Post by: By Fentress Boyse
Heading off to Germany to work for a year between high school and college, I thought lacrosse would have to go on hold for a while. What were the chances I would find a lacrosse team in Germany? Slim to none I thought. Who would want to pick up a lax stick in the land of soccer and Sebastian Schweinsteiger? Probably nobody.
Who would have known, but it turns out I was pretty wrong.
Germany boasts 38 lacrosse teams - including a good one in my city of Dusseldorf. These teams are divided into four regional leagues. They play fall ball and have wild box tournaments in the winter. Go to Goettingen for the La Box tournament and tell me how you liked it. When the real season starts in the spring, each team plays almost every weekend. The winners in the different regions make it to the playoffs where the German Champion is determined. Last year Hamburg won for both men and women.
Did you know Germany has fielded a National team since 1994? I didn’t. They won the European Championships in 2001, and were runners up ‘04 and ‘08. Through a set of coincidences, I was part of the U-19 team that went to the World Games this past summer. We finished 6th, with 6 wins and only two losses. The U-19 German team had never won a game in an international tournament before. I call that serious improvement!
I don’t need to tell you Lax in Germany is on the upswing . Go see for yourself. In a nation that’s stubborn to change, its truly impressive what has been accomplished there. But before you rush over there, I’ll leave you with a few hints.
1. Germans think florescent Adidas soccer cleats are stylish - pick another battle.
2. Over there, 90% of lacrosse is not in the flow.
3. In Germany, a beer after the game is almost as important as the game itself.