berlin germany BHC BLAX lacrosse lax german 3
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A Recent History Of German Lacrosse

Editor’s note: Please welcome Artjom Merjasch to the LAX Network!  Artjom met the LAS crew through the wonderful internet and we’ve kept in touch with the greatest invention since facebook, twitter.  Bookface and the Twittleverse, where magic is documented.  And so are good looking sandwiches and meals at Chipotle.  Now Mr. Merjasch is going to give you some idea of what German lacrosse is like outside of the National Team.  I love hearing about how the game is played in other countries.  Grow The Game!!

This (past) summer we had both Coach Steve Beville, from Cortland (NCAA Div 3), and his assistant coach Mike Abbott, of Virgina/Cortland fame, with us for a youth and adult camp. You can see the people involved in front of the Reichstag in Berlin enjoying the beautiful weather.

reichstag lacrosse germany lax
Reichstag for sure.

It was a huge step for us to get Coach Beville involved in the development of German lacrosse. He has already voiced interest in returning during the summer of 2012 and doing another camp/clinic.

Right now, in Germany, there are 4 conferences/leagues.  There is one for each region. So, there is the “Eastern League”, “Western League”, “Northern League” and “Southern League”. The two top teams from each league will qualify for the play-off tournament, where they play to determine the “Final Four”.  Two weeks after the play-off weekend, the semis take place with the championship game on Sunday.

berlin germany BHC BLAX lacrosse lax german
German lax. Looking good fellas!

Approx. 40 men’s teams compete in total, divided, but not quite evenly, between the 4 leagues/conferences.

In 2010 my team, Berliner HC finished as runners-up. It was heart breaking …

berlin face off germany lacrosse lax
facing off. get low. be quick.

BHC faces off against BLAX (Berliner Lacrosse Verein).

berlin germany BHC BLAX lacrosse lax german 2
strong dodge.

BLAX was one of the very first clubs in Germany. The founders of BHC lacrosse used to play for BLAX back in the day, but went their seperate ways over some internal quarrel.

This was the first game in almost 10 years we would win against the BLAX.

German Lacrosse BHC Berlin lax germany
Big hitters!

The kid with the orange kid spent a year abroad in New Jersey and played for the Cherokee High School, where he finished second in points. He certainly is legit.

berlin germany BHC BLAX lacrosse lax german 3
now just finish!

Nice wing dodge leading to a quality shot and a goal, if I remember correctly. Probably stick side low.

berlin germany BHC BLAX lacrosse lax german 4 box lacrosse boxla
so thirsty.

Boxla is in its infancy in Germany, really. We have a couple of guys crazy in love with the game who travel to the Czech Republic on a regular basis to play some proper box.

berlin germany BHC BLAX lacrosse lax german boxla box
all smiles. all box! awesome.

This picture was taken at the very first boxla tournament in Germany in a proper indoor hockey rink and all, with 4 German and 2 Czech teams competing.

One of the biggest challenges is piquing peoples’ interest. Many are put off by the high intensity and narrow confines of the game, some attribute their disinterest to the low availability of boxla equipment, whereas some others go even so far as to (more or less openly) oppose the game in their official capacity within the German Lacrosse Federation (Deutscher Lacrosse Verband).

We (that is pre-dominantly Jordan West-Pratt, who wrote for LAS this summer were trying to assemble a National Team for the 2012 boxla world’s in Prague, but had to withdraw from competition due to scheduling conflicts. The DLAXV voted against giving an FIL event precedence over the national play-offs.

A really, really disappointing decision ….

In our effort to grow German boxla and develop a national team programme, the Czechs invited us over to Prague for a little Three Nations Tournament, featuring the Czech National Teams (First and Second team), the English Developmental team and the German Developmental team.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t even find enough people to join us for this tournament, so we had to invite some players from the Czech city of Pilzen (yup, that is were Pilsner beer is from) to help us out…


Editor’s Note: I would always love to have a couple guys from Pilzen on my team, as long as they brought the refreshments.  Getting box going can be tough, and it certainly seems to be a low priority in Germany.  Personally, I think box opens the game to more people, teaches new skilss and can be played in cold climates with relative ease.  Why it doesn’t take off faster is always a bit of a mystery to me.

Sounds like Artjom is right in the thick of things and he’s only going to post more so get ready to learn about German lacrosse… from someone who really knows what they’re talking about:  a German!!