Editor’s Note: Simon Krause is reporting back on the Lax in the Box Tournament, held in Dresden, Germany each year. This year saw men’s and women’s teams from three different countries make their way to Dresden, and each enjoyed a great experience. See below for much, much more. For more on European Box Lacrosse, check out our report from the National Box Lacrosse League championships in the Czech Republic.
As field Lacrosse has kept growing and improving over the last few years in Europe, more and more players are also getting interested in the indoor version of lacrosse; box lacrosse. Due to venue limitations, and a lack in knowledge of the game, only a few box teams are reported in Europe, but the recent development work points to an increase over the coming years.
The Aleš Hřebeský Memorial, with its 20th anniversary event, was a pure demonstration of how good European box can become when hard and relentless work of the athletes are combined with a long tradition and great organization. Not only was the 20th AHM one of the most outstanding tournaments box lacrosse Europe has ever seen, it also marks the beginning of a new European box era.
One week after the AHM, Europe’s second biggest box tournament, the Lax in the Box tourney, took place in Dresden, Germany. As this year’s focus was on the AHM, the Dresden Braves, who organize the Lax in the Box decided to use the second edition of the LitB as a development tournament for teams who are new to box lacrosse.
Unfortunately, as is often the case with new programs, three teams dropped out last minute to leave a total of 9 teams competing for the most outstanding trophy the world of lacrosse will ever see, EVER.
The teams were:
1. Dresden Braves (Germany)
2. Victoria Berlin (Germany)
3. LCC Wolves (Czech Republic)
4. TJ Malesice (Czech Republic)
5. Bundeswehr Lacrosse (Germany)
6. MarBroRo Marburg/Rostock (Germany)
7. Deutschland Adler (Germany)
8. Vienna Monarchs (Austria)
9. Karlsruhe Storm (Germany)
Besides the 9 men‘s box lacrosse teams the Braves also invited 6 women’s teams to compete in the indoor women‘s tournament. Having a women’s and men’s tournament at the same time in the same arena complex did not only support the idea of a development tournament but also created a unique and attractive atmosphere for players and spectators.
Both tournaments started Saturday morning, May 4th, with games being played in a two-15 minute halves style. The level of refereeing was very good and consistent over the whole weekend to provide ideal conditions for a great tournament. Up front the favorites for the men’s tournament were the two teams from the Czech Republic, LCC Wolves and TJ Malesice and the German team, Deutschland Adler. The round robin was played in two groups with five and four teams.
After the first games were played the favored teams Wolves, Malesice and Adler did not disappoint and came out with big wins. Group A consisted of three teams, Deutschland Adler, Vienna Monarchs and LCC Wolves known to be able to handle the floor on both ends. As expected Adler came out strong on day one finishing first in their group beating second seated Wolves in an exciting game 6-3. Monarchs showed highlights in defense but were not able to get enough scoring power to beat Wolves in a tough game finishing 3-1 in favor of the Wolves.
In Group B Malesice cleared their way through round robin beating home team Dresden, Karlsruhe, Bundeswehr and Marbroro in exciting but dominant games. In the fight for the second place the home team Dresden Braves could work up their way with beating third seated Karlsruhe in an exciting game 4-1 finishing second place behind Wolves to qualify for the semifinal on Sunday.
With round robin games finished on day 1 Adler were facing Dresden and Wolves their fellow Czech team Malesice in the semifinals on Sunday. In the first game Adler showed high offensive potential scoring 7 goals without letting one in to proceed to the final with a strong 7-0 victory over the home team Dresden. In the second semifinal Malesice showed strong nerves beating Wolves in one of the most exciting games of the tournament 3-2 to proceeding to the final with Deutschland Adler already waiting for them.
The first half of the final game showed a lot of highlights in defense and offense with the Malesice goalie keeping Adler of the score board for most of the time. After the first half the 400 spectators were caught up in a close game with Adler having a slight 2-1 advantage going in the second half.
To the surprise of everyone Malesice could not show enough defensive power in the second half to keep Adler from scoring and were not able to create goals on the other end of the floor which lead to a clear 6-2 victory of the Deutschland Adler team to be named the 2nd Lax in the Box champion.
Besides the men’s tournament, the six invited German women teams competed on a high level as well, showing great games and development over the whole weekend.
Teams taking part in the women’s Lax in the Box tournament:
1. Latschis Marburg
3. Leipzig Miwoks
4. Dresden Braves Gold
5. Dresden Braves Black
6. Victoria Berlin
In the final Marburg was facing the Neckarnixen and over 300 spectators could see a high level women’s indoor game with Marburg taking home the title, becoming winner of the trophy Adam and being named the first Lax in the Box women’s tournament champion.
Fans, players, refs and coaches were able to watch great games in an outstanding atmosphere and a great venue over two days. The combination of the women’s and men’s tournament created a unique experience and truly contributed to Growing the Game of indoor lacrosse in Germany.
The organizers Dresden Braves did a great job having all games on time, providing a great venue, separate locker rooms for each team over the whole weekend, and a high level of refereeing.
The players’ party on Saturday night helped everyone “relaxing” after a great first day. Off the field players and spectators had the chance to take part in the fastest shot competition and win prizes provided by our sponsors Captain Lax and East Coast Dyes. The Cheerleaders got everyone cheering before the two final games and during the halftime and maybe distracted some of the male player a little too much.
At this point we want to thank everyone that contributed to this great event and hope everyone involved in this event enjoyed it as much as the home team Dresden Braves. This tournament was a huge step towards Growing and improving the game of lacrosse over in Europe and Germany.
Because of the great success of the tournament this year we can already promise the third Lax in the Box 2014 and information about this event will be updated soon on our webpage.
Stay tuned for more media material uploaded in the next week, and thank you for reading!