Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

July 30, 2022 — After 132 years, an unprecedented ending

This afternoon’s doubleheader, encapsulating Matchday 5 of Athletes Unlimited women’s lacrosse, saw both games go into overtime.

But the nightcap, the game between Team Moreno and Team Apuzzo, could not be settled after three minutes of extra time with the game tied 10-10.

What happened next is an event which we don’t think has ever happened since women’s lacrosse was played in 1890 in Scotland.

The event: a post-overtime shootout. Each of the two teams, captained by Taylor Moreno and Sam Apuzzo, selected two groups of three players each.

One by one, the players lined up outside the 8-meter wedge and fired 2-point attempts towards a guarded goal. The team ahead after three rounds won the shootout.

But as you might expect in Athletes Unlimited, that initial phase did not decide matters. The teams went into a second group of three, whereupon Team Apuzzo won the shootout 3-2.

Now, I’ve done a little digging into the history of women’s lacrosse, and I have not seen any reference to any kind of women’s lacrosse tiebreaker set out in the rules except for the rules regarding overtime.

This is is marked contrast to field hockey, which has used as many as five different post-overtime tiebreakers to determine a winner in case of a draw.

I don’t pretend to know the thinking of lacrosse rulesmakers over the last 132 years. I just find it fascinating that nobody has come up with this kind of elegant solution before: free positions from the 8 to end a game.

I don’t know whether this will catch on in other levels of the sport, but I get the feeling it just might before too long.

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