By Patrick Ryan
The Athletic Department has begun to strictly enforce a rule that lacrosse balls, baseballs and other hard balls are not to be used on the field without a coach supervising practice.
Administrators are enforcing the rule this year after an incident last spring when a lacrosse ball ricocheted off of a goal post and broke a cheerleading coach’s nose.
The rule primarily affects lacrosse players, as they frequently used the field last year and at the beginning of this year to play before organized practices.
Head of Athletics Audrius Barzdukas said the rule’s purpose is not to stop the lacrosse players from practicing their skills, but to keep people on the field safe from the projectiles.
“It is a substantial piece of compressed rubber,” Barzdukas said. “If it makes contact with a human being, it can cause some damage. It just seemed that to the prudent observer outside the lacrosse box that we needed some kind of adult supervision.”
Many lacrosse players disagree with the rule, saying that coach supervision won’t prevent accidents.
“If a coach is standing next to me and I am throwing a ball, there is no physical way to stop it,” attacker Ross O’Shea ’14 said. “The one person who got hurt is in no way related to the circumstances in which the rule is applied.”
The team practices twice a week during the winter training season. Players used to catch and throw on the field before official practices to improve their passing and catching skills.
“I am a little bothered [by the rule]” midfielder Noah Pompan ’14 said. “I think it hurts the newer guys because they are trying to work on their stick skills and get better. But I see where the administration is coming from.”