“I think it’s for the best that the rules are. going to change,” said Kevin Hamlin, a forward for Detroit. “Right now, there are too many hits from behind, too much blind hitting.”
But Hamlin understands why the 3- year-old league’s rules emphasize so much physical contact … at least for now.
“Let’s face it, they’re trying to sell the game. But the game has so much to offer, the game will eventually sell itself.”
MILL games are divided into 15-minute quarters. Six players on each side combine the rough-and-tumble pursuit of an Indian rubber ball, 6 inches in diameter, with the zone strategy of basketball.
Players carry aluminum sticks with nylon-webbed baskets on the end. Action is virtually nonstop, although it isn’t the constant smashing of bodies you see in the television ads.
“There are moving picks. The best game I can compare this to is basketball, not hockey,” New England General Manager Steve August said. “It’s five-on-five, with a goalie.”
The best part of it, perhaps, is that little working knowledge of the game is necessary to enjoy it. “People here in Detroit did not understand the game at all. But in our opener against Washington, I don’t think one person of the 12,000 sat down during the game,” said Hamlin, a veteran of Canadian box lacrosse.