College Lacrosse Struck By Controversy After Petty Rules Decision During Top-20 Matchup

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As Maryland and Ohio State battled it out in a top-20 matchup on Friday night, the college lacrosse world was struck by controversy. A petty rules decision ultimately played a huge role in the outcome.

The 19th-ranked Buckeyes tied the game at 11 with just over two minutes left in regulation. Moments later, the chaos proceeded to unfold.

Ohio State face-off specialist Sean Fritz readied to take the next face-off. Meanwhile, the referees huddled near the midfield line and called for both head coaches.

Buckeyes head coach Nick Myers became increasingly angry and started to lay into Terrapins head coach John Tillman, before the latter backed away toward the sideline. Myers shifted his focus toward the opposing players and only continued to yell at Tillman and the packed crowd at his school’s new lacrosse-only stadium.

Why was he furious?

The officials, per Tillman’s suggestion, ruled that Fritz was in violation of a (ludicrous) equipment rule. He was wearing white gloves with gray and scarlet trim, as his teammates wore gray gloves with scarlet and white trim.

Ohio State was in violation of Rule 1, Section 21 of the NCAA rulebook.

All players on a team shall wear gloves of the same dominant official team color unless safety reasons require a different color glove to be worn.

— NCAA lacrosse rulebook

In turn, the Buckeyes were called for illegal procedure. Maryland was awarded possession.

It’s time to have a larger conversation within college lacrosse.

For a face-off guy to wear different gloves than the rest of his team is not particularly uncommon in college lacrosse. Although the gloves that most of Ohio State was wearing are amongst the best innovations in modern equipment, the thumbs often fall off for face-off guys.

To avoid that problem, they often wear a pair of gloves that are less susceptible to that issue.

Yes, it is technically against the rules. Fritz was in violation.

The rule is rarely, if ever, enforced. Opposing head coaches never call for equipment checks.

With that said — Tillman says that he didn’t directly call for the check. He just mentioned it to officials.

Here is his Tillman’s full explanation, as transcribed by Corey McLaughlin:

via @Corey_McL/Twitter

Fortunately, in this instance, the violation didn’t have a direct impact on the final score. Maryland went on to win in overtime.

The violation raises a larger conversation about rules within college lacrosse. Is there really the need for all players on the same team to wear the same color gloves?

Glovegate continues…!

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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