Cage Debate Part 3

Posted: September 15, 2014 by Paul Rai in Alberta Lacrosse, Vimy Lacrosse

Canadian_Lacrosse_Association_logoThe CLA has issued a decision in the Complaint against Dave Pym for breaching the CLA Code of Conduct.  I was able to quickly read the decision and I hope to post the full document when it becomes public information.  My first impression of the whole thing is basically this; I am worried that we have come to this point in lacrosse and in sport in general.  If you have never read the CLA Code of Conduct you need to familiarize yourself with it, especially if you are a member of the CLA.  To read it go to this link and scroll down to Section 6.0.  When I read the Code of Conduct there is a lot of room to basically file a complaint against 99.9% of all CLA members.  It is that broad and that vague.

This whole issue came to light because questions were asked on the safety of the new cages.  Are we closer to improving the safety of players?  Improving the masks?  Making the game better for players and the fans?  I do not think so, but instead we are mired in Code of Conduct hearings.  Am I allowed to say anything if I am a CLA member?  That is totally based on how one reads the Code of Conduct.

Dave Pym has tweeted out over 4300 tweets on his current account.  Check it out here

You may have to wade through some interesting content to find the exact tweets or series of tweets that constituted a violation.   If you have time take a read.  Maybe there are some great words of wisdom in there as well.  Did Dave Pym embarrass someone is his tweets  or was he offensive?  I have no idea, but isn’t that what Twitter  is all about.  To share opinions, create debate and make change.  Someone is bound to be offended.  I know he offended me once or twice with his tweets.  Made me laugh some other times.  That is why I follow him.  I guess I can always unfollow him if I did not like what he was saying.  We are on a dangerous slope here.

More to come.

Update on the Cage Debate

Posted: September 12, 2014 by Paul Rai in Alberta Lacrosse, Junior A Lacrosse, Vimy Lacrosse

Canadian_Lacrosse_Association_logo I have been recently informed that Dave Pym was not sanctioned for any comments that he made about the cages, especially as it related to his opinion.  He was sanctioned for making statements of fact about the CLA and members of the board that were false and were defamatory.  I hope to have the actual written reasons from the CLA so we can post them.  It is important to get both sides of the story so I hope to provide more information in the future.

The Cage Debate Rages On

Posted: September 11, 2014 by Paul Rai in Alberta Lacrosse, Box Lacrosse, Vimy Lacrosse

Canadian_Lacrosse_Association_logoDave Pym is in a dogfight with the CLA over the box lacrosse cages that were introduced to players two seasons ago.  I am not on top of the processes that were followed that got us to the change of the cage.  I do know that the new cages have caused injuries as I have seen a handful of the players that I have coached receiving significant cuts on the chin.  I am not an expert on cage design, the certification process or the insurance requirements of the Canadian Lacrosse Association.  I do know Dave Pym has been vocal in his displeasure and the latest update has him suspended from the CLA for a year.  Why?  I am not so sure, but maybe you can gleam some of the background on the issue by reading his blog.  I am hoping he was not suspended for debating the merits of the cage.  That would be terrible path to go down as a governing body.  I do hope if you feel the sport of lacrosse can be improved you are not punished for speaking your mind.  I do not always agree with Dave, but I respect that that he can voice his opinions as much as I can voice mine.  The link to the blog is below.

downloadDown 2 – 0 in the series the Arrows have pushed back hard with three straight wins.  The skill has become more evident in the past three games as the Six Nations team has fixed some penalty troubles and found the answer to the Coquitlam goalie.  Great lacrosse so far in this series.  The skill level at both ends of the floor is awesome to watch.  Highlights from the last three games are below.


downloadHighlights from Games 1 and 2 below.  Coquitlam leads Six Nations 2 – 0 in the best of seven series.  Six Nations needs to show up tomorrow.

downloadThe Minto Cup will begin tomorrow featuring the Six Nations Arrows Express and the Coquitlam Adanacs.  The Adanacs won the right to be at the Minto Cup after beating the Calgary Mountaineers 3 games to 1 in their best of five series.  Let it be known that the Mounties did not go down quietly.  They battled hard each and every night, taking an early lead in each game.  They won game three and were in it to the end in game four.  In the first two games they were beat by large margins, but even in those games the score did not get out of hand until later in the games.  I was impressed by their compete level.

