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Archive for May 11, 2007

May 11, 2007 — Is U.S. Lacrosse becoming tyrannical?

Just read a disturbing story out of California, mentioning how Poway High School, one of the finest girls’ lacrosse teams in the country, may have to compete with depleted ranks when the California Interscholastic Federation tournament begins around Memorial Day. That’s because the U.S. Lacrosse Women’s Division National Tournament is being held in Bethlehem, Pa. that weekend.

Here’s the crux of the story, as reported in The North County Times:

“U.S. Lacrosse, which runs the prestigious national tournament, is also putting pressure on the players. The organization threatened to punish the team of any player who withdrew from the tournament after a certain day by excluding its players from future tournaments and withholding All-America status.”

The story goes on to blame CIF for scheduling the finals on May 26th even though petitions were made in March to change the date.

U.S. Lacrosse, however, should not receive a free pass on this. To me, given the fact that the NCAA Division I and III tournament are scheduled to end May 27th — that very weekend — this seems to me like a desperate attempt to grab back a measure of relevance in the national women’s lacrosse calendar.

After all, in the aftermath of the Women’s Division weekend are all number of tournaments held from Annapolis to Vail where coaches can see potential recruits play with their clubs.

I think the NCAA is making the moves necessary to make a unified, three-division festival, just like on the men’s side. The women’s tournament would, I think, overlaps its days like the men’s and women’s basketball tournament, where the semifinals and finals occur two days apart over a four-day period with the Division II and III games part of the overall mix.

And the NCAA definitely would like a good YES Clinic for that weekend.

Will this force U.S. Lacrosse to change its stance?