Tag Archives: featured

No Goal!

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Rule 4, Section 8 – “A goal is scored when a loose ball passes from the front, completely through the imaginary plane formed by the rear edges of the goal line, the goal posts and the crossbar of the goal, regardless of who supplied the impetus” (NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rulebook 2011).

This rule causes some consternation. Every so often, a ball will bounce off some player’s leg and roll towards the goal. It keeps rolling and comes to a stop with half of the ball over the goal line, and half the ball in front of the goal line. The closest attackman is yelling, “Goal,” but the referee is not signaling a score. Because, according to the above rule, the entire ball must cross the imaginary plane formed by the back of the goal posts.

To help illustrate this point, I put together the diagram below for Tadpole Lacrosse. The red line is the imaginary plane “formed by the rear edges of the goal line.” Notice where the ball is in the “Goal” diagram on the right versus the “No-Goal” diagram.

No Goal versus Goal

No Goal versus Goal

This is a difficult concept to understand, especially if you follow football. Because to score a touchdown in football, the offensive player just has to break the plane of the goal line with any part of the football. That is why you see so many running backs reaching forward when they are tackled at the one-yard line. If they can get the front of the pigskin to barely cross the line, they score a touchdown.

Reaching Ball Over Line

Reaching Ball Over Line

To recap, scoring a goal in lacrosse requires the entire ball to completely cross the very back of the goal line. Just touching the line does not score a goal according to the NFHS rulebook.

Featured Image Credit – www.blog.syracuse.com


Why is the Penalty Flag Yellow?

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Why is the referee’s flag not red, blue, green, or orange? Why, oh why is it bright yellow? Surprisingly, there are a lot of reasons.

During your drive from work, do you ever crest a hill and see a tiny glint of yellow a few hundred yards away? If your first thought was a schoolbus you are probably correct. “As a highly visible colour from any distance, Yellow says, ‘pay attention, caution, look at me and remember’ all at the same time. The intensity of the message is determined by the intensity of Yellow used. For example, caution signs, taxi cabs, emergency service vehicles and heavy construction equipment are usually painted in a strong yellow colour because they need to be seen” (www.tunedin.com). The color yellow gets our attention so much better than other colors that it was mandated color for school buses starting in 1939.

Yellow Makes You Hungry

Yellow Makes You Hungry

Yellow is even used by fast-food chains because the color “increases appetite and respiration rate.” Also, “scientific studies have proven that babies cry more and people are more inclined to get angry in a room that is painted bright Yellow” (www.tunedin.com). Out of all the colors, Yellow is considered the most emotional shade.

“The yellow wavelength is relatively long and essentially stimulating. In this case the stimulus is emotional, therefore yellow is the strongest colour, psychologically. The right yellow will lift our spirits and our self-esteem; it is the colour of confidence and optimism. Too much of it, or the wrong tone in relation to the other tones in a colour scheme, can cause self-esteem to plummet, giving rise to fear and anxiety. Our “yellow streak” can surface” (www.colour-affect.co).

Ever wonder why the Yellow Pages are yellow? Well – “it has been scientifically proven that when we record and read something back from a pastel shade of Yellow paper” we actually retain the information better (www.tunedin.com)! This is why post-it notes and legal pads are all yellow!

So penalty flags are yellow because as soon as they are thrown into the air, everyone thinks: CAUTION! However, if the flags were red everyone would get aggressive. Blue flags would make everyone calm and serene. Green flags would do nothing since the color green indicates the presence of water, which puts our hunter-gatherer brains at ease. Purple would make everyone start meditating. Pink would make everyone think of their mothers, and grey would make everyone depressed (www.colour-affect.co).

Finally, since we are talking about school buses, I highly recommend parents read The Magic School Bus or watch the show with young kids. I probably read every Magic School Bus book at least five times apiece. That series taught me about friction, space, water treatment, and what to do if I ever get trapped in the desert. All before I went to middle school.

