Maryland Del. Jon Cardin, who along with Del. Dana Stein introduced a bill Friday that would mandate protective headgear for girls youth lacrosse programs, said the purpose of the bill is to start a conversation about player safety in girls lacrosse.
"The idea is to start a serious conversation about the safety and protection of student and youth athletes," Cardin said. "This will be high up on the agenda of discussion of how to make sure we're doing everything we can to keep student athletes safe."
Maryland House Bill 1123 drew a response from US Lacrosse, the Baltimore-based governing body of the sport. "It is simply irresponsible to enact legislation requiring head protection in women's lacrosse without a clear understanding of the mechanism of head injury in a version of the sport that is entirely different from its male counterpart," US Lacrosse President and CEO Steve Stenersen said.
Cardin emphasized that he and Stein aren't married to any specific regulations and would be open to hearing other means of providing protection for players.
"Maybe the recommendation that would be accepted is that headgear is not appropriate and that there are other ways to ensure safety and protection," he said. "We need to make sure we're doing everything we can to provide an environment where athletes can realize their potential and are given the opportunity to be fully protected. If the recommendation from everyone — including experts in the field and in medicine and education and sports management — is that the best way to protect our students is through other means, then I would be very open to that."
•It only took one weekend for the new 30-second shot clock to have an effect on the game. In Colgate's 14-13 overtime win against Bryant on Sunday, the goal that forced the overtime was a direct result of the clock.
Colgate coach Mike Murphy called timeout with 52 seconds left and the Raiders protecting a one-goal lead. Under the new rules, when a timeout is called in a shot-clock situation, the shot clock is run down to 10 seconds — putting the Red Raiders in a tough spot when they came out of the timeout.
"Once they called that timeout, we immediately went into a zone defense trying to force an outside shot," Bryant coach Mike Pressler said.
Added Murphy: "That timeout was on me. It was my fault as it put our offense in a very tough position."
Colgate was forced to take a bad outside shot, and Bryant's Brian Schlansker scored the tying goal with eight seconds left.
•Virginia beat Georgetown, 14-6, in a scrimmage last weekend, and two notable players weren't playing for the Cavaliers. Senior two-way midfielder Chris LaPierre sat out, as did freshman James Pannell, the younger brother of Cornell attackman Rob Pannell. Both had what were called "tweaked" injuries but participated in pregame and are expected to play in the season opener against Drexel on Saturday.
•UMass-Lowell is slated to be the 68th Division I men's lacrosse program in 2014-15. The school is elevating from D-II to D-I and will join the America East Conference.
Growth at the men's D-I level has seen an uptick in the past two years: Michigan, High Point, Marquette, Monmouth, Furman, Boston University and Richmond have all announced the addition of men's lacrosse. Presbyterian dropped D-I lacrosse last season.
To put it another way, there have been 10 teams added in a five-year span. In 2009-10, D-I sponsored 58 teams.
UMass-Lowell will also add women's lacrosse, as will Virginia Commonwealth. That will bring the total number of women's D-I programs to 107.