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Europe Box Lacrosse Update: Interviews, Tourneys, Players Needed!

2 - Published March 26, 2013 by in International, Interviews

I’m dropping a TON of European Box Lacrosse Information on you all at once, in one post, and it’s well worth a read. I’m interviewing Sean Gibson (the new Euro Box Coordinator), looking for Israeli box lacrosse players, talking Lax in the Box (and how you can play!) and filling you in on Deutschland Adler’s (Germany) upcoming box lacrosse trip to North America!

Interview with Sean Gibson

First off, Congrats on the new position as European Box Lacrosse Coordinator! This is a big move. Anyone you want to thank right off the bat?

The people to thank are all the people in Europe playing the game, who are excited about box lacrosse already, along with the ELF board, who realize the impact that box will have on the European Lacrosse landscape. A close second would be my girlfriend who has the patience of a saint.

Ireland WILC helmet orange facemask lacrosse lax

Ireland box lacrosse is gaining in popularity. Well done, Gibby!

What is the goal for box development? How will you figure in to the European Lacrosse Federation’s overall structure?

What is the goal for box development?  Well, it all boils down to Grow the Game. Sorry to steal your saying but it very much applies, especially when you expand that out through all of the potential areas: Player Development, Coaching Development, Referee Development, and the Development of a Women’s Box Program (we are that progressives here!).

In terms where I sit in the ELF landscape, I report into the VP of Men’s Lacrosse, Henning Schmidt. But at the end of the day, it really is a “do-work” mentality. Go out, do the job, grow the game, and if in doubt the board is there for me to fall back on, and talk to. And of course there is a wider lacrosse network to talk to as well.

My role, in a nutshell, is to coordinate development through the ELF member nations, and look to start programs in countries that don’t currently have box lacrosse. We will also look to aid in the further development of Box lacrosse in the nations that already play the game. It’s a pretty simple mandate, but is offers some massive challenges.

Is there going to be a more formal Euro box lacrosse championships coming down the line?

In short yes, and there have been a couple of attempts in the past, as well as some ambitious plans for the near future. I am very supportive of this, but first we need to get the game played in more countries. We will look at something like a European Nations Cup (Pilot Project) , then potentially a full blown European Box Lacrosse Championship in 2017.

The short term goal is to get as many countries playing box and looking to increase Euoprean participation in the 2015 WILC hosted by the Iroquois from the current 4 nations to 8-10 nations. Plenty of work to be done between now and then though!

What does Europe need to do for box lacrosse to really take off?

Well if this was a perfect world this would be my Christmas list:

  • 2 Sets of Modern Box Goalie Gear for each of the ELF Nations
  • 2 Goals for each of the ELF nations
  • Proper gear to outfit 2 full teams for each of the ELF Nations
  • Coaches will to travel on their own dime from North America to a country to show local players the game.
  • Proper facilities at least one box in each countries capital that could be used.

I would also accept an endless supply of financial resources to spend on player / coach / and referee development.

Now that would be nice!

But, what do I really think it will take? Exposure and Enthusiasm!

People in Europe love the game of lacrosse (not saying they’re the only ones) but, for the most part Europeans pick up the game later in life than their North American counterparts. This means they are less likely to burn out from the sport in their mid twenties.

It’s this enthusiasm, in combination with being exposed to more and more box lacrosse (not just field), that I find more people pick up this brand of lacrosse the more and more people get into it seriously. Kind of like kid in a candy shop conceptually… I am sure Jamie Plunkett, BJ Potter, Jan Barak, Alan Keeley, Jamie Tasko, and others can all agree that box lacrosse is a special brand of lacrosse and it is a very easy game to promote.

What are some of the up and coming European box communities? we know Radotin (in the Czech Republic) is strong, but is there a “next” Radotin in your mind?

Right now lots of good things are happening in Germany. There are two tournaments in Lax in the Box and Munich’s Box Tourney in combination with Czech International Jamie Plunkett and the start up Deustchland Alder program and so on. Some big noise is coming out of Germany right now and hope that spreads.

prague box lacrosse crosscheck

The 2012 AHM.

