We are a little crazy for playing box lacrosse on an outdoor roller hockey rink in NYC during the winter. No one is arguing with that. However, the league is also a ton of fun and everyone who is playing has really enjoyed themselves. The weather has been great so far and the wind has really kept way down. Even when the walk to the rink is windy, once you get down to our location, the wind just dies. ULax box lacrosse is alive and well!
Will the snow and rain of a typical NYC winter magically stay away every weekend? No. I’m almost certain we’ll miss at least one week due to weather. We may miss more. So it isn’t perfect. But when we started this league we had no venue. Indoor space over the winter (during times when adults are actually free) in NYC is ridiculously expensive. But we weren’t about to give up just because we couldn’t find an indoor space. I knew that there are open air box lacrosse floors on Native American Reservations and while they usually play on them during the summer, I didn’t think there was any reason we couldn’t do it here, and over the winter.
I would guess that maybe 50 guys who would have played had the league been indoors, are not playing now. And honestly, it is their loss. We’re the pioneers of something new that has turned out really well. It’s the risk you run when you do something a little crazy, but it’s also the reward you get for pulling it off.
After 2 weeks, spirits and interest are still high. The action has been up and down with lots of transition but there are more and more picks being set in the midst of two-man games. Guys are learning to clear the crease, spread the floor and get the ball to space. The goalies are all adjusting very well and are learning how to minimize movement and focus on blocking the smaller goal. There were probably only 10-15 guys in the league who had ever played box in their lives at the beggining of the season. But the way I’m looking at it, we now have 60 guys with some box experience. And that right there is progress!
To see full stats, standings and lots more photos, check out the ULax NYC Box Lacrosse League page.
I’d like to thank everyone who had made this league a success from the players, organizers, our wonderful ref, Bob Bonniello (the all-time leading scorer at Maryland and Jack Turnbull winner in ’79), to the Manhattan Roller Hockey League, who has been a very welcoming, established presence at the rink we are using on 96th street and 1st ave. Thanks to the NYC Parks Dept. and the MRHL for approving our permit request, thanks to mother nature for the wonderful weather and thanks to the Creators for lacrosse, both field and box!