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One of the big calendar events for Primary kids is the National Pop tournament, where Primary (elementary) Schools from all over the nation (including Scotland and Wales)enter local and regional competitions in order to qualify for the National Final.

For the staff it’s a long day, usually early start, set up and take down, plus refereeing what is the most frantic paced game of Lacrosse you’ll ever see.

The game is played with the molded plastic stick and a soft ball is used. Teams are 5 a side (must have boys and girls) and the ball can only be carried for 4 seconds. No keepers and small 3 by 3 goals makes it high scoring and exciting.

This year was the 20th National Pop final and the winners were Hale Preparatory School from Cheshire.

On another note the New Zealand girls took on Scotland and lost 18 to nil, then the Scots took on Australia and lost 22 to nil.

Let’s hope the teams were experimental (unless your Australian of course, in which case watch out the worlds in Prague).

Part of the job in the South is attending some of the big games that come up every now and then, great gig.   It also gives the opportunity you network with a lot of people all at once. Plus the English Lacrosse Ass had it’s AGM just before the game, any excuse.

Cobham Lacrosse club are a new junior girls club out of West side of London, and they are part of a great sports facility based around the Rugby club, really nice facilities and excellent playing fields.

So it was a natural place to hold a warm up game for England and Australia, both in their last throws of preparation for the World Cup in Prague. Of course, it will be slightly more difficult for Australia to make any changes to personnel if they’ve got something wrong.

One thing Cobham managed is to attract a good sized crowd to the game, with 1100 plus tickets sold, a triumph in an area where Lacrosse isn’t that well known.

With sponsors and merchants all around the whole site looked great, the atmosphere fantastic and the weather sunny the beer “just” right, what more could anybody want.

The game itself was interesting, England raced into a 4 to 0 lead only to be gradually pegged back by a more settled Australian team. England though played to their strengths scoring on fast breaks whenever Australia lost the ball. The final score of 8:6 was a good one for England, after all Australia are the current world champions. But if one analyses the game the England goalie with at least 4 saves  was a big factor, plus I saw the pipe hit 3 times. The actual world cup games will be interesting.

The game was also watched by the New Zealand team who are being hosted by Reading Lacrosse Club, they will play a few friendlies (one against Scotland) before going over to main land Europe.

This weekend sees the National Pop Lacrosse tournament in Hertfordshire, 20 Primary Schools (Elementary to the US readers) with reams of eight 11 yr olds trying to become National Champions, It’s fast furious and exciting. I love it. For the staff it’s a 6 am start on a Sunday morning, someone tell me what a lie in is.

Recruit, Recruit,  Recruit

Wow, the season’s over like it seems only yesterday and we’re already preparing for the next one.

For the English Lacrosse staff that means interviewing potential coaches to go into the Local Development Officer  (LDO) and School Community Officer  (SCO) Scheme. So two weeks of flat out interviewing in Baltimore was the order of the day (taking in the final four weekend of course). I must say, the standard of applicants from the US this year is outstanding, lots of coaching and lots of teaching experience, coupled with a good playing ability.

For those not in the know, the LDO program has been running since 1983 (the SCO about 10 years ago) when it was decided that the game in England needed a push, what better way than to bring in outside expertise.

Now 26 years later we bring in over 80 coaches, we place them at clubs and large (mainly boarding) schools. The contracts are for a year, and this crop of coaches will have the extra incentive of a major tournament at the end of the season (yes the World Cup in Manchester is now one season away). Of course a lot of the work is making sure the right coach fits the right program, and that’s what June is all about, we’ve looked at the coaches, time to fit square pegs into not so square holes. Given that the majority of the SCO’s are in the South of England, that means lots of miles and telephone conversations for yours truly.

On the South domestic front Lacrosse is now in tournament mode and the domestic closing tournament “Bluesfest 09” was this weekend This is a two day camp over affair and extremely popular, the tent village goes up on the Friday, and the partying starts, lots of Lacrosse (Men’s and Women’s) on the Saturday, live band in the evening, more lacrosse on the Sunday…job done. With well over 400 players staying over (including the referees) it’s a mammoth job for the host club Walcountian Blues, and they should be congratulated for getting it all to run so smoothly. The Men’s final was between the Northern guest team called Jedi Lacrosse and the LDO team (not sure of the name, might have been SOCO and Lime, without the lime). The Women’s was between Croydon Foxes and the SCO team called Gin and Juice, there is definitely a theme being used by the Americans.

