Marie and Jenny Levy sure didn’t think so. All UNC fans were hoping it was not, but the referees thought differently. It is interesting that it took so long for the refs to figure this out. One would imagine it is as simply as a stick check and on with the game. What would have happened if Sammy Jo Tracy, Mallory Frysinger or Molly Hendrick would have won the draw? Would the refs have deemed their stick illegal?
The illegal stick rule in women’s lacrosse is very subjective when it should not be. All you have to do is place the ball in the netting and determine if it is above or below the sidewall. If the pocket is too deep, it is illegal. This is not rocket science. That said, it is an issue that seems to come up in every important game. In fact, we will likely see something like this come up in a Final Four game this year.
In my opinion, the officiation in women’s lacrosse is about as bad as it can get. It is not the fault of the officials as they are doing the best they can. With only three officials on the field, there is no way they can see everything. They also cannot be in good enough shape to run up and down the field with the girls. The girls are substituted in and out and the refs have to keep up with play the entire 60 minutes.
Unfortunately, there is no money in reffing women’s lacrosse games so it will likely be the case that it will not get any better in the near future. The only way it will get better is if the refs have the opportunity to sub others in and out. That would mean eight to 10 refs for a single game and we all know that is never going to happen. Maybe we should get marathon runners to become referees at women’s lacrosse games.