Winter Ball – Cold Weather Lacrosse
As winter’s relentless grip extends across the nation, it’s strange to see lacrosse teams taking the field. Normally associated with balmy weather, a number of games had to be rescheduled or moved indoors this week due to severe winter storms.
Besides keeping fans away in droves, the cold weather can be tough on the players, who experience a higher rate of equipment failure and can be more prone to injury.
The trend for lacrosse programs has been to begin earlier in the year due to trying to fit more games in to the season.
From the Baltimore Sun:
Playing lacrosse in February is a recent trend that occurred as programs joined conferences and reserved room in their schedules for games against league opponents and conference tournaments.
Coaches don’t really like playing in the colder weather, but see little choice other than starting earlier in the season, due to a reluctance to play a lot of games mid-week. Players don’t seem fazed as much:
Mount St. Mary’s junior defenseman Kyle O’Brien said moving the start of the season later would just mean an extended preseason.
“I like starting earlier so we can start playing games and it’s not just practice, practice, practice,” said O’Brien, an Arnold native and St. Mary’s graduate. “Once you do warmups and the first quarter starts, your adrenaline is pumping. So the heat starts going and you don’t feel the cold at all.”
How to Play
There’s no greater barrier to entry to a new sport than to try to watch a game, and get inundated with insider lingo, far out strategies, and minutia that only insiders can care about.
If you’re new to the game, need a refresher, or ever watched a lacrosse game and wondered just what the heck is going on, I’ve scoured the amazing interwebs for resources to break down the game’s basic rules and strategies, so you can finally relax and enjoy the game.
Here is a video series that break down the basics for you.
And a quick read with pretty illustrations so you’ll know the difference between a lacrosse stick and a football.
Fun Lax Videos
After sitting through a 100-minute infomercial for plastic toy building bricks last week, I thought surely there were some lacrosse videos that could span the divide between entertainment and commerce. Yes, there are. Here are a few:
Rolling in broken glass, getting hit in the nads with a giant log, and lots of kung foo. What’s not to like?
Ladies and Gentlemen: Boom
Is This A Thing?
Former NBA player Jason Collins may not have much a future left in basketball after a lengthy career, but he’s become a trailblazer of sorts in what appears to be a new fad sweeping the nation: athletes coming out as gay.
Just this past week, Michael Sam, Missouri’s All-American defensive end was the latest, and he has generated a lot of press and controversy as to whether the NFL is ready for an openly gay player in its ranks. A few weeks before it was Williamette University placekicker Conner Mertens.
Not to be outdone, Kenyon College’s lacrosse midfielder Holden Richards recently came out to his teammates.
There’s even a website built around gays and sports, outsports.com, which in between beefcake shots of athletes, posts articles such as the Gay Guide to the Super Bowl, and has a page devoted to out athletes.
Outsports.com promises much more to come in the near future, teasing that “We already know of several more college athletes we’ll be writing about in the next couple of weeks — the tidal wave of athletes coming out could be well underway!”
CBS Sports Network Expands Coverage of MLL
Lacrosse continues to grow as first ESPN, and now CBS Sports Network adds more lacrosse coverage to their lineups:
Major League Lacrosse (MLL) and CBS Sports Network announced today the television schedule for the 2014 season. The Network will air 24 nationally televised games, up from 20 last season, including the 2014 MLL All-Star Game from Harvard Stadium, and the MLL Semi-Final and Championship Games.
Major League Lacrosse and LXM PRO Form Partnership
From Inside Lacrosse:
Major League Lacrosse and LXM PRO have formed a ” monumental partnership” in which players can play in both leagues, and the LXM events will be held in MLL’s offseason.
“We have further decided to work with LXM on growing the game in markets where the MLL doesn’t have a presence. LXM will move their tour to the MLL offseason and will focus their events in markets where MLL does not currently have a presence,” MLL commissioner Dave Gross said in a news release Thursday. “MLL will work with LXM as it relates to selecting markets for tour events. This offseason (Sept 2014-March 2015) MLL players will be allowed to compete in LXM events if they so choose. Current LXM players will have the opportunity to play MLL in the 2014 season as well.”
Game of the Week
Hands down, it’s the Syracuse at Albany match up on Sunday at 4:00 (EST). I don’t know who sets the schedule for ESPN and NBC Sports Network, but this is one of those weeks where their lacrosse programming feels like an afterthought. Neither the sure to be classic #2 Syracuse -v- #11Albany nor the #1Duke -v-#4 Denver will be televised.
Last year’s Syracuse/Albany match up featured a score on average of every 90 seconds, and this year should be no different. Albany’s Thompson Trio (Lyle, Miles, and Ty) form one of the most potent scoring trios ever devised by man, and they happen to be related (two brothers and a cousin). I can’t wait to see what these guys have on tap this season, but if its anywhere near what they accomplished last year, its gonna be a wild ride.
Games on Tap
Full schedules and broadcasts for Division I Here.
PHOTO: University of Albany