Welcome to the Roughnecks Mailbag! Beat writer Paul Mawdsley has found the answer to many of the burning questions that were submitted by the fans. From new lacrosse heads to what product Tyson Bell uses in his hair, he has all the answers.
Let’s get to it!
Q: I’ve noticed a few of the players are using the new Warrior Warp lacrosse head this season. Do they notice a difference in their accuracy and game play?
This season, four Roughnecks players have started using the Warrior Warp lacrosse head. Led by Warp Team Member Wesley Berg, Curtis Dickson, Scott Carnegie and Dane Dobbie have followed suit.
So what are the benefits of the Warp head? We asked the NLL’s leading goal scorer what he thought.
“You know what? Consistency,” Dickson said. “In my my 26 years of playing lacrosse, I’ve never ever learned how to string a lacrosse stick up. So that’s one advantage of it. You can pick it up off the rack and it throws. The 100th time you use it, it’s going to be the same as the first time you use it. The biggest thing is consistency.
“Wes told me he could mimic one like my pocket,” said Dickson of why he chose to try out the new head. “I use an unusual stick, it’s not like most guys use in lacrosse. He told me he could get something mocked up and he had a prototype done up for me. I thought it threw really well, so I decided to stick with it.”
Berg must be a great salesman to convince these stars to change their stick head.
Q: Where can I get detailed rules about what u can and can’t do in the faceoff circle and how the ref awards possession to one team over another when they’re scrambling for a loose ball along the boards?
For in-depth rules, you can check out the NLL Rule Book, which can be here[LINK] or on NLL.com.
But for convenience sake, we decided to talk to faceoff man Tyler Burton to get his take on the important things to know when taking a draw.
“Both faceoff guys have to contest for the ball right away, so you can’t go directly after the other guys hands or elbows knowing he’s going to beat you,” explained Burton. “So that’s one rule that they usually award possession to the guy who wins the faceoff.”
“You can’t kick through the circle,” Burton said. “So I can’t kick the other guys stick or the ball through the circle. If he wins the faceoff, I can’t put my stick over his stick, basically not allowing him to pick up the ball. I have to allow him to get it and try to strip him afterwards. I can’t trap his stick on the ground if he has it clamped.”
“Your basic rules where guys come off the line too early or I’m trapping the ball for too long, that’s usually what the possession calls come down to,” noted Burton.
While not a complete outline for determining possession, hopefully Tyler provided you with enough information to understand the basics rules of taking a faceoff in the NLL.
Q: How come we only have one transition player?
Well, actually, the Roughnecks don’t have a single player listed as a transition player on the roster.
The team has listed all players who come out of the front gate as forwards and those who come out of the back door as defenders. That’s not to say that every defender is not a transition player.
Part of the reason they don’t have specific transition players is because they want and expect any defender to jump into the rush and create offence if and when they have an opportunity. It’s just the guys who have a specific designation who can be aggressive and push the offence from the back-end.
On the other hand, certain players will have a larger role in transition simply due to their positioning in the defensive sets. For example, a player such as Tyson Bell who does most of his work at the top of the defence will be the first one off to the races in the event that a transition opportunity opens up, hence his 11 points (5g, 6a) on the season. In comparison, captain Mike Carnegie plays at the bottom of the defence and is a true stay-at-home defender who rarely gets to start a break out into the offensive zone with numbers.
Q: What shampoo does Tyson Bell use?
Finally asking the REAL questions!
Ever since Bell was drafted in the third round of the 2015 NLL Draft, people have been fascinated by his hair. With a twitter handle that reads ‘UnrealFlow44’, he knows how epic his mop is.
So let’s find out how he keeps it so ‘unreal’.
“TRESemme, shampoo and conditioner,” admitted Bell. “You’ve got to keep the volume down. It gets hot sometimes and gets little frizzy, so you’ve just got to tame it.”
There you have it, folks. The secret to the greatest flow in the NLL.
Q: Why do you think the team is struggling scoring?
Are the Roughnecks struggling to score? The numbers would say not really.
The Riggers are averaging just a shot less per game than in 2017, their shooting percentage is down just .002 points and their goals per game is down by only .3 on the season. So yes, the scoring is down, but just ever so slightly.
I do think the Roughnecks have struggled on a couple occasions to score — the seven-goal performance against the Toronto Rock and the nine-goal effort in Denver. It’s hard to peg any exact reason for the struggles on those nights. That’s because it could be any number of things from the opposing goalie getting hot, a strong defence, an off-night by the offence, etc.
The game against the Rock came on a Sunday, which isn’t a usually time-slot for the Roughnecks. Being out of their routine may have contributed to their offence coming out extremely flat. Not helping their cause was the great performance from goalie Nick Rose. In fact, Dickson even resorted to a circus shot to score.
Six of their nine goals against the Colorado Mammoth came in the first half of the game, when the difference was manageable and there was hope. Once the wheels fell off in the third quarter, it’s possible that the team was so demoralized that it they settled for bad shots, hoping one would drop to help them get back into the game.
Obviously there’s no concrete answer to why they couldn’t find the back of the net consistently in those two games, but the factors I listed may have contributed to the cause. Outside of those games, though, the Roughnecks offence has been effective – especially in last weekend’s 18-goal outburst.
Q: Why has Christian Del Bianco chosen to wear the Cascade R field helmet opposed to the hockey goalie mask – what are the advantages, which is safer?
The main difference between the two helmets is in the fit.
“It’s a little bit lighter,” said Del Bianco. “But it’s mostly a preference thing. It’s what I’ve always used and I don’t change things up very often.”
“I’ve just worn it since Junior and haven’t change it.”
As for safety, all helmets have to meet a standard for protection and therefore there won’t be any major differences when it comes to keeping a goalie guarded from injury. Pick whichever helmet you prefer and role with it knowing you’ll be safe from any shots to the head.