Note from the Author: If you don’t already know, box lacrosse is my obsession, the only problem is, I’ve always lived in regions where field lacrosse is king and hockey is just starting to really break through. I will be conducting more interviews and compiling research on the topic, and I hope to build more awareness around the development of indoor lacrosse in the United States.
Over the weekend of the 23rd through the 25th of August, a huge step for the sport of box lacrosse was taken in Chicago, Illinois. You probably didn’t even hear about it, and I know it didn’t make SportsCenter. The Chicago Outlaws, a franchise competing in the CILL, hosted a four-way play day in the beautiful Sears Centre. The Sears Centre, if you haven’t seen it, is an incredible venue, one that could do the NLL some good, but these were not NLL teams competing. No, the squads that came were made up mostly of local weekend warriors, who will give up plenty of time and money and also refuse to accept “No” as an answer.
The CILL (CI2L) is the newly renamed MILA, which is the only semi-professional box lacrosse league here in the US. The clubs which participated in the event were the Colorado Sabertooth, Grand Rapids Dragonfish, Milwaukee Marauders, and the host Chicago Outlaws. Due to the early stages of the league, the teams are completely self funded and reliant on the players to make the season a reality. They are also more or less in charge of their own schedules and setting up events.
This leaves Colorado in a very awkward situation, the team seems to have all of their ducks in a row, and even have gained the support of the NLL’s Mammoth and get to call the Pepsi Center their home. Unfortunately the closest team to them is the Outlaws, and being self funded, no clubs are in the position to be able to fly a whole team out to Denver for a weekend of lacrosse. Colorado has seemed to accept that for now, but refuses to withdraw from competition.
The Sabertooth attempted to host a tournament in Nebraska to in order to meet in the middle, but the organizations came to the agreement that playing in Chicago would work best for everyone and for growing the game. Knowing that Colorado was going to great lengths to make the 2013 season happen, Chicago dished out the big bucks to rent the Sears Centre for the weekend, honoring the teams making the trip out and making sure they were treated like true all stars.
Colorado proved dominant, and showed that their club represents a true semi-professional team, in being able to fly out the organization and displaying top shelf athleticism in each game. The Outlaws are not too far back though, simply running out of steam in a loss to the ‘Tooths by a small margin.
Results are a follows:
Colorado 14, Chicago 12
Colorado 13, Grand Rapids 6
Milwaukee 7, Chicago 16
Colorado 19, Milwaukee 7
The games were broadcast by the Lacrosse Radio Network and can be listened to here. I plan to catch up with each club individually as coverage continues on the league for the rest of the season.
Do what you can for the sport and for these warriors by getting out to a game if you are anywhere near the Midwest. If you have been to a CILL game or have played in one this season, tell us. I’d love to hear more perspectives on the country’s best adult box lacrosse league.
For those who believe in the growth of the sport, attending games is the first step, for more information on how to get involved don’t be afraid to drop us a line.