Lacrosse got off to an early start this year in North-Rhine Westphalia with the first ever ProLaxShop NRW Cup on February 14th and15th. The round-robin tournament saw four teams from throughout NRW meet at Düsseldorf Sport Club, the home of DSC ’99, in its first year.
Teams from Aachen, Cologne, Düsseldorf, and a mixed team made up of players from Bielefeld and Münster each played three full-length games over the course of the two-day tournament, and at the end Aachen stood victorious besting Bielefeld/Münster 23-5, Cologne 12-2, and Düsseldorf 15-0, followed by Cologne in second place with Düsseldorf taking third.
The weather held out in Düsseldorf through the end of the tournament letting the players showcase their sport to German fans and media. Fans from all over the state as well as newspaper and television reporters were in attendance to catch a glimpse of the American game, which is still very foreign to the German general public. “The tournament was really great considering it was in its first year,” explained Michael Meyer, one of the tournament’s organizers. “All the games ran smoothly and the teams got a lot of good exposure to one another. Lacrosse in Germany is really small, and it takes tournaments like this one to help the sport spread and develop.”
This tournament was the first time that a lot of the players had seen game time since the end of the fall season last November.
In the DSC clubhouse after winning the tournament, Frederic du Bois-Reymond, player/coach for the Aachen A-Team explained why this tournament is so important: “We really had to shake off the rust going into the second half of the season.” He continued to explain that gaining experience is one of the hardest things for a new lacrosse player, and the tournament was a great place to try out new players in the lineup.
Also new to the field in Düsseldorf was a team of three referees in the final stage of their training. The tournament served as a training ground for the new refs, giving them the much-sought experience in a relaxed, tournament environment. The students who passed their practical exam over the weekend are now certified national lacrosse referees, providing much needed reinforcement to the ranks of German lacrosse refs. The training was organized by Aachen’s Tim Pohlmann.
In the West German Lacrosse League, regular season play starts again in mid march, but the NRW cup marked the beginning of practice for Aachen, Bielefeld and Münster. Cologne and Düsseldorf had been practicing throughout the winter.
Because of the positive resonances the organizers intend to hold the ProLaxShop NRW Cup next year again. Dominique Nebreklijevic, the host and organizer, forecasts a larger tournament with expanded participation of men’s teams and even a women’s bracket.
There are more pics available on - www.US-Sports.tv
Post by: Gavin Schlissel – Aachen #11