Rule Changes - November 1937



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May I be allowed to express my entire disapproval of the proposed amendments in the laws of Lacrosse? Some of them appear to me to be completely against the best interests of the game, while the remainder seem quite unnecessary.

I am not so much concerned with the suggestions to alter (a) the length of the pitch (b) the centre rule or (c) the playing time, as these, apart from being pointless will not materially affect the game.

I must, however, protest strongly against any move to reduce the number of the playing side, and any law-embryo which will provide for the substitution of players. I am led to understand that every effort is being made to prevent the decline of Lacrosse in the South of England. To make it a ten-a-side game at the moment, is in my opinion, one of the surest ways of killing the interest which does exist. Assuming that there are twelve matches arranged each Saturday; under the new proposals, forty-eight players will have to stand down every week.

By way of illustration I should like to show how my own club would be affected by the proposed new rule. (This is perhaps a selfish point of view; but when the position is studied carefully other clubs will no doubt find that they are faced with the same problem.) We have a regular playing membership of twenty-six with six "possibles" to call upon in an emergency. There have been five recruits from School this year and if their services are to be retained, games must be found for them. The adoption of the proposed new rule would add to what has already been a difficult task, i.e. finding games for these youngsters, all of whom are keen. In addition one very certain result would be a falling off in membership, and the present healthy state of the club would not last long.

I don't propose to dwell upon the effect of "ten-a-side" upon the game itself. All those who saw the recent International at the White City, knows how disappointing that was.

The substitution of players seems to me to be eminently undesirable. Apart from its savouring of Americanism and the worst features of ice-hockey, I am convinced that it is quite impracticable, for the following reasons :

(1) The game is played in winter in weather that is wet and/or cold.

(Z) On alternate Saturdays teams have to travel several miles.

(3) Dressing rooms are often quite a distance from the pitch and substitutes would have to stand shivering for perhaps 45 minutes.

(4) To expect a man to turn up to a game on the chance that he might be required in the last twenty minutes is, I suggest absurd. No one could he accused of bad sportsmanship if he refused to play under these conditions.

I hope that these few points (and there are plenty more) have occurred to other members of the Lacrosse World and that by the time the next edition of Lacrosse is published, wiser counsel has prevailed to squash the revolutionary proposals which have called for so lengthy a protest.

Yours faithfully,
Old Thorntonian.

Suggested New Rules

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At a meeting of the General Committee on 2nd November, the question of the experimental enforcement of the proposed amended rules (as printed in our last issue) was considered by great length by a full attendance of members.

The feeling of the majority was that to reduce teams to 10 per side would be a retrograde step, reducing the playing strength of clubs without any compensating advantage to the game, and the Committee decided consequently not to experiment with the proposed innovation. Substitution as a practice was unanimously opposed, and it was considered undesirable to experiment with the proposed "off side" rule.

It was decided that experimental use of the proposed new Rule for the Face be continued for the rest of the season, the circle to be of seven yards radius, to take effect not later than 13th November; rule (5) shall not be adopted.