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Danish lacrosse

Danish Lacrosse: History of Lacrosse in Denmark

Danish Lacrosse is back, progress is being made and Denmark is getting stronger. Learn about the history of lacrosse in Denmark and what’s next!

Danish Lacrosse was started by Kristian Gotsch in 2002. Gotsch, aka Golle, had seen an exhibition match while he was in Canada and thought that the game looked exciting. So when a knee injury ended his football (soccer) career, he decided he would start lacrosse in Denmark.

Golle invited all his friends to hang out, without telling them what he was planning. Needless to say, they were pretty surprised when he told them that they were going to start a lacrosse team together. Even though some of the guys were a bit skeptical at first, he managed to sell the idea, and lacrosse was born in Denmark. There was only one small problem; they had no gear.

Danish Lacrosse, A History of the Sport

Golle made a quick phone call to Peter Mundy from the European Lacrosse Federation, who put Golle in contact with a guy in the Czech Republic that had a some excess lacrosse sticks. Golle just had to convince Michael Petersen (Mormor) to give him a lift to Radotín in The Czech Republic (a few countries away) to get the gear. A couple of days later Denmark had its first lacrosse team, 10 old lacrosse sticks, 6 lacrosse balls, 1 helmet, and 1 homemade goal without a net.

Golle was a driving force at the time and quickly established a team of 20 young bucks. He also bought some more equipment out of his own pocket to meet the increasing demand. After half a year the Swedish club Sundbyberg came and played against Copenhagen. Sundbyberg took the honours 21 – 1 in the first game ever on Danish soil. To console the distraught Danes, Sundbyberg donated two nets to string up in the homemade goals, so now the Danish players wouldn’t need to chase the ball every time they scored and missed. Now they only had to chase it when they missed!

danish lacrosse

The year 2003 saw things become more official and the Danish Lacrosse Federation was founded. Denmark also sent a team to its first international tournament – the European Lacrosse Federation newcomers tournament – where they came in 2nd. The next year a national team participated in the European Championships finishing 10th of 12 teams, two new Danish clubs were founded, and the first Danish Lacrosse League games were played.

2004 – 2009 saw great growth for Danish Lacrosse and the league expanded to 6 teams. New teams were formed outside of the capital city area in both Odense and Aarhus as well as a second team for Copenhagen Lacrosse Club. We even started our own annual international club tournament Copenhagen Lacrosse Cup.

Danish Lacrosse also helped to get lacrosse started in Norway by running an intro camp there. During the same time period we got a women’s club and national team happening and our men’s national team participated in the 2006 world games finishing 16th out of 21 teams. In the 2008 European Championships Danish Lacrosse finished 10th out of 18 teams.

norway_troll_lacrosse

Things were looking up, but in 2010 at the World Lacrosse Championships we finished a lackluster 26th out of 29 teams and the Danish Lacrosse decline began.

After the 2010 world games, many of the regular players hung up their boots, they had been through everything Danish Lacrosse had to offer and wanted to concentrate on family life. The mass exodus of experienced players, who had been holding Danish Lacrosse together, took its toll on the lacrosse community in Denmark and the league all but fell apart in the subsequent years.

Denmark didn’t send a team to the 2012 European Championships and Danish Lacrosse hit an all time low in 2013 with women’s lacrosse totally dying off and only 2 men’s teams (20 people) participating in the Danish Lacrosse League – Copenhagen and Aarhus, making a three hour drive just to play games.

At the end of 2013 season there was a discussion in the DLF committee about getting a national team together for the 2014 world games. It was decided that the time and effort would be better spent trying to grow the game in Denmark again before forming an international team. Odense ‘Ugly Ducks’ Lacrosse was re-established in 2014 when a young Danish-American student by the name of Ian Rummler moved from Maine, America to Odense, Denmark and got in contact with some of the local ice-hockey players.

The renewed energy the new club and people brought with them to the dwindling lacrosse spirit in Denmark was a great boost. In 2015 our international club tournament ‘Copenhagen Lacrosse Cup’ hosted 9 men’s teams and 5 women’s teams from around the world and was almost 5 times bigger than our own domestic league. We registered a team for the 2016 European Championships and enlisted the services of Nick Ravenhall – New Zealand’s 2014 world games captain and Norway’s 2012 European Championships head coach – to coach our national team and get us back on the international lacrosse map.

danish_lacrosse

We are steadily working towards our first international tournament in 6 years – the 2016 European Championships in Hungary – by holding monthly national squad trainings, getting fit, raising money, and harassing people on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

If you are interested in keeping an eye on us, then feel free to follow the links. Progress is being made, and Danish Lacrosse is back, and getting stronger.

P.S: we still have the homemade goal!

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