The Singha Battles in Bangkok is a one day, FIL-sanctioned lacrosse tournament in Thailand, and it is all going down on October 20th at SCG Stadium, which is part of the breathtaking IMPACT sports, business center, and meeting facility.
Events like the Singha Battles in Bangkok represent the future of lacrosse internationally, and I couldn’t be more excited to see how this all turns out! So why does the SBIB represent the future of international lacrosse? Let me count the ways!
- International friendly matches provide a great opportunity to spread the game in newer places. The US and Canada can both look to collegiate lacrosse (for field), and their pro leagues (for box and field), to provide a leading edge in lacrosse growth and recognition. However, other countries and regions across the world do not have this same luxury. Building pride in a national program through direct exposure is going to do so more than showing games on TV.
- Playing international games on off years keeps people interested. The FIL World Championships are played every four years, and for a long time, that was kind of it when it came to international games. Building up interest every four years can be a huge challenge, but by creating more games in off years, interest levels from both players and fans should only increase over time.
- National teams mean so much more than college lacrosse being played 10,000 miles away. I’ll be blunt here: Why would anyone from Thailand, Singapore or Hong Kong really care about US college lacrosse? Unless they know someone on the team, or went to the school, the chances are slim that they will really care. However, if there is a national program to cheer, or play, for, it quickly becomes a different story. That is something people can get behind!
- Events like the Battles in Bangkok help to create a strong regional lacrosse community. There is nothing quite like a face to face interaction. Meeting in person almost always fosters opportunity and understanding, and if programs are exposed to one another more often, the chances to build up regional success, along with regional partnerships, increase drastically. This is extremely good for the game.
- Simply put, events like the SBIB are fun! The Thailand Lacrosse Association has done a great job of promoting the game both in Thailand, and in surrounding Asian nations. Players from all over can come together and play in games that mean something, where pride is on the line, and they get to do so in top notch facilities, and in front of a small but growing group of super dedicated fans. If groups like the TLA want to continue with their meteoric rise, I can’t think of a better way to get it done.
Plus, they lure people in with amazing Enigma Apparel gear, like the shirt above, and then blow them away with a great event!
- It’s great for the FIL, and for international competition overall. Every four years the FIL would have to spread the word, and get national teams on board. It was hard to keep momentum, and I remember hearing little to nothing about international lacrosse in off FIL years. However, now we have events like the Battles in Bangkok, the Bowhunter Cup and the Duel in Denver, and international lacrosse is being pushed to the forefront more often. For future FIL events this is VERY good news!
- It shows that across the world deeply care about lacrosse. This last point might be the most important, AND the most impressive. I firmly doubt that the Battles in Bangkok are going to turn a profit, and honestly, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t even a part of the equation. Right now, the newer Asian programs are still trying to build their programs up, and this means they must make investments. The fact that three national teams are all coming together, two years before the FIL World Championships to play international lacrosse tells me people care… a LOT! And when it comes to Growing The Game, that is definitely the most important thing.
Nations the world over are trying to build up their national programs, and while the US, Canada and the Iroquois are still on another level, countries like Thailand, Germany, the Czech Republic and Uganda are all making huge strides in an attempt to catch up and get on more even footing. By creating an international event like the Battles in Bangkok, we are confident that Thailand Lacrosse will continue to improve, and lead the way, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next!
Good luck to all the teams competing this weekend. The entire LAS crew is thrilled to see such growth and leadership in the region, and when 2014 rolls around, we will definitely be in Denver to soak it all in.
Grow The Game, and keep up the great work!!!!