In the end the depth of the Adanacs proved to be too much.  Wes Berg, arguably the best player for the Adanacs, only played the first game.  The Adanacs were able to move players in and out of the lineup without a significant decrease in their effectiveness.  The Mounties, who destroyed Alberta teams with their transition game, were not able to generate those same transition goals against the Adanacs.  The Adanacs ball possession was strong, eliminating those turnovers that would allow the Mounties to transition the ball.  The Adanacs defence was very good at picking up loose balls and not giving the Mounties additional possessions.  The Mounties only lost one game all season in Alberta and then lost three of four to the Adanacs.  I would be prepared to argue that the Mounties lack of success against the Adanacs has as much to do with the rest of the Alberta league as it does with their own team.  Other teams in the league, including the Titans, were not able to push the Mounties all season long to make them a better team.  The Mounties did not face stiff enough competition to challenge them to get better during the season.  Add also to this equation that the Adanacs were able to add numerous players at the deadline from other BC teams and it quickly turns to an uneven match up.  We just are not in this position in Alberta.  The lack of depth and small number of teams in the league does not allow for a lot of options at the trade deadline.  The Mounties were able to add one  strong player at the deadline, Connor Goodwin, from the BC league.  To be blunt about the situation, we just do not have enough talent in the province.

But at the end of the day you have to play the games and the Mounties went out and did that.  My congratulations to Captain Dan Taylor and the rest of the Mounties.  Dan had an exceptional junior career and in the Western Final led his team in points.  The entire team played incredibly hard and represented Alberta well.  I watched every game and from what I saw the Mounties should hold their heads high.  Good on them.

10525872_10152954594551102_1726055853482197577_nIt has been a week and I am still upset about how we ended the Junior A season.  “What could have been?” was replaced by “What the hell happened?”  We had the pieces, but were not able to put it together and when we needed an exceptional effort, we caved in collectively.  I will take responsibility.  As one of the coaches I was not able to get what was required from the players to extend the season.  I did not push the right buttons and when we needed to step up, we instead fell apart.  Extremely disappointing and extremely frustrating.  We now sit on the sidelines again and watch the two South teams battle for the provincial title.  The Raiders earned it and we did not respond when needed.

Putting my anger aside, I must applaud our fifth year players for their dedication and commitment to the Junior program in Sherwood Park.  Without players such as these, Junior A would never have been possible in the community.

Cory Burton:  Heart and soul player who has given a ton to lacrosse in the Park.  Just a warrior for the team and his team mates.  One of those players that you know will always have your back.  From a coach’s perspective he is the glue guy.  The player that keeps it all together and players rally around.  Five years he has played for the Titans junior program and he definitely gave and took his lumps.  Cory is a special player and will always be held in high regard.

Brett Arnston:  Tough as nails.  Played hard for the Titans each and every time he stepped on the floor.  A little bit of a wild card at times that would surprise you with a great goal or something crazy that would make you shake your head.  Loved his unpredictability and the spirit he brought to the team.

Tyler North:  A quiet young man who always provided his team with a reliable defensive effort.  His quiet demeanor and great smile around the room was always welcome.  Tyler was a solid player for the Titans and took on more responsibility in the past couple of years and became a leader on the floor.

Adam Wild:  A young man that played three years for the Junior B Titans before moving to the Miners Junior A team.  We were able to bring him “home” for the conclusion of his junior career.  This kid contributed so much to the Titans organization and I wish we were able to have had him back with us sooner.

Scott Kavalinas:  Scott played virtually his entire junior career for the Miners Junior A program.  We were able to bring him back to Sherwood Park, where he played his minor lacrosse, for the final run.  Scott was a great goalie in this league and with his aging out of junior the league loses a quality young man.  He played hard for the Miners and my memory of his play will always be his competitiveness.  He was the backbone for the Miners for many years and will always have my respect.

Thank you boys.  I know it did not end the way we wanted it to, but please know that this game is made of individuals that have incredible heart and a passion for one of the toughest games on the planet.  You can not play this game unless you are a little bit crazy and love the battles inherent in box lacrosse.  This game is not for the timid.  I am proud to have coached you.