However, there are lots of countries already reaching out… Poland, Belgium, England, Scotland, Finland, Austria, Slovakia, the list goes on… But, if I had to pick the next Radotin.. Right now I’d say Dresden. In a years time??? Who knows.. But, between you and me, there is only one Radotin, and it is a special place for all of us!

How will the field and box groups be working together more?

The biggest draw at the moment in Europe is Field lacrosse but, I think for most people, it’s actually easier to move indoors to develop the game. You need less numbers for box lacrosse and teams that are struggling for numbers may look to box lacrosse to survive and thrive. While that happens, field programs will begin to reap the rewards of increased skill development. Tighter spaces, more passing, precision shooting, etc. will only help, and boost that caliber of our players, especially at the international level.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Two things really…

1) I am hosting, in conjunction with the organizers of the 20th Anniversary of the Ales Hrebesky Memorial, a Box Lacrosse Forum in the VIP room of the LCC Radotin clubhouse on Thursday April, 25th at 8pm. This will be the biggest celebration of Box Lacrosse to date anywhere out side of North America and I can think of a better place than in Radotin to start.

I envisage that the forum will take 60-75 minutes to discuss a number of items and then to host an open forum for which you; ELF Indoor Lacrosse Enthusiasts can provide input and insight into this fantastic sport.

We will be looking to address the following topics:

  • Introduction by Sean Gibson (ELF)
  • Role of ELF Indoor Lacrosse Coordinator, by Sean Gibson (ELF) [10 Minutes]
  • Presentation from the 2013 European Lacrosse League, by Jan Barak / Ondrej Mika (ELL) [10 Minutes]
  • Presentation of a case study: German Box Lacrosse and the Dresden Vision, by Jamie Plunkett (Deutschland Indoor Lacrosse) [10 Minutes]
  • Unique way of Fundraising for Lacrosse – Patrick Dougherty (Turkey Lacrosse) [10 Minutes]
  • Open Forum Chaired by Sean Gibson (ELF) [20-30 Minutes]

2) If anyone is interested in helping out with box lacrosse in Europe , they should join our group on Facebook! There, they can learn more about opportunities to help out.

Thanks for the time, information, and passion, Sean! Keep up the great work, and we’ll see you in Radotin for the Box Lacrosse Forum!

Israel Team for AHM

Israel is sending a team to participate in the 20th Annual Aleš Hřebeský Memorial Tournament, which will be held on April 24-27, 2013, near Prague, in the Czech Republic; but the Israeli team is still short a few players. The squad is opening their roster to the worldwide lacrosse community — Jewish or not, it does not matter — to fill a full squad as they build box lacrosse experience for their Israel-based players in preparation for the 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships.

This is a great opportunity to play in the biggest and most prestigious box lacrosse tournament in Europe, while contributing to the worldwide development of box lacrosse. Interested players should contact Scott Neiss at scott@lacrosse.co.il with a quick lacrosse bio.

Lax In The Box – Dresden

If you’re heading over the AHM, why not stay in Europe for another week and play in Lax in the Box in Dresden, Germany? Check out Dresden’s website for more info, and how you can get on to a team. Reach out to Simon Krause for more information!

Deutschland Adler To North America

The Deutschland Adler Lacrosse Club is organizing a trip to the USA and Canada in preparation for the next World Indoor Lacrosse Championships. We are looking for more competitive teams to play against. Teams must be able to secure a proper indoor facility and/or a club for us to play against. Discussions with several teams are underway, but we are looking to secure a couple more. If you are interested in hosting, please contact us at info@deutschlandadler.com.

Our time frame is very limited. Due to the scheduled school breaks in Germany, we are looking at beginning our 10-14 day journey at the end of February 2014, and it will go through early March.

deutschland_adler_lacrosse artjom merjasch

DALC and LAS. Friends for life.

We will also be using this opportunity as a tryout for North Americans who may be interested in playing for the Adler in Buffalo. For those players who are eligible  please contact Jamie Plunkett at info@deutschlandadler.com.

Eligibility Criteria: German passport, have parents or grandparents born in Germany, or you have resided in Germany for a total of two years over a five year period.

For more information and to stay up date with Adler events please visit www.deutschlandadler.com

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