Lacrosse is tougher than I thought

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After getting a floor-level view of the Pictou County Subway Snipers bantam lacrosse team as they hosted Cape Breton in a pair of games last weekend at the Wellness Centre, I can say that lacrosse is a tougher sport than I thought it was, and I knew it was no picnic in a park to begin with.

For starters, you have to be in good physical condition to play that game - there's no dogging it, because if a player decides to float he'll get left behind by everyone else on the floor, and there'll be plenty of room on the bench for him  - there's also more than enough hacking, slashing, cross-checking and open-floor hits to satisfy the blood thirst in all us sports fans. I saw an occasional open-floor hit that made me wonder if the guy on the wrong end of it was going to get back up on his feet. Fortunately, they all did. 

The bantam Snipers - with a good mix of athletic ability, toughness and plenty of heart - came out of their home debut on June 7 with a 7-4 win, and followed it later that afternoon with a gritty 2-2 tie against Cape Breton, and were scheduled to hit the road for two games up in Sydney today.

*    *    *

After one full session living with the NHL's new hybrid icing rule, we can deem it a sound success. Not only does it improve the flow and pace of the game - slightly so, but noticeable - it also can reduce dramatically the chances of a player getting injured chasing down a puck on a potential icing call. We've seen players suffer major injuries on such plays and while it took the NHL brass long enough to fix the problem, they got it right on this one (NHL commissioner Gary Bettman once called the chasing of a puck on an icing an exciting part of the game, but then again, this is Bettman we're talking about).

*    *    *

Yes, almost the entire world loves soccer, and one of the greatest sporting events on the planet is underway, with the World Cup starting on Thursday in Brazil (someday maybe Canada can get into the World Cup and give those who yawn at soccer more of a chance to develop a rooting interest in the event, but that won't happen for at least four years, and probably longer than that).

There's been a lot of talk about the governing body of world soccer - FIFA - and its lack of accountability and greed (there are rumblings they were bribed into awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar), but if sports fans can try to forget all the political and economic escapades, the next few weeks will offer plenty of intrigue and excitement for fans of the beautiful game.

*    *    *

Non-Sports Thought of the Week: Just out of curiosity, when did they start having grad nights for elementary school kids? Is this new? Like, should I have already known about this? In my day - a day that I readily admit wasn't yesterday, but not that long ago, either - you got your passing grade out of Grade 6, got a kick in the rear end and were sent on to junior high, which as it turned out was a jungle like no other (stream of consciousness to follow).

Junior high teachers, unless they are total drop cases, earn their money and then some. High school can be tough, but I've always thought the real academic hell for students was junior high, what with all the kids hitting puberty, the lovey-dovey drama in the hallways, the sprouting of male egos, and of course, suddenly you have to do homework. Bless those teachers - if they still exist - who believe that making kids do homework was against their teaching philosophy (school is for learning, a kid's own time was their own time). Those teachers were always my favourites. 

After getting a floor-level view of the Pictou County Subway Snipers bantam lacrosse team as they hosted Cape Breton in a pair of games last weekend at the Wellness Centre, I can say that lacrosse is a tougher sport than I thought it was, and I knew it was no picnic in a park to begin with.

For starters, you have to be in good physical condition to play that game - there's no dogging it, because if a player decides to float he'll get left behind by everyone else on the floor, and there'll be plenty of room on the bench for him  - there's also more than enough hacking, slashing, cross-checking and open-floor hits to satisfy the blood thirst in all us sports fans. I saw an occasional open-floor hit that made me wonder if the guy on the wrong end of it was going to get back up on his feet. Fortunately, they all did. 

The bantam Snipers - with a good mix of athletic ability, toughness and plenty of heart - came out of their home debut on June 7 with a 7-4 win, and followed it later that afternoon with a gritty 2-2 tie against Cape Breton, and were scheduled to hit the road for two games up in Sydney today.

*    *    *

After one full session living with the NHL's new hybrid icing rule, we can deem it a sound success. Not only does it improve the flow and pace of the game - slightly so, but noticeable - it also can reduce dramatically the chances of a player getting injured chasing down a puck on a potential icing call. We've seen players suffer major injuries on such plays and while it took the NHL brass long enough to fix the problem, they got it right on this one (NHL commissioner Gary Bettman once called the chasing of a puck on an icing an exciting part of the game, but then again, this is Bettman we're talking about).

*    *    *

Yes, almost the entire world loves soccer, and one of the greatest sporting events on the planet is underway, with the World Cup starting on Thursday in Brazil (someday maybe Canada can get into the World Cup and give those who yawn at soccer more of a chance to develop a rooting interest in the event, but that won't happen for at least four years, and probably longer than that).

There's been a lot of talk about the governing body of world soccer - FIFA - and its lack of accountability and greed (there are rumblings they were bribed into awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar), but if sports fans can try to forget all the political and economic escapades, the next few weeks will offer plenty of intrigue and excitement for fans of the beautiful game.

*    *    *

Non-Sports Thought of the Week: Just out of curiosity, when did they start having grad nights for elementary school kids? Is this new? Like, should I have already known about this? In my day - a day that I readily admit wasn't yesterday, but not that long ago, either - you got your passing grade out of Grade 6, got a kick in the rear end and were sent on to junior high, which as it turned out was a jungle like no other (stream of consciousness to follow).

Junior high teachers, unless they are total drop cases, earn their money and then some. High school can be tough, but I've always thought the real academic hell for students was junior high, what with all the kids hitting puberty, the lovey-dovey drama in the hallways, the sprouting of male egos, and of course, suddenly you have to do homework. Bless those teachers - if they still exist - who believe that making kids do homework was against their teaching philosophy (school is for learning, a kid's own time was their own time). Those teachers were always my favourites. 

 

Kevin Adshade is a sports columnist for The News.

 

Kevin Adshade is a sports columnist for The News.

Organizations: NHL, Pictou County Subway Snipers, Wellness Centre FIFA

Geographic location: Cape Breton, Sydney, Brazil Canada Qatar

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