The Guardian National Championship is a brand new “championship style” goalie combine, and it is the brain child of Ginny Capicchioni. The idea behind the combine is that “the best of the best, both domestically and internationally, are invited to compete against each other for the chance to be crowned the Guardian of their age group“.
The list of people involved is pretty darn impressive, and with the rise in specialty face off training, I wasn’t surprised to see something new for goalies pop up as well. But this isn’t about your typical camp or clinic set up, and I was intrigued by the idea enough that I had to learn more.
I spoke with Ginny quickly about the Guardian National Championship, and she answered some questions about the combine style event:
This sounds very interesting and I want to hear more. How will the goalies be assessed? What are some of the drills and scenarios that will be used to determine who is the best?
The goalies will be assessed through a total of 15-20 stations. The stations will include combine testing specific to goalies, skill testing (which will be saving elements, throwing elements, and ball handling elements), reaction testing, and other stations of a scientific nature. There will be a total number of maximum points able to be achieved for each station. The totality of all of the stations, and their points, will determine the final placement of the goalie, as well as if they advance to the championship round.
How will the age groups get broken down?
The domestic groupings will be based on graduation years. The international groupings will be based on comparable graduation years, or approximate age. The graduation years used will be rising, or “to be” freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
Who are the shooters and testers going to be?
The shooters will be current and former NCAA players. There will be guest appearances from professional players in the championship rounds.
Is this combine for field lacrosse, box, or both?
The Guardian National Championship will start in lacrosse, and will then spread to other source sports with goaltenders. The patent, which is pending, covers a total of 7 sports with goaltenders.
Wow. Basically, Ginny and Co. are trying to develop a metric to measure goalies in sports, and not just lacrosse. They are starting with the sport they know, and moving on from there in the future. It’s an intriguing idea to say the least! From what I can tell from talking to others, the combine will focus on field right away, and could move to the box lacrosse goalies next year. The best thing is that moving to box lacrosse next might be the easiest move. If the Guardian National Championship does move to box as their next goalie sport, they will be well positioned to do that because of Ginny’s experience in that version of the game.
I think big, world-wide combines and exhibitions would be really good for the sport. Not only could it expose new people to the game, but more importantly, it could help spread valuable knowledge to new people within the sport. If the Guardian National Championship can truly come up with measurements of what makes a great goalie, it might get easier to train to be a great goalie. Knowledge is power, right?
Right now, the Guardian National Championship has a ways to go until it’s a reality, but I really like the concept. If it works, and grows, it could become a strong rallying point for everyone who is crazy enough to stand in front of a net! Next up is the Shooters’ Academy, right? Wait, I’d actually like to see that too.