Video: John Tavares Plays Box Lacrosse – 1988

John Tavares Buffalo Bandits NLL box lacrosse lax
John Tavares - old man lax - still ripping it up!

I found this video of box lacrosse from 1988 via Teddy Jenner, who found it via Garrett Billings. It features the Mississauga Tomahawks playing against the Etobicoke Eclipse in their final season before folding in OLA Jr A lacrosse. John Taveres played for Mississauga, where he took home Rookie of the Year honors in the OLA in 1988.

Just to put this in perspective for you, I was 8 years old in 1988. John Taveres was playing Jr A ball. I now consider myself an old, mostly retired, broken man. Taveres still rips it up in the NLL. That is some of the craziest longevity in pro sports I’ve ever seen. Simply unreal.

I love the wooden sticks that everyone but one goalie seems to be using. I love the short shorts, and lightly padded goalies. I find it interesting how slow the game looks when compared to the modern game. I find it SHOCKING that some of the guys are wearing half masks (just the plastic hockey eye visor), and not a full cage.

Those were the days! My, how things have changed:

About the author

Connor Wilson

Connor is the Publisher of He lives in Brooklyn with his better half, continues to play and coach both box and field lacrosse in NYC as much as possible, and covers the great game that is lacrosse full-time. He spends his spare time stringing sticks and watching Futurama.


  • Great find! That was fun to watch. As different as the gear and the shorts were, the basics and fundamentals of the game actually haven’t changed that much.

  • To put this into further “so old” perspective, 1988 was Gary and Paul Gait’s second year at Syracuse, where they were pulling off the never-before-seen-in-NCAA-competition behind the back pass. That same year they figured out how to beat Penn’s zone defense which didn’t defend behind the goal – the “Air Gait.”

    So the same year that this is going on, people are first seeing behind the back passes and scoring opportunities from behind the goal. That old.

  • Seems more like hockey then modern day box. If you just listen to the audio without the video you would think you’re listening to an NHL broadcast

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