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Archive for July 16, 2022

July 16, 2022 — A matter of rest

This evening the United States takes on Canada in the gold-medal match of the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Ala.

Both of these teams will, by the end of tonight’s play, have played five games in five days. Now, this is all the U.S. team has played this month. But a number of Canada’s players, including the likes of Dana Dobbie, Aurora Cordingley, Erica Evans, and Brooklyn Walker-Welch, also competed in the World Championships, which finished out just a week ago in Towson, Md.

During the World Championships, Canada played a total of eight full-field games in 11 days. This would mean that, if Canada was to win the World Games, it would be doing so with a substantial portion of the roster playing 13 games in 18 games.

That’s a lot of lacrosse.

And a lot of people within the NCAA are, for better or worse, noticing either a surplus of rest periods between games, or a distinct lack thereof. For years, the people who run NCAA Division III women’s lacrosse and field hockey have scheduled match weekends for Saturdays and Sundays — either the octofinal and quarterfinal rounds, or the semifinal round and the grand final.

In Division I and Division II, the schedule has been to have games on Friday and Sunday — with a day’s rest in between the semis and the final. Division I used to have a Saturday-Sunday format until 1996 for the semis and final. Oddly enough, Division I did not put a day’s rest between the octofinal and quarterfinal rounds until 2018.

It’s been much the same in lacrosse, although there has always been a week between the octofinal and quarterfinal round (the Division I women’s schedule was altered in 2022 for television).

Now, we have been hearing activism from the Division III women’s lacrosse community for a day’s rest between rounds of the tournament. We’re not sure whether this will have a flow-through to field hockey, but it would be a notable change in the postseason schedule for both sports if the change went through.

Of course, rest is something not lost on the veteran members of Team Canada’s women’s lacrosse, who have attained two major world finals in less than three weeks, which is a remarkable achievement given the workload on the players who were in both the World Championship and the World Games.