When I moved to New York City, there really wasn’t that much lax going on in the Big Apple for guys who were in or out of college. Since I didn’t want to travel every weekend to play in the Spring and pay heavy team dues (like in the American Lacrosse League), and I didn’t want to travel out to LI or Westchester to play in established leagues, I figured my remaining lacrosse time would be limited to Summer tournaments and leagues, and that would just have to suffice.
Then ULax came along and changed my perspective on things. And that’s why I’m writing this post… because I just know there are people out there reading who feel the same way I did. They didn’t get to play as much lax as they would have liked this Spring, and want to do something to change that. Well, here’s the chance to make a change!
ULax is a company that helps people run lacrosse leagues wherever they may be. Each league has its own commissioners, and they run the show for each location. But the big benefit is that ULax helps them with everything else from a website with stats and photos to insurance and advice. The commissioners get paid, so it’s worth their time to come and run the show every weekend (and enter stats and upload photos!), but by centralizing the system, economies of scale are reached, and costs are kept down. It’s kind of like GroupOn in that sense!
My personal experience with ULax has now been going on for over 4 years. The first season we played was on the most uneven piece of grass ever up at Inwood’s Gaelic Park, and since then we’re played in at least 6 different locations. I’ve played in at least 9 or 10 ULax seasons, all here in NYC, and this past winter, I even acted as a league commissioner for the FIRST EVER ULax box lacrosse league. It was very easy to work with the ULax guys, Neema Kassaii in particular, and they made the process very easy for me. Another added bonus is that I got see (and know about!) a lot more turf fields in NYC… and that is always a bonus in a city of 8 Million people.
So if you’re one of those people out there that isn’t getting enough lacrosse in their lives, and you think that there is enough interest for a lax league in YOUR neck of the woods, then reach out to ULax, and let them help you get it started. In the end, you’ll make some money, provide an opportunity for affordable lacrosse and help Grow the Game. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
We tried to keep the focus in our leagues on people having fun. Big hits are highly discouraged as there is a mix of talent levels, and ages, out on the field, and almost everyone has to go back to work on Monday. The games can still be intense, and the level of play always picks up for the playoffs. We’ve had kids who just started playing match up with former MLL players, and the important thing has been that everyone has found a way to get something out of it and enjoy themselves. For a contact sport like lacrosse, lack of “tough guys” in the league has been refreshing. From my experience, they tend to wear out their welcome and weed themselves out.
The other great thing about the league is that if you’re feeling fresh, and want to get a couple more games in, you can often find a team that is a bit light on players, and more often that not, they’re happy to have you run with them. Some seasons I have played every week and then some of those weekends I’ve gotten in 3-4 games… last fall I probably got in 15-16 games of lax, and all for $125!
The league isn’t perfect, but what is? The facts are that we don’t always play on the BEST fields, or have the BEST jerseys, but that is really not the point. We play on good fields and we have colored team jerseys, and it’s cheap, fun, well-run and I keep coming back for more. There’s no pressure, there’s no nonsense, and just a whole lot of lax. In NYC at least, ULax is a dream come true.