Archive for March 3, 2012
Today’s Game of the Day
Hilton Head (S.C.) vs. Chapin (S.C.) at Blythewood (S.C.)
The Chapin Eagles have gone 3-0 thus far on the year, but have a good test today in Hilton Head in this neutral-site game.
I’ve always said that the mark of a good player, or a good team, or even a good level of competition is the effect that they have on a particular sport.
Think of George Mikan or Wilt Chamberlain, for example, and you think of the expanded free-throw lane in basketball.
And when you do to an Atlantic Coast Conference women’s lacrosse or field hockey game, I’ve come to expect to see something I’ve never seen before.
Last night, when Maryland played Virginia, one of those instances occurred.
In the 21st minute of play, Iliiana Sanza of Maryland and Morgan Stephens of Virginia received yellow cards 11 seconds apart. But the two players came onto the pitch only about four or five seconds after each other when their penalty times expired.
The veteran umpiring crew came together, conferred with the scorer’s table, and wiped out a goal that Virginia had scored during the time the two players were re-entering the game.
I could figure out what was going on pretty much immediately, but I checked the NCAA rulebook after the game to confirm that a second yellow was assessed to the player coming back onto the pitch too early.
What the rulebook also says is that the official timer (not the coaching staff, the player, or the umpire closest to the benches) is responsible for releasing the player at the end of her penalty. As such, the umpires did the right thing when they huddled at the scorer’s table to figure out whether the player in question left early or not.
Now, in the men’s game, when there are three referees, the official closest to the benches runs near or through the substitution box whenever the ball is transitioning from one side of the pitch to the other, and will often station near the box when a penalty is about to expire.
In the women’s game, the umpire closest to the bench doesn’t pay special attention to the substitution box, doesn’t run near it when the ball is transitioning, and doesn’t normally keep an eye on the box at all when a penalty is being served. Last night, for example, the closest umpire to the substitution box had her back turned and was at least 15 to 20 yards away from the center stripe when the two penalties expired.
I have a feeling there is going to be a change in umpire mechanics to keep this from happening at least in regular-season games; there is usually a fourth umpire at the table in the postseason.