ball doesn’t need to be in a player’s stick in the offensive zone when the clock hits 60, it just has to be in the offensive zone. Otherwise, Brennan’s goal on that ridiculous pass from J.T. wouldn’t have counted.

  8. #428
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Manhattan
    Quote Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post
    And as we learned on Thursday night, the ball doesn’t need to be in a player’s stick in the offensive zone when the clock hits 60, it just has to be in the offensive zone. Otherwise, Brennan’s goal on that ridiculous pass from J.T. wouldn’t have counted.
    True that. Linking this play for posterity just because it was a great pass.

  9. #429
    Duke women handle VaTech with relative ease, 13-7.

  10. #430
    Quote Originally Posted by Native View Post
    True that. Linking this play for posterity just because it was a great pass.
    It would have been wiped out by the goal, but the refs missed an obvious penalty earlier in that play. Chmil didn’t fall down ...

  11. #431
    Quote Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post
    Duke women handle VaTech with relative ease, 13-7.
    Thanks, Native, for that excellent primer on NCAA Men's Lacrosse! I'm a novice, and trying to learn the sport. We are truly blessed to have one of the best programs and best conference to watch and enjoy!

    I've noticed a few differences with NCAA Women's Lacrosse, such as 1) no helmets, 2) different faceoff rules and 3) after a goal, the scorer drops her stick on the ground... I believe their jersey numbers are on the sticks?

  12. #432
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleBlue View Post
    Thanks, Native, for that excellent primer on NCAA Men's Lacrosse! I'm a novice, and trying to learn the sport. We are truly blessed to have one of the best programs and best conference to watch and enjoy!

    I've noticed a few differences with NCAA Women's Lacrosse, such as 1) no helmets, 2) different faceoff rules and 3) after a goal, the scorer drops her stick on the ground... I believe their jersey numbers are on the sticks?
    3) I believe in women's lacrosse the scorer's stick is checked for legality after a score. Which brings up the question: what makes a stick illegal?

  13. #433
    Quote Originally Posted by camion View Post
    3) I believe in women's lacrosse the scorer's stick is checked for legality after a score. Which brings up the question: what makes a stick illegal?
    Correct.

    What constitutes a legal stick differs significantly between the men’s and women’s games. Will see if I can find links to the rules.

    Getting caught with an illegal stick is catastrophic in the men’s game: a three-minute non-releasable penalty. You may recall that in the fourth quarter of the 2018 world championship final, Canada challenged U.S. FOGO Greg Gurenlian’s stick, and it was found to be illegal. An insane defensive play by (IIRC) Scott Ratliff saved Gurenlian’s bacon, and the U.S. was able to kill the penalty.

  14. #434
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Sea Island, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by camion View Post
    3) I believe in women's lacrosse the scorer's stick is checked for legality after a score. Which brings up the question: what makes a stick illegal?
    Isn’t it pocket size in both cases? In the men’s game, part of the ball has to be visible above the pocket. Women’s sticks don’t have much pocket at all, so I don’t know how much has to be visible (but a lot more than in the men’s game). At least this is what I recall from years ago when my kids played.

  15. #435
    Link to current NCAA men’s rule book.

    http://www.ncaapublications.com/prod...loads/LC22.pdf

  16. #436
    Link to current NCAA women’s rule book. If you can make sense of the shooting-space rule, you’re way smarter than me.

    http://www.ncaapublications.com/prod...oads/WLC20.pdf
    Last edited by burnspbesq; 04-17-2021 at 05:15 PM.

  17. #437
    Quote Originally Posted by Tooold View Post
    In the men’s game, part of the ball has to be visible above the pocket.
    A men’s stick is illegal if the entire ball is visible below the sidewall. I think a women’s stick is illegal if you can’t see the ball above the sidewall.

  18. #438
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post
    Correct.

    What constitutes a legal stick differs significantly between the men’s and women’s games. Will see if I can find links to the rules.

    Getting caught with an illegal stick is catastrophic in the men’s game: a three-minute non-releasable penalty. You may recall that in the fourth quarter of the 2018 world championship final, Canada challenged U.S. FOGO Greg Gurenlian’s stick, and it was found to be illegal. An insane defensive play by (IIRC) Scott Ratliff saved Gurenlian’s bacon, and the U.S. was able to kill the penalty.
    if I recall correctly, Matt Danowski had to serve an unreleasable stick penalty in a final four game against Hopkins a few years back (more than a few now, I guess, but who's counting)--and Hop scored twice during the penalty, contributing to a Duke loss.

  19. #439
    Quote Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post
    A men’s stick is illegal if the entire ball is visible below the sidewall. I think a women’s stick is illegal if you can’t see the ball above the sidewall.
    Is an illegal stick more common in Women's Lacrosse? Otherwise, why would the women be required to drop their sticks for inspection after goals, whereas the men are not?

  20. #440
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Sea Island, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post
    Link to current NCAA women’s rule book. If you can make sense of the shooting-space rule, you’re way smarter than me.

    http://www.ncaapublications.com/prod...oads/WLC20.pdf
    I only had boys who played lacrosse, but my friends who had girls described many weird rules in the girls’ game. They said that the defense could be penalized for not clearing a shooting lane when an offensive player was going to take a shot (I think that’s the shooting space rule...a defensive player cannot intentionally put themselves in the path of the shot). Also (at least way back when) there was an offensive penalty for a “dangerous” shot (which my friends said was just a good hard shot). They also said that the field size was not standard...there could be different field sizes and shapes, so a visiting team needed to clarify that before the game. It seems in the women’s college game that it is more standardized now, but my friends described a high school field that was surrounded by woods, and the players could run through the woods without being out-of-bounds.

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