Editor’s Note: Patrick Dougherty of Turkey Lacrosse is back in LAS with a final preview of the rapidly upcoming TLO 2013!
The Turkey Lacrosse Open 2013 (TLO13) is almost upon us, and to get ready the organizing crew have been working our little tails off. This is our first major lacrosse tournament in Turkey’s history. We held a small tournament in June 2012 with national teams from Bulgaria, Israel and of course, Turkey all involved, but this year we stepped it up a notch, and in many different ways.
First off, we decided to leave Istanbul and relocate the tournament to a resort town called Alanya, which is situated directly on the Mediterranean Sea on the southern coast of Turkey. The city of Alanya has been nothing short of great with support and excitement for our event. I will explain later on what I mean by this more specifically, but for now, know that Alanya is wonderful!
Now, aside from the location change, we also wanted to have a tournament that was unique in many ways. Having a tournament on the Mediterranean Sea is obviously one unique trait, and to build on that, we decided to have all tournament housing at a 5-star all-inclusive resort, meaning all you can eat and all you can drink (alcoholic or non) and rooms with balconies and views of the Sea for 55Euros (approx.72usd) per night per person. As far as we know, this is the first tournament in lacrosse history to host all the guests at an All-Inclusive resort, not to mention a 5 star resort to boot.
We decided on this all-inclusive scheme because while we are lax players, we also want to have some fun, and the thing we hate is paying about 20Euros or more a night in some garbage hotel or hostel, and then paying for food and drinks on top of that. If you add up your room and other food and drink costs, you would spend about the same per day as we are offering if not more. So, not only does the move save everyone money but you also get to stay in a 5 star resort on the Sea and not have to worry about a thing. There is no more “I spent too much money last night at the club so I only have 10 Euros left and I need to eat and there are 2 days left in the tourney.” Problem solved… all-inclusive!
We also believe we are the first tournament in lacrosse history to team up with Star Alliance and offered 10-20% discounts on airfare to all TLO13 guests. We do not know of any other lacrosse tournament doing such a thing, not even the FIL World Games for any age or gender. Hopefully this concept can work for the FIL too, as I believe they could use this to make it more affordable for national teams to attend.
We are also the first tourney to use the FIL unified field markings, which the Olympics will require, so that both the men and women games can be played on the same field. This will be interesting to see how this element of the game will function in reality and we are pleased to have some FIL Directors coming to our event to watch how it pans out.
The weeklong event begins September 23rd and runs until September 28 with clinics for the youth, referees/umpires, players and coaching from 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00-16:00 on the 23rd and 24th. We wanted this portion of the event to help increase the lacrosse IQ and knowledge of those coming and participating, as well as the many Turkish players in attendance. The city of Alanya will be emailing all their youth athletes to come and learn the sport of lacrosse as well. This is yet another example of how awesome the city has been in truly wanting their youth to learn this new sport coming to town.
On the evening of September 23rd and 24th, from 19:00-22:00, is the TLO13 Beach Fun Lacrosse Tournament sponsored by Red Bull Turkey. This event will be in the heart of city center, located directly on the beach in Alanya’s harbor where all the bars, clubs, restaurants are concentrated. Red Bull Turkey is going above and beyond what we ever expected from them as a sponsor. They will have the Red Bull Wings team there handing out free Red Bull and also handing out fliers for our event that will be in both English and Turkish. They will set up their huge wigwam tent and have Red Bull umbrellas lining the beach stadium field along with their Red Bull truck pumping out live Dj music. That is not all Red Bull Turkey is doing for us.
Red Bull will also have one of their Motocross GP athletes doing a stunt and trick show each night of the beach lax and this will surely entice the locals and tourists to come check out this form of lacrosse, all while seeing some nifty motorcycle tricks and such. We believe that not only is the beach lacrosse a new aspect along with a main field lacrosse tournament but also, this will be the first time a lacrosse tournament will have a stunt and trick show thrown in the mix.
The main tournament begins on the morning of the 25th and ends at 21:30 on the 28th. We have a women’s side and a men’s side to the TLO13. Each team will play at both fields dedicated to the main event; Oba Stadium and Kestel Stadium and each bring its own flavour to the tournament. Oba Stadium is the home of the professional soccer club, Alanyaspor and is situated on the side of the mountain and overlooks the city of Alanya with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. This stadium is only a few years old and has a seating capacity of 15,000 and we will be also be playing night games there. Kestel Stadium is directly on the Mediterranean Sea and is only about a 5 minute walk from the resort. The views are spectacular here and the stadium seating sits directly above the sand so players only have to run about 10 feet and they are swimming in the beautiful crystal blue waters. All Fields have are being provided at no charge by the city of Alanya… I told you the City was amazing!!!
