Over the Summer in New York City there are a lot of lacrosse leagues and tournaments. You’ll even see kids on handball courts playing wall ball or out on basketball courts having a catch with a friend. But it’s pretty rare that you’ll see a pick up lacrosse game in the City, and it’s even rarer over the Summer. Field space is just too limited (permits need to be filed months back as well) and the cost can be prohibitive.
I was going to organize some casual pick-up lacrosse shooting clinics on an asphalt yard in Brooklyn, but the problem is that Brooklyn isn’t central enough relative to the rest of the City, like Manhattan is, and the kids from the Bronx, areas in Queens and upper Manhattan would have a hard time getting there. And that’s where Mat Levine and Citylax really stepped in to help. But the help didn’t end there!
Not only did Mat and Citylax arrange for us to get field space for the entire month of July (60 yd turf field on the roof of a building on the Upper West Side!!!), but he also dropped off some reversible Citylax pinnies, a bucket of balls, and a goal. And he did all of this within 2 days of being Cc’d on an email regarding the possible Brooklyn shooting clinics.
Grant Hewit, Princeton grad, Citylax volunteer, owner of Streaker Sports, and all around great guy, really stepped up too and helped me organize the pick up games by getting more players and showing up himself! And when there weren’t quite enough guys to run full field, he strapped on the pads and played. And here I was thinking I was the only old guy crazy enough to play against recent high school grads!
This first week was pretty loose, and since we didn’t have keepers, we played that you had to hit pipe AND have the ball go in for it to count as a goal. Pipe and in. It’s like calling your shot every time. Needless to say a lot of corners were pinged, but not that many goals were actually scored! I think the final score was 3-2 after 45 minutes of play. The action was good, it was a ton of fun to get out and ball, and the location was simply unreal.
Next week we’ll be doing an hour of stick drills, shooting/dodging, and one on one work, and then we’ll get back to playing up and down 5 on 5 City Lacrosse. Everyone HAS to run, which is good for a little cardio, but it also allows the guys who really want to push themselves to get up and down. For kids trying to play on college teams next year (and there are a few!), this exposure to highly creative lacrosse is invaluable. And the opportunity to play some free lax in NYC should never be passed up!
Grow The Game!