MULLIN OVER THE MLL
THE MLL PLAYOFFS ARE ABOUT TO BEGIN
Denver Outlaws home on August 12 @ Peter Barton (D.U.0)
Rock-it Pocket has partnered with the Denver Outlaws since they first rode into town about a dozen years ago. We were vending our lax sticks on the concourse at a recent home game. We still draw a crowd. The MLL has some special and some unique elements. The two-point shot from 16+ yards out can be a game changer. There is a shot clock that starts with possession and not a referee’s determination. A much better way to go in my humble opinion.
I hadn’t been to a game this year, and a few things sort of struck me:
Individuals are stars loved by the home crowd. Lots of folks were sporting game jerseys of their favorite Outlaw. Didn’t think I remembered that much of all that, but maybe it is my imagination.
One V one is indeed the name of or style for the offensive scheme.
They draw around 10,000 fans to Mile High for Outlaw games, and those numbers do not seem to ever change much.
HE SHOOTS, HE SCORES!
The game moves/plays quickly in the MLL, but it seems sometimes like no matter how any individual game evolves, the scores are generally similar with both teams scoring more than 10 goals, but the over/under for combined scoring is almost always around 20-25. Plenty of scoring, but not a track meet with face-offs, good stuff as I see it. This was no different with a 12-11 final count. The importance of the ‘make-it, take-it’ face-off guy so prevalent, so sought after in the NCAA today is minimized somewhat in the MLL with a shot clock that is always on, making for lots of end to end action.
The players at the pro level are, of course, extremely skilled. The teams do not practice together much, however, and truthfully many of the players fly in to town for games on weekends, etc., so there is a lot of one on one offensive play where the skills show up and show off as well. They run in the MLL, but there are not too many fast break 4 on 3, pass, pass, shot situations. The MLL is often a little ‘Box like’ with settling the ball down, substituting to get the ‘right’ sticks on the field when there is a change of possession and field position.
THE ARCTIC EXPRESS
Box lacrosse has become extremely popular in recent years, ramped up with a Canadian invasion, and the ‘kids’ love to play it. As a coach I never liked it much. Not as pretty (just me) to watch. Universally most everyone says how the tighter box game improves stick skills. I am not sure I am all in on that. It certainly intensifies things a lot being in a more confined area, and with having less distance to cover end to end. Truth be known, though, most of the best players I have ever seen are in fact from Canada just like box lacrosse, but that wouldn’t be true for teams, or at least the best teams that I have seen over the years. They do not use long poles in he box.