Over the past few years lacrosse has grown from being played in just a few countries in Europe to now having teams and leagues in 24 countries, with others looking to start. Lacrosse is no longer just "the fastest game on two feet", it is also considered one of the fastest growing sports in the world.
The European Lacrosse Federation (ELF) is the organisational body for lacrosse played in Europe including women's and men's lacrosse.
by Brian Gorodetsky
The International School of Belgrade made history this year by hosting the first youth lacrosse tournament in the Balkans. Teams from Israel, Switzerland and Bulgaria competed against the Dragons, who were composed of 10 international students and 12 Serbian athletes. The facilities and atmosphere were fantastic and it was great to see youth becoming more involved in growing our sport. The experienced Swiss U19 national team were undefeated in the event and demonstrated impressive stick skills and team play. Most of the Swiss already play in their men’s league and were collected by their coach Scott Hylen to prepare for the world U19 championships.Read more...
Hillcroft hosted a coaching clinic this weekend for the Norwegian university team The Grimstad Grizzlies (Men’s) and Cubs (Women’s). 29 players flew over from Norway on Thursday night before taking the night to get to know their way around the bars of central London. Grimstad had packed great weather, too as the whole camp saw outstanding conditions. An unplanned stop at Northfields Tube station resulted in the first team picture (left).
The mens’ coaches were Brian Potter (former Colorado Mammoth and Anaheim Storm player and current head coach of the Spanish national team) and Reading LDO Colin Shaw. The women’s practices were run by Sam Wisbey (Welwyn Warriros), Hazel Wisbey (Hitchin LC) and Henning Schmidt (Hillcroft LC). At all practices, about 50 players worked on their game.
There was surprising a lot of lacrosse happening around Europe at the peak of winter this year. Poland hosted invitational matches with Israel and Latvia for national team tune-ups, a winter box lacrosse tournament was held in Prague, and Budapest held its annual New Year’s Cup. My congratulations goes out to all the organizers for finding venues to host lacrosse events in winter. Andreas Rossband and I attended the event in Budapest and were really impressed to see how much lacrosse is growing in Central Europe.
This year marked the fourth anniversary of the New Year’s Cup in Budapest and was by far the greatest turn out they ever had. A total of nine men’s teams and two women’s teams from Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and the Balkan region battled it out to start 2014 with a championship win. The Trickster’s from Slovakia put on an outstanding show of endurance as they managed to win the tournament with a roster of only 12 players! Most of their team is composed of national team members and they definitely used the tournament for conditioning practice. The other team in the final was a mixed team from Austria that also had a lot of national team players and the audience was treated to a high quality pre-Denver game.
Lacrosse is growing rapidly in Poland, with much of the growth being driven by the links the sport has set up with ice hockey. With the Poles following a model well established in Canada, Brian Gorodetsky, the European Lacrosse Federation's VP Men, wonders if this model can be rolled out elsewhere in Europe.
There is no doubt that the skills and equipment in both sports are transferable. In fact, many box lacrosse teams in Canada actively promote the relationships between hockey and lacrosse for registration: http://www.shuswapminorlacrosse.com/hockey-vs-lacrosse.
So why not work closely with your local ice hockey federation to help get more athletes involved? This strategy is exactly what the Polish Lacrosse Federation is about to do and I hope we sill see their program accelerate even faster than it already has since 2010.
The weekend of the 29th and 30th the Machelen Minotaurs hosted their first lacrosse camp. 19 players were eager to learn from coaches Brian Potter and Tim Fleischer. Two days of lacrosse where split up in 4 practices of 2 hours.
The first day they learned basic skills within the details. In the first two hours of the camp coach Tim Fleischer gave us a good active warm-up and dynamic stretch. This warm-up was followed by some good passing drills. Our first practice ended with some groundbreaking agility and power exercises, this way we knew how to get ready for next lacrosse season.
ELF Board welcomes newly elected men's and women's VP - Brian Gorodetsky based in Serbia and Sara Benbow based in England, were elected at last Saturdays ELF AGM in Berlin, to take over the mens and womens VP position in the ELF Board.
Hon Secretary Steph Migchelsen and Hon Treasurer Kurt Rothleitner were re-elected.