This week sees the Australian Women play England at Cobham Lacrosse club (near London) before both teams go on to Prague to compete in the World Cup, a real coup for a new and upcoming club, 1100 tickets sold is a great achievement in an area not known for lacrosse.

On the update side, in case you’ve actually read my other Blogs, Mike Carey (bad leg, remember) is well on the mend, the wounds have all but healed (fantastic scars) and he’s starting to jog, although he won’t be fully mobile, he still intends to attend two US camps this summer, the firs being at Navy, brave or mad….you decide.

The Duesseldorf Antlers hosted the annual playoffs last weekend, in which the eight best German lacrosse teams competed against each other to qualify for the National Championship, the Deutsche Meisterschaft.

Especially the southern league surprised the German lacrosse community by sending two teams, one from Stuttgart , the other one from Munich to the DM. Also the FC Inde Hahn from Aachen (western league) and the host of the famous Berlin Open, the Berlin Lacrosse Club BLAX (eastern league) were able to win their respective game to qualify for the DM.

Now all four teams will have two weeks time to bring their game to perfection until they fight each other on the battle field of lacrosse to win the great trophy of the German lacrosse champion this year.

From May 15th till May 17th the last training camp of the women’s national team took place before the world championship commences in one month.
The impression after three days of intense practice is consistently positive. Fitness tests indicate significant gains in athletic performance.
In scrimmages big improvements in team play could be seen as further evidenced by a 20:0 win against Heidelberg on Saturday and a 30:2 win against a coed team on Sunday. In both games many players emerged as scorers.
During activities off the field the team bonded and one can look forward to the next weeks.
Right before the world championship the team participates in the Berlin Open.
We thank both teams which were available for a scrimmage and the SC 1880 Frankfurt in particular for a perfectly organized weekend.

On April 19th history was made in Hamburg, Germany, when the Hamburg girls team faced the Hannover girls team in the first ever German girls lacrosse scrimmage. The impetus for a competitive game started with Mareile Kriwall, the head of German women’s lacrosse and a player on both Hannover and the German National Team. With a month to prepare, both teams, fans and proud coaches showed up with great anticipation, and ready to rumble.

We followed the model of the boys teams, who have been playing for 2 years now in Germany, and used a half field, with goals on the ‘sidelines’ – creating a 60×50 meter field. The 11 meter was shortened to 10, the center circle from 9-7, and the midfield was 15 meters from fan to fan. We played 7 v 7 including goalies and no restraining line – though plan to add a restrainer and keep 1 behind for the German Championship exhibition games.

The 20 minute halves overflowed with excitement – most goals were scored on fast breaks and 1v1’s, or 1v none’s, and the first half ended with a score of 10-5 for Hannover. As Hamburg had forgone fitness training in favor of stick skills, Coaches Amy Alvord and Katharina Freier were worried about their girls’ endurance. On the other hand, they had 2 full strings of players while Hannover had no subs.

Over half of the Hamburg team started playing lacrosse only one month earlier – and the huge learning curve that beginners enjoy was evident as they turned the game around just short of 180 degrees in the second half, scoring 5 goals to Hanover’s 1. Final score Hannover 11, Hamburg 10.

by Amy Alvord ~ Hamburg Coach

Sports blogs should start at the beginning of the season. This is my belief. Some keen bloggers may even start in preseason – set the scene, highlight the potential big guns etc etc, but that’s a little keen for me.

So “Why,” you’re probably thinking “Is he starting his blog at the end of his season?” I procrastinated. I am a procrastinator, I even meant to write this blog last weekend, but didn’t.

The season over here in England runs from September – starting with the Bath 8s organized by fellow my blogger to Nik Roberts to April where the Flags festivals bring the curtain down.

I’m not going to batter on about my club, and the league, and how our the flat above our changing rooms got burned out and no-one told us so we turned up for a game and had no changing rooms – luckily the weather was nice and the opposition understanding, at least not today anyway.

Today I am going to talk about me and my life with lacrosse.

My life started at the age of 19 ¾. Well not exactly…but you get what I’m saying.

It was a Sunday in 2003, 11 days into my time at Loughborough University, I was hung over – and the sight of people doing karate or taekwondo or something was making me feel sick. Then all of a sudden, there was a girl stood on a table. She was wearing hot pants – or at the very least short shorts. She had in her hands a lacrosse stick. I was smitten.

