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Copyright 2014 Capital Gazette Communications, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
The Capital (Annapolis, MD)
Gerry Jackson Sports Editor

Leave it to women's lacrosse to make the exciting dull.

If ill-timed shooting space and 3-second defensive calls weren't bad enough, the sport gives us its version of watching paint dry with a backward approach to overtime.

Instead of sudden death or victory - whatever you want to call it - women's lacrosse gives us two full periods of overtime. Each team gets a chance to attack in each direction with the highest score deciding the outcome at the end of the two extra periods. If no one scores during those two sessions, then they go to a sudden-victory format.

In almost any other sport, overtime is pure excitement; whoever comes up with the ball, tries to set up a play and score.

As happened in Wednesday's game between Navy and Lehigh, in many women's lacrosse games, the team that wins the draw holds for the last shot of the period. They work methodically for a scoring opportunity since it's to their advantage to post the only goal of the extra session. In the Navy game, the teams went nearly five minutes without a shot.

As if the overtime rule weren't bad enough, teams can play stall ball at will during regulation play. There's absolutely no stall infraction in women's lacrosse; so teams can start slowing the pace of play any time they like.

A few years ago, before the men's game put in rules changes to speed the pace of play, the women's game had surpassed the men's version in terms of fast-paced action. The men's game had the courage to take some of the in-game control away from the coaches and give it back to the players by getting rid of substitution horns. They also added quicker restarts and tweaked the stalling rules. The result has been a much better men's game the past two seasons.

The women's game needs to make a similar move and change its overtime rule and institute some sort of stalling penalty.

The athletes and spectators deserve better than what we have now.

FAN REACTION: Orioles center fielder Adam Jones' postgame rant about trespassing fans in New York last week called to mind the time when Baltimore Colts linebacker Mike Curtis took matters into his own hands on Dec. 11, 1971.

Curtis was famous for his ornery disposition. An obviously inebriated spectator picked the wrong time to try to make off with the game ball between downs at Memorial Stadium. Upon seeing the fan try to pull off his mid-game heist, Curtis simply emerged from the Colts' defensive huddle and leveled the fan.

When asked afterward about his hit on the trespassing spectator, Curtis was said to reply that he was paid to hit the guy with the ball and the fan had the ball.

Now that's a simple solution.

RESPECT FOR OUTDOORS: On a recent shad fishing excursion to one of my favorite state parks, a Natural Resources Police officer informed me that the parking area would soon be closed for use and remain so for the duration of the summer.

The area is being closed for day use due to the excessive amount of trash - things such as beer bottles and dirty diapers - left behind by those who frequent the spot to take a swim in the river, according to the officer.

It continues to boggle the mind the lack of respect some folks have for the great outdoors and how that lack of respect results in fewer options for those of us who do act responsibly.

It's pretty simple to me, if you can lug a full 12-pack of beer with you when you enter a park, there's no reason you can't take the much lighter empties with you when you leave. And if that's too tough a chore for you, stay home and trash your own environment.

The rest of us in the Land of Pleasant Living shouldn't be made to suffer because of a few slobs.

 

April 14, 2014

 

 
 

 

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