Face-Offs are Changing. Can You Keep Up? Face-offs are a HUGE part of our game. Always have been. Always will be. It seems like every couple years the NCAA Rules Committee tries to mix it up. This time the biggest uproar with rule changes are at the X. What has been proposed, and now officially passed, makes it so a player can no longer carry the ball in the back of their stick. By doing so the Rules Committee is trying to make face-offs more balanced. It’s going to make it more of a battle for the ground ball instead of who has the fastest hands on the draw kind of competition. Fast hands are still going to be extremely important to win but it’s just that those fast hands are going to need to figure out other ways to get the job done. I think that there are going to be some fierce wrestling matches without the finesse inspired “plunger” move. This might also produce a larger breed of FOGO’s and eliminate that smaller, quick on their feet technical face off player. To me that’s one of the greatest aspects of the sport that I love. Adaptation. When you think of the Lacrosse Greats like the Gaits, the Powells, the Thompsons etc., you need to remember that they were and still are great, not because of how good of an athlete they were but because of what they could do. That’s what lacrosse comes down to. Seeing how the bits and pieces are working together and then taking the results to make the right play. You have to adapt to survive. It’s true in both lax and life. For those faceoff players who have become masters of their craft it is back to the drawing board. I anticipate a lot of collegiate faceoff guys that were in the top 25 will drop out this year because of their lack of ability to evolve. I would also place a bet on the bigger more physical faceoff guys excelling up through the rankings. So we won’t be seeing any crazy backward-stick goals this season. So what? We still got one of the Thompson brothers up at Albany to provide all the craziness we will ever need. The game of lacrosse is about change. Nothing ever goes right, and it’s up to you guys to take what they have and make the best of it. When life gives you lemons right? I think the custom stringing specifically for the Faceoff player is going to be even more important moving forward. We are taking a close look at the FOGO pocket over the next few weeks. I will let you know what we come up with.