Charlie Raffa of Maryland, bottom, and Brendan Fowler of Duke… (Kim Hairston, Baltimore…)
College lacrosse is becoming more like the NFL, where those in the sport want to make changes even though change isn't necessary.
There has been talk for years about changing the faceoff because some think it slows down the game. Most teams have faceoff specialists, and soon afterward they slow down the game or sub to get them off the field.
I have no problem with that. There are some who want to keep the faceoff specialists on the field until there is a whistle, and others who think the faceoff should be abolished or used like the jump ball in the NBA, where it comes into play only in a few situations, like at the start of a game.
I think the faceoff should stay without any changes. I like specialists in sports, just like NBA teams have the 3-point shooters and the NFL has third-down receivers or running backs. Controlling the faceoff allows some of the smaller Division I teams like Towson or Bryant to stay close and possibly defeat the traditional powers like Syracuse or Johns Hopkins.
If the smaller school has a good FOGO (face off, get off) and goalie, then that school can possibly control the tempo and keep pace with bigger, faster and stronger teams. Parity is at an all-time high in college lacrosse, but if the faceoff is changed or taken out of the game, some of that parity will be taken away. College coaches who complain need to just do a better job of recruiting faceoff specialists. There are many to be spread around.