2013 marked my fourth straight year at the Mardi Gras Lacrosse Tournament in New Orleans, and even since I got back on Sunday night, I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what makes this tournament so special, and why it keeps drawing me back in year after year. (Check out highlights here.)
I’ve come to realize it’s not the weather, as the MGLT can be inconsistent there, and I’ve experienced cold, hot, dry, wet, and everything in between. It’s not the competition either, as the MGLT offers good, fun lacrosse, but not always of a world class caliber. I was starting to think that the MGLT is so great because of the location, but then I realized that many cities have beautiful parks and a festive night life, so maybe it’s not that either.
So what is it about the Mardi Gras Lacrosse Tournament that makes it so special?
It’s the people. The men and women of the New Orleans Lacrosse Club (they put on the event) are, quite simply, an incredible bunch. They do an impossible amount of work each year to set the tourney up, and have overcome huge obstacles in the past (like Hurricanes), even moving the tourney to Metarie, by the airport, for a couple of years, when City Park was unavailable.
They run a tight ship, and get lots of people involved, and the people who organize the event are never afraid to get their hands dirty, or hear out an inspired idea for improvement. When teams have schedule conflicts, or need players, the NOLC makes it happen. Need a cab? Find someone in yellow and they will help you out. Forget your jacket? They’ll give you one of their extras from their car. They’re kind of like the Vanilla Ice of lacrosse tournaments: If there was a problem, Yo, they’ll solve it.
After this epiphany, I began to think about the other tournaments that I truly love experiencing, and I realized that the exact same scenario plays out in those places as well.
Take the Aleš Hrebesky Memorial for example… 2013 will the be the 20th year of the tournament, and this one is run by LCC Radotin in much the same manner. The people involved in that club go above and beyond, and always try to make the tourney successful for everyone.
Sure, the playing surface in Radotin is amazing, and the atmosphere at the club during the tourney is electric. Prague is nearby, and it’s an amazing city, but if there is one reason as to why the AHM is the best tournament in Europe it is, again, only because of the people involved.
I’m not pointing any negative fingers at any other tournaments out there, but I am pointing a big foam finger at New Orleans and Prague, and saluting the people behind both of them. Amazing tournaments happen because of amazing people. Take note.
For more info on the 20th anniversary Aleš Hrebesky Memorial, see below:
Jubilee 20th box-lacrosse Aleš Hřebeský Memorial will be held in Radotín on April 24th–27th and it will be truly exceptional event. The organizers responded to big interest from the teams and decided to increase the number of participants from the traditional 16 to an expanded 24. The teams from 13 countries will meet in Radotín.
The number of teams brings higher demands for the orginisation. A second arena is necessary and 14 games will be played in nearby Černošice (about 6 km from Radotín). Also accommodation capacity in Radotín reached its limits and transportation needs will test the organizers. Anyway we believe that the organizers from LCC Radotín will manage it all and the tournament well known for its great spirit will be enjoyable both for players and spectators again… for more, head on over to Aleš Hrebesky Memorial website!