"I get the intent of it," Reese said, "but now there's so many people crashing in on it off the 30 that it's like a Red Rover game, so we'll see if this ultimately can clean up the draw. If people are drawing longer what does that do, because now you've got eight or nine people on the 30 as opposed to six? I think it will clean it up around the draw circle. It will definitely be an advantage to teams that can draw to themselves."

The change of ball placement on the draw isn't one most coaches like.

To take the draw, the centers have the ball placed in the back of their stick heads and then pull up to release the ball into the air. Some centers have excelled at getting the ball to where they want it to often so they can possess it themselves.

Dillon said moving the ball from the center of the head to the top third gives the centers less control over the direction of the draw. She said part of the reason some centers had gotten so good at drawing the ball to themselves was because sticks are being designed to give players an edge on the draw with their shape and with the way they are strung.

"If they can [win the ball] legally where their physical ability to beat another player is fair and square, go for it," Dillon said. "They're not beating people with physical ability but with a stick that gives them a huge advantage. Everybody should have access to that stick, but everybody has sponsorship deals [with different equipment manufacturers]."

Some coaches, however, said it was simply an attempt to even the playing field, and they weren't happy that there was no test period and no feedback taken before making the change permanent. Dillon said it was not a rule change but a change in "official mechanics," which can be made without a test period.

Loyola assistant coach Dana Dobbie, who excelled at the draw while playing at Maryland, said she was surprised by the change, which also allows different placement of the bottom hand on the stick.

"The thing I've spoken more on is that it's not a rule per se, it's more of an actual skill, so forcing centers so abruptly to change the mechanics of a skill like that has been a little bit frustrating," Dobbie said. "It's obviously something you have to go along with and figure it out and honestly, your draw specialists are going to find a way to win it. It was just something that was so surprising and I don't know if it was needed."

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

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