The women’s teams for this year’s edition of the Turkey Lacrosse Open 2013 are: Just Lax It (Germany), ArchLevel Lacrosse (Global), NTNUI (Norway) and the TLO13 Mix (Global). The men’s side are: Crescent Moon All Stars (Turkey), NorthStar Nation (MN, USA), DreadLax (England), Moscow LC (Russia), Just Lax It (Germany), NTNUI (Norway) and NUI Galway (Ireland).
Some teams backed out late and boy, are they going to miss one hell of a good time!
Throughout the entire week we have partnered with a club owner who owns a 3 story building in the harbor with 4 clubs and a restaurant in it. Each offering its own unique style and blend. He has given all TLO13 guests VIP status and 20% off drinks all week. Plus, on Thursday, September 26, the clubs will host the TLO13 party with special treats like Go-Go Dancers and many other surprises just for the TLO13 guests. We are truly excited to see what they have planned for us
The support locally, nationally, and internationally has been amazing. We have approximately 25 sponsor/partners for the Turkey Lacrosse Open 2013. Here is a list of our sponsors/partners:
Turkey Lacrosse Association- Organizing event
City of Alanya- fields, buses for travel between the resort to fields and back all week long, 10-15 11ft by 6ft billboards placed throughout the city, trophies handed out by Mayor and other government officials, contacting local and national media
Star Alliance- gave 10-20% off all flights for TLO13 guests
Reebok Lacrosse- donated 150 lacrosse heads for the youth clinics
Red Bull Turkey- sponsoring the TLO13 beach lacrosse Fun Tournament
Mengerler- giving a Mercedes Van and driver for TLO staff for entire event
Diamond Hill Resort- gave discounts on all rooms for TLO13 guests, will have Turkey Lacrosse Open 2013 written in lights on the side of their resort that turns into a huge screen all week.
Funds4Sport- Financial support
Robin Hood Club, Miami Club , Latino Club, R&B Club, Kervan Restaurant- giving VIP status to all TLO13 guests and having a TLO13 special edition night for all guests, paying for all TLO13 participation t-shirts that will be given to each TLO13 player
ALTSO (Alanya Chamber of Commerce and Industry) – financial support
Adrenaline Lacrosse- gave items for TLO13 raffle
ArchLevel Lacrosse- gave items for TLO13 raffle and media coverage
ALTID- financial support
NorthStar Lacrosse Co. – giving items for raffle and assistance with TLO13 website
SKAL- financial support
ACK Turizm- assistance with all travel
Sport NGIN- gave free hosting and design of TLO13 website
LimeGreen Lacrosse- gave lime green and black referee/umpire shirts for the Beach Lacrosse tournament and to wear during the men’s and women’s All Star games and championship games
HeadWrapz- gave item for TLO13 raffle
Lacrosse All Stars- gave media coverage and items for the TLO13 raffle
Lacrosse Playground- gave media coverage
UncommonFit- gave items for TLO13 raffle
MeshWizard- gave items for TLO13 raffle and items for women’s MVP and men’s MVP
Sorros Consulting- Financial support
We are extremely lucky and grateful to have such support from all our sponsors and partners.
The TLO13 closing party is also going to be special. The city of Alanya is hosting this at the national landmark, the Red Tower, which is part of Alanya Castle. This will be open just for the TLO13 guests and it is planned by the city to have fireworks to end the night over the harbor into the Mediterranean Sea. How cool is that?
Our goal for the Turkey Lacrosse Open is to step up how tournaments in Europe are run. We feel that adding different elements to the event brings a lot more added value, and allows everyone to have an even greater time and appeal to the masses more.
We hope this will be a continuing trend to incorporate non-traditional aspects to lacrosse tournaments. Don’t worry that you couldn’t make it to this year’s edition, as this event will be held annually in city of Alanya as they want to be known as the lacrosse city of Europe. Next year will be even bigger and better with more surprises already in the works. Our belief is to get the community involved as we feel this is truly the only way to make our sport known and grow in countries like Turkiye.