UPDATE: WLA not sold on fighting rule change

Board of governors appoint commissioner to gather information and learn more

Last week’s rule change that is meant to minimize and eventually remove fighting from box lacrosse is being met with resistance.

The Western Lacrosse Association is not ready to give up fighting and is looking for more information around the Canadian Lacrosse Association’s change to Rule 45.

The rule change states that any player deemed a willing combatant in a fight will be assessed an automatic ejection from the game.

Initially the WLA stated it will abide by the rule change. But on Thursday the WLA board of governors held a teleconference meeting.

Contrary to one report, the teleconference was not a yay or nay vote to accept or reject the rule, said commissioner Casey Cook.

Rather, the league instructed the commissioner and assistant commissioner to gather more information, so as to make recommendations on how Rule 45 can be applied in a more effective manner, Cook said.

“Let’s not kid ourselves, the league is also looking at its options. We’re in information gathering mode, what we can do to see a better way to introduce the rule.”

The 2013 season starts in May and there’s plenty of time to iron out the rule, or find a way around it. One of the greater concerns at the moment is that the ejection rule does not do enough to eliminate fighting, which will simply evolve into a more timely element of the game.

“We want to get this rule change out of the way to know where we’re headed, but to say we’ve got a gun to our head to do that would be characterizing it incorrectly,” Cook said.

The rule also applies to the junior and intermediate levels of box lacrosse in Canada.

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