Featured Image Credit – www.nwamotherlode.com


The Mansion

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This will mark the 100th post on Atlanta Youth Lacrosse! Thanks to everyone who sent kind words and encouragement to me. I’m working to make this blog a destination for youth players, coaches, and parents. But none of it matters without dedicated readers – so thank you!

This post needs to have a special message. I decided to retell a story that I heard as a young boy. Be prepared, this story has a moral, and I think it is a very good one for young players to learn about. This lesson stuck with me for over a decade. I hope it will do the same to at least one player in our league.

*** The Mansion ***

For over twenty years Stan worked as a contractor for a fabulously wealthy real-estate developer named Jonathan. Stan’s job was overseeing the minute details of the mansions his boss built all over the west coast. He worked himself ragged, building nearly a hundred mansions over his twenty-year career, each one more opulent than the last. He was rarely offered vacation time, and he had not been given a raise since the nineties. While he chaffed under his boss, Stan had a passion for building the best homes, but then Stan’s life unraveled in an instant.

Jonathan called the contractor into his office and informed Stan that he was retiring from the real estate business. With the housing market taking a swan dive and home prices in the gutter, there was no good reason not to retire. Stan was stunned. All of a sudden he was out of a job, but there was a silver lining. Jonathan required Stan’s services for one final project.

The two men drove out to a magnificent bluff in California. Jonathan purchased nearly twenty acres of land overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He told Stan to forget about every mansion he had built and create one that would be more magnificent than any mansion in California. Stan accepted his last contract, but he had other plans in mind for his uncaring boss.

For two weeks Stan put the architectural and landscaping plans together. He told himself he would build this mansion to look incredible, but that would be a façade. To get back at his boss, Stan hired men he knew did poor jobs. He called the worst construction workers, the most abysmal electrician, and an awful plumber. Those men spent months completing substandard work that was just barely in the limits of California’s housing code.

Yet Stan knew the mansion had to pass Jonathan’s inspection, but his boss only gave the most cursory of glances to the finished product. So Stan hired the most skilled painting company on the West Coast, and the best landscaping crew that money could buy. One week later, the mansion looked phenomenal, but it shook more than a building made out of playing cards. Every day Stan smiled to himself, certain that this would be the ultimate payback for a boss that only cared about Stan’s work, and never his worth as a man.

The week before the mansion was to be put on the market, Jonathan announced he would be coming for an inspection. Stan was certain that Jonathan would fall in love with the mansion, never knowing how poorly constructed it was. He was right. Jonathan stepped out of his limo with his mouth agape. He stood for a full minute without saying a word, before exclaiming:

“You exceeded my wildest expectations Stan! This mansion stands far above every other one in California.”

Stan smiled, pleased that his deception was working.

Jonathan spoke again:

“I have not been the best boss in the world to you Stan. For over twenty years you faithfully worked for me, building homes that made me wealthier than I could ever imagine. I never gave you much of a raise and I rarely gave you time off, but you never complained and I respect that more than you know.”

Stan replaced his smile with a look of confusion. This was not what he expected. Jonathan reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a gold key ring with a silver key dangling off it.

“Stan, this final mansion is not going on the market. I am giving you the keys to your new home. I hope this makes up for treating you poorly in the past.”

Stan’s hands trembled as he grabbed the key from Jonathan’s outstretched hands. All he could say was



The lesson from this story is to always do your best. I do not believe that what we do defines us. Instead, how we do our work speaks volumes about our character. You may be the least appreciated player on a team one day, but that does not give you an excuse to give anything else than your best effort. I will praise a player who does their best and fails, but I can never respect an individual who chooses not to work hard because of their personal feelings against a coach, team, or teammates.

So remember this story the next time you are tempted to take shortcuts in practice. If you only use your left hand when the coach is watching you are only hurting yourself because, one day, the coach is going to send you on the field, and your skills will be as shaky as Stan’s mansion.