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Lacrosse, Photographers and the End Lines
Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 8:03 PM on 03.29.12
->> OK, so I have been shooting sports for close to 25 years. One of my favorite sports to shoot is lacrosse. Today, for the first time in 25 years, I had a referee tell me I was not allowed to shoot behind the end lines. So, instead of fighting, I decided to research it. In fact, there are rules, but I guess the reason I have never been told this is because the rule is specific, but vague at the same time.

From youth up to NCAA, this is what the rule reads (with minor variations, but pretty much the same):

Spectators and media, including photographers, are not allowed behind the end lines except in stadium structures where permanent seats exist which are also protected by a fence or netting.

Now, if I am shooting at a high school stadium when seats exist and there is a fence, I can shoot correct? Now, do the seats and fencing have to be around the entire stadium or do they just have to exist? Today I was shooting at a high school stadium with permanent seats and fencing, just not behind the goals.

I would love some input here. I like the look shooting behind the goal and it never has been a problem. My interpretation doesn't mean I am right, so I am looking for some other thoughts...

Thank you...
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 9:04 PM on 03.29.12
->> I would say that common sense says the seating/fence has to be behind the end line.

But like most any other shooting situation, this is an argument you will never win with an official, even if you can quote him chapter and verse. If they tell you not to shoot there - don't shoot there.

The only times I shoot behind the end line is when I have something to hide behind. I like the angle too, but I am not crazy.
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Simon Wheeler, Photo Editor, Photographer
Ithaca | NY | USA | Posted: 9:54 PM on 03.29.12
->> In upstate NY we shoot a lot of lax. I used to love shooting from the end line and no one ever said anything at college or high school. A couple of seasons ago I stopped, with the sole of my hiking shoe, a shot that was going to hit me for sure. I was sitting on a small step stool so I had my balance to be able to react in time, I was quite close. My foot hurt for several days. As much as I love that angle I think a little more about it now, but I guess I still do it sometimes. It's better if you can get further back with a longer lens for more warning time and more chance of it not being directed at you. It was definitely a no go at a state high school final game unless I was behind the netting and shooting through. The officials were all over me. Odds are you will get hit eventually if you are along the end.
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Bob Nichols, Photographer
Tipton | IN | USA | Posted: 10:58 PM on 03.29.12
->> Just last week at a high school game I was told by an official that I could not shoot from behind the endlines without a helmet. News to me.

I have been shooting high school lacrosse for eight years and have only been hit twice. Thankfully they were both bounce shots. I have heard that in high school a shot on goal can be 80-100 miles per hour.

I too like the angles, but always shoot closer to the corners than the goal. I am going to check with the officials at the next game and try to track down the rule.
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Peyton Williams, Photographer
Chapel Hill | NC | USA | Posted: 1:19 AM on 03.30.12
->> I think you'd have to be a bit suicidal to sit at the end line for a lacrosse game. As much as I love the sport, way too dangerous for my blood.
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Andrew Brosig, Photo Editor, Photographer
Nacogdoches | TX | United States | Posted: 5:02 PM on 03.30.12
->> Sports photography and mortal danger. Cool! Maybe I need to go find me some lacrosse to shoot.

Can't help on the rules question, though. Sorry. Read literally, I'd say you could shoot if there was permanent seating and a fence somewhere on the field. But, I also agree, it's not a fight you're going to win. Ever.
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John Korduner, Photographer
Baton Rouge | LA | United States | Posted: 5:35 PM on 03.30.12
->> "Spectators and media, including photographers, are not allowed behind the end lines except in stadium structures where permanent seats exist which are also protected by a fence or netting."

I think the statement's pretty clear. I presume there's no issue when spectators or media are positioned on the sideline, regardless of the absence of permanent seating or netting? Consequently, I presume the only reason to codify that rule is because the officials don't want spectators and media in any endzone lacking permanent seats and netting.
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Frank Lauri, Photographer
Larksville | PA | USA | Posted: 4:55 AM on 03.31.12
->> Scott I shot a local D-!!! College Men's LAX game last week and I was behind the end lines between the goal and the sideline (no seats or netting) and a ball wend wide of the goal but within 30 feet of me. The ref saw me standing there and signaled for me to move.

I normally check in with the ref before the game but was running late in this case and didn't get a chance. Normally they say " problem just don't set up right behind the goal.

Never came close to getting hit behind the end lines but last year I was on the sidelines and actually standing pretty close to the coach looking to get some goalie shots. Face up to the camera and all I heard was the thud of the ball hitting me in the ribs. Actually thought it cracked a rib and was bruised up for a while. If it's going to hit will.
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 11:53 AM on 03.31.12
->> In fourteen years, I've only been hit once while covering lax. It was at a national women's college game ten years ago and I was on the end line. I was sitting on a folding chair on the end line about two meters from the corner. The ball skipped off the ground into the side of my leg. Left a bruise that lasted three days. I've had plenty of close calls since. However, that wasn't my worse experience that year. Later during the week I met TD Paulius (before became and SS member) and life has never been the same since .... LOL.

As far as positions go, I actually prefer the left hand corners of the sidelines for shooting attacks sitting on the ground. Fewer ball come zinging toward this position and it allows for good coverage of the field.

Seriously, shooting on the end lines with a three for meter on either side of the crease, while you might look silly, consider wearing catcher's/hockey tender gear - at the very least a helmet. All it will take will be one photog to get nailed in the skull and every league, at every level will nix letting anybody standing/shooting from the end line.
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Greg Francis, Photographer
Rochester | NY | USA | Posted: 7:45 PM on 03.31.12
->> A youth or high school player was killed here recently when a ball hit him in the chest, and the player was wearing a chest protector. All regulations were followed and in place, the ball hit between heart beats and simply shut the kids heart down. Imagine what a ball would do to someone not wearing a chest guard.
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Bruce Sherwood, Photographer
Carlsbad | Ca | USA | Posted: 10:02 PM on 03.31.12
->> I too have been shooting Lacrosse for sometime and the angle is one of the best. Early this season for the first time ever I had a ref tell me to move away from the end line.
My trick since then has been to find use one of the spare goals, (usually hanging around the end line someplace) as cover. The refs are totally fine with that.
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Steven Georges, Photographer
Garden Grove | CA | USA | Posted: 12:56 AM on 04.01.12
->> After being a photojournalist/sports photographer for the last 30 years, shooting every sport from ping pong to wakeboarding, today I shot lacrosse for the first time. (girls high school)
It's been a long time since I shot a sport I never photographed before. And yes, after being frustrating on the side, I shot from the end of the field.

Then, coincidentally, I saw your message string here.

I never realized it was dangerous, that ball must be rather hard.
It the future, (thanks to your comments here) I'll still shoot from the end, but I'll stick closer to the corners, step back a little, and be a lot more cautious . . . when the referee lets me.

BTW - For anyone interested, I posted todays photos on my page.
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Thread Title: Lacrosse, Photographers and the End Lines
Thread Started By: Scott Serio
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