The biggest limitation is the amount of programs to play here in the USA – there’s nothing that can replace that competitive nature of southern Ontario but our boys hop on planes and find good competition here in the USA and we do it 365 days a year – our boys don’t stop.
Lewis and the Jr Stealth will eventually be the team with the top players because of their proximity to Canada. When they hosts camps they get a ton a Canadians attending which just like the NLL push the pace and intensity of gameplay. We fly up there in both Jan and Feb to play their guys and of course I’ll pad my roster with a few team BC players to help settle our play.
If you remove the limitations of the game (facility,rules), bring in great coaching and develop the competitive spirit of Box then we’ll be able to produce some real talent here in the USA.
The proof is in our Midget team – we’re not on survival mode any more when we hit Canada. We play to win. Our boys have played New West, Mimico, Kitchener, Peterborough, Whitby, Brampton, plus all the teams in Alberta. We know how to work off ball, ‘sticky fingers’ to defend picks, we even know how to find the exposed hips when setting picks.
Since we’ve returned from our summer tour in Canada we haven’t stopped playing – that helps us out – helps close this gap.
I also send a few kids from my program up to Canada each summer to play Jr B and MSL and am sending a few more to BC for Jr B this summer. They come back and help push the play here.
Will our boys beat team Ontario Bantams soon? No….but will we produce some good players who you’ll have good college careers and suit up with the Stealth one day – absolutely. Count on that.]]>
However, this organization of teaching fundamentals and maintaining basic skills from the mite levels has to start somewhere.]]>
I totally agree, hacks totally off-ball are brutal. But, eliminating off ball checking all together takes away from the physicality and ‘toughness’ of the sport. Not only on the defensive end, but on the offensive end as well. I nice stiff checked-pick to open yourself up is a thing of beauty. So if you allow the offensive guy to check, let the defensive guy check as well.
Obviously nothing on the back and no hacking. But by all means when an offensive player has the ball, check/slash away to get that ball. All common sense really.]]>
Now my main idea is that twenty one year olds from Toronto/Vancouver have already been playing GOOD/COMPETITIVE/STRUCTURED lacrosse for potentially seventeen years. How could these startup leagues possibly produce a player and make up for that seventeen years of quality development? They can’t.]]>
The one limitation that is restricting the benefits of box lacrosse in the US are rules, and insurance restrictions (contact along the boards and cross checking). One thing that sets Canadians apart from their american counterparts is the ability to get a shot or pass off with one or possibly two players draped all over them and cross checking them into the ground. And that is when you have the ball. The ability to get open and effectively use the “two man game” while your opponent is heavily cross checking you is a skill that is developed over a life time. Off ball cross checking is what makes Canadian players, well, Canadian. We have the uncanny ability to get open while being checked as if we had the ball. Remove that from the game, and you are removing the game set that develops a particular skill to create your own time and space. Trust me getting open in box is 100% easier to do when someone isn’t cross checking the hell out of you. My first shift in the WLA was a swift cross check to the jaw from Ryan Guze while the ball was still in our defensive end. Needless to say I moved around after that.
Box lacrosse in the US is great. But without off-ball cross checking your just playing lacrosse in an aquarium.]]>