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By Steven Wizniuk

A flurry the night before February 20th covered the Manlius Swan Pond Fields with 1-2 inches of snow that made for a picturesque playing surface for the 7th annual Great Upstate Snow Game. It was time for another Snow Game filled with trick shots, dives in the snow, fun celebrations, and tons of smiles. 

The Snow Game has become a tradition that combines the fast paced and fun style of speed lacrosse with the history of Upstate kids going in their backyards to play lacrosse no matter the weather. In partnership with the Upstate Lacrosse Company, this year we had another great turnout of boys and girls teams ranging from 1st/2nd Grade up to 7th/8th Grade players. With music blasting and players diving around in the snow, the Snow Game creates one of the most unique lacrosse events around. What started as Ryan Powell and some buddies meeting up to play in the park back in 2016 has become a tradition for many families who have been coming to play since it was opened up to the public in 2018. It’s always great to see teams return from the year before and have a blast. 

The older boys and girls were flying up and down the small fields making creative plays and doing fun of the boys rolled up their sleeves to show they could tough it out in the cold. Some of the youngest players struggle to scoop up the tennis ball in the snow, but once they have it in their stick they charge toward the net to rip a shot. 

Team Yeti in the 5th/6th Grade Division traveled from Chicago to come play and there was a team in the 1st/2nd Grade Division that had kids that had never played lacrosse before. It’s a perfect environment to show how fun lacrosse is. Players from the Utica University lacrosse team have come to help for the past several years to run the fields, bring some awesome energy, and encourage the players to try trickshots or do a big celebration after a goal. 

Parents watched from the hill right by the fields and cheered their boys and girls on. Some brought propane grills and had a barbeque as they watched the action. No scores are kept and the goal of the day is to have fun outside and show the young kids that lacrosse can be played any time of the year. It’s an opportunity to get back to the roots of lacrosse.

We hope that an event like this encourages young players to want to go out in their own backyards, invite friends, and play their own snow games. They may not have noticed while they were playing, but having to get low and dig for the ball in the snow, dodge on an unsteady surface, and play in the elements will make playing in a regular game on grass or turf seem easy. 

We can’t wait to see even more teams come out next year to join in on the snow lacrosse fun! 

For more info on the Snow Game visit the Upstate Lacrosse website:

See the full gallery of pictures on the Upstate Lacrosse Facebook page:

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