Yes, that is correct – I started playing lacrosse to meet girls, sue me*!
(* I wouldn’t bother, I don’t actually have any money)

So I started to play lacrosse based mainly on the fact that there were only about 10 other guys in the club and around 30 girls. The girls team were (and are currently) National Champions, there was no men’s team. We played mixed – a bastardized version of women’s lacrosse that involved running faster than the girls and shooting really hard from point blank range. The club now has over 100 members with about 50/50 gender split, two womens teams, and a mens squad that won the National Cup (2nd tier) competition.

We finally had enough guys to get a team going towards the end of my second year (of three) we played some tournaments at home and abroad (Ireland) and played some friendlies against other nearby unis who were at a similar stage.

In fact there were enough unis nearby at a similar stage that the next year SEMLA started a league for us. We did ok. I personally did ok, played some 2 way middie, took some face offs (even won 4 or 5 I think) scored some goals got some assists and didn’t get into any fights. Oh and I captained and coached the team made up mostly of guys who like me hadn’t picked up a stick until they came to uni. It was at the very least stressful and sometimes it was even fun.

Then I left uni and moved back home to Newcastle. I knew the Uni (not to be confused with the Poly) had a team, but they recently had tough on non-students playing so I was without lax. It was tough. I played some rugby drank some beers for a year then decided to get back into it.

So during the 07/08 season I travelled to Leeds to play…2 hours on the train and a 45 minute bus ride to the ground…I thought I was mad, so who knows what the rest of the boys thought.

Then in April It happened. I got an email. From a Dr Mark Webb. “Let’s start a club in Newcastle” it said. “Okay” I replied. That was that sometime in the middle of March 2008. Now a year later Newcastle upon Tyne LC (new website to follow shortly) is finishing 4th in the League and lost a close Nigel Wayne Trophy (aka John Wayne Shootout) final to Leeds 11-6.

Not a bad first 12 months (give or take) in my opinion…not a bad first blog either…

The FIL announced that Hannover, Germany will host the 2011 Under-19 Women’s World Championship. The DlaxV is very happy that the FIL trusts Germany and the organizing commitee to make the World Cup a fantastic event in summer 2011.

Special thanks go to Anna Blank and Anjulie von Oetinger.

More Inforamtions follow www.dlaxv.de

klm08_160Dear Lacrosse Fanatics,

The Lacrosse Club Kiel invites all of you to participate in our 14th Kiel Lacrosse Meeting (KLM) taking place here in Kiel on 8th &9th of August. We are likely to prepare 6 -7 fields on our Nordmarksportfeld so that 8 women teams and 16 men teams can compete.

Because of billing and paying problems in the last years we impose complete team fees for this KLM:

Men: 375 Euro / Team
Women: 300 Euro / Team

This fee will include all costs as well as payments for DLaxV referees (“Sro-Gebuehr”), the players party on Saturday and the welcome party on Friday. Please feel free to contact us, if there are any problems regarding payment, we are happy to assist you.

You have to pay your team fee until 31st June 2009 otherwise we cannot guarantee a reserved slot for you.

Still German lacrosse referees who are in need of prolonging their referee’s licences can contact us for umpiring single games.

We will be offering catering for reasonable prices on field, sanitary equipment is in place as well. You are invited to camp next to the field for a small fee. On Saturday night will be our great lacrosse party again, it is always extreme fun.

Please send applications to clive.werdt@gmx.de including the following information:

• Name of contact person / team

• Mobile number / email-address

• Number of players

• First come/pay, first serve!

We will be listing single players contact data on our homepage as well as the participating teams so that you can organize yourself. More information will follow soon.

Please feel free to check http://www.kieler-lax-meeting.de for news.
Sticks up!

Lacrosse Club Kiel

klm08_075klm08_91aklm08_072klm08_002klm08_189

In March 2009 Meyer & Meyer Verlag published the first book on lacrosse written in German. The book was authored by Dr. Maud Corinna Hietzge who received support from several dinosaurs of the German lacrosse scene.

The book covers fundamentals and essential pieces of information regarding techniques, drills and rules as well as the history of the sport.
It serves as an introduction for parents and other interested individuals and provides novices with a basic understanding of the game. Yet, even old-time lacrosse players will enjoy
reading the book, some of whom may recognize themselves on one of the many pictures.

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