Of the total number queried, 77% responded, and 62% of those, or approximately 48% of the total, recommended doing away with the faceoff. There was no clear-cut majority on the subject of where to put the ball in play, although the area behind the goal got the most votes and midfield the fewest. In a spirit of compromise, the USILA committee recommended the restraining line. The NCAA committee, fearing that weaker teams might not be able to clear the ball out of the shadow of their own goal, opted for midfield. "If the people who voted against the faceoff had known where the ball was going to be placed, most of them wouldn't have voted the way they did," says Beardmore.
Virginia Coach Jim Adams, who was chairman of the NCAA committee, hopes that speeding up the game will make lacrosse "more packageable for TV." But television may be a pipe dream. A planned local telecast of last Saturday's Hopkins-Virginia game was canceled; the problem was not lack of faceoff but lack of television interest in the game.
The day after the Blue Jays' win, the USILA rules and equipment committee gathered at Johns Hopkins to plan the questionnaire it will send out this year concerning rules changes for 1980. Many lacrosse observers are already predicting that the results of that poll will mandate the return of the faceoff. Whatever the outcome, the faceoff fiasco has guaranteed one positive step. "In the past when the USILA questionnaire was sent out, no one paid much attention to it," Ciccarone said last week. "You can bet that won't be the case this year."