As the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship 2015 moves even closer, we ask each nation exactly how they Grow The Game on home soil. These interviews reveal how each of the WILC nations work to not only grow the strengths of their national team, but how they are working to grow lacrosse throughout their country.
The growth of Australia lacrosse is under the microscope first. We asked coach Bob Carter to shares his experiences with growing the game and the steps lacrosse in Australia needs to take to really make an impact.[mks_separator style=”solid” height=”2″]
LAS: How would you describe the lacrosse scene and the growth of the game in Australia?
Each of these cities have State League competitions for both men and women, which attract overseas players (the majority from the United States) who are hosted by local clubs to help strengthen their teams as well as develop junior lacrosse programs.
The majority of teams, both senior and junior, in lacrosse competition throughout Australia are club teams, with a few school and university teams that participate in club competition.
There are minor lacrosse competitions held in the affiliated States of New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania, these competitions include senior and junior representation.
What are some steps that those of us outside of Australia can take to better understand the culture?
As mentioned above, lacrosse in Australia in club based. Our field season commences in April and concludes in September. The games are played on Saturday or Sunday depending on the city and the gender.
In Melbourne the women’s competition is played on Sunday. Training for pre-season commences around February with sessions on Sunday mornings and Tuesday and Thursday nights while daylight savings is in place. During the home and away season teams train Tuesday and Thursday nights under lights, starting with juniors from 5:30 and seniors at 6:30.
Clubs are made up of the following teams: boys and girls U8, U11, U13, U15 & U17/U18. Girls’ playing numbers range from 5, in U8, to 16, in U17/U18. Senior men’s and women’s teams include either three or four divisions: State League, Div 1, Div 2 and Div 3. Playing numbers are restricted to 16 for SL and Div 1, and up to a maximum of 23 for the Div 2 or Div 3.
Indoor season commences November through late January. At this point in time, the competition comprises of 4 teams in SA, and 5 teams in Victoria. This past season, many of the senior games had been preceded by a U15 competition.
What steps are being taken to grow the game locally in Australia? Quick follow up, what are some of the long term goals for future growth?
The strategic plan for the ALA includes the growth and exposure of lacrosse in private & public schools and the expansion of university-based teams.
Long term goals for growth are to have school based teams and competitions as feeder groups into the club based system. The ALA and State bodies should also be exposing more juniors to the indoor game.
Are there any opportunities for foreign volunteers to get involved with the growth of the game in Australia? If so, where can one find more information?
Overseas volunteers are always encouraged to make contact with the ALA or State bodies. Clubs are keen to attract overseas players to come and play a season or two in Australia.
What are the steps Australia is taking to elevate the talent pool?
Australia has produced many great players and will continue to do so by the following:
- Introduce lacrosse into more schools so it will expose players to our great game
- Introduce indoor lacrosse into schools
- Have coaching clinics supervised by past and present Australian players
- Attract overseas players to assist with coaching junior teams, which will eventually elevate the talent pool.
Is there anything else you would like the worldwide lacrosse community to know about your team and your country?
The biggest hurdle for the Australian indoor team is the lack of training/playing venues in close proximity to the player base. Many times the squad has trained at inline skating facilities which are much smaller than the full size box.
The team selection camp in February and subsequent monthly camps have been held in Moe, Victoria, which is a two and a half hour drive from the Melbourne CBD.
The weekend schedule comprises of the interstate players competing in their club games before catching a Saturday night flight to Melbourne, and billeted overnight. They then have an early morning drive (6:00am) Sunday to Moe, followed by training and a game. After all of this, they drive back to Melbourne for a flight home to their respective states.
Australia is a great place to come and play lacrosse, see a beautiful part of the world, get plenty of game time, meet life time friends, and assist in the development of our great game.[mks_separator style=”solid” height=”2″]
Learn more about lacrosse in Australia by checking out all of the other great LaxAllStars.com content from the land down under.
- WILC 2015 Nation Preview: Australia
- Australia U19 Lacrosse On Long Island
- Hell Week For Australia U19 Lacrosse
- Australia Sharks make waves in Denver
If your interested in growing the game in Australia, visit the Australian Lacrosse Association website to find a list of all of the State bodies in Australia (Lacrosse SA, Lacrosse Victoria, Lacrosse WA, NSW Lacrosse, Lacrosse Queensland, Lacrosse Tasmania) and give them a like on Facebook!