Every spring in Upstate New York we witness the birth of new life as the buds on trees begin to form and the seemingly eternal grey turns to plush green. New lacrosse teams get together for the first time and start to plot out their season goals and begin their journeys toward undefeated seasons and championships. And then the next thing we know, suddenly spring is coming to a close and the school season is over. But hardcore lacrosse players know that its not time to put their sticks away just yet, because now its time for summer ball.
Stylistically speaking, summer ball is the crazy cousin of spring lacrosse. Its looser, more expressive and more experimental. Its really the only time of the year when its not uncommon to find a player using a bright green shaft topped with a hot purple head, one sock up, a tuxedo tank top and a visored helmet full of random surf and skate stickers. But you won’t see more smiles or more creative plays any other time of the year. With all of that being said, we absolutely love summer lacrosse as players and fans. Here is a list of reasons why we love summer lacrosse and why we are looking forward to this years season.
#1. The Tournaments
One glance around the lacrosse tournament summer schedule and you’ll understand why this makes our list. It seems like each year there are a handful of new tournaments popping up all over the world in exotic locations. Miami, Jamaica, Hawaii, Vail, Lake Placid, Bend, Montana, Las Vegas, JeJu Island, British Columbia, Stowe, Tokyo, Alaska and the list goes on and on. If you get on the lacrosse tournament schedule you could easily have the summer of your life spot jumping from place to place. We are excited to see what new locations we can add to our destination list for the upcoming year – keep em coming event organizers – if you build it we will come!
#2. The Style
Summer ball is the ultimate breeding ground for creativity and the perfect opportunity for players to explore ideas, moves, shots, and passes that have never left their backyards or daydreams. Much of it has to do with the freedom you experience in the summer and the fearlessness that comes with it. In many ways summer lacrosse is a reminder of how incredibly fun the sport can be. We have seen some of the greatest plays EVER during the summer and can’t wait to see more this coming year.
#3. The Approach
When you combine #1 with #2 it creates an atmosphere that changes our approach to the game. Yes of course its still ultra competitive but its also egoless. Most players set their egos aside because the summer game’s are often times not watched by many people so it makes the game feel more pure. Of course for the high strung players that pay to play in the invitation recruiting events this may not be the case but for the rest of us it is. Summer lacrosse is all about having a good time with friends and like minded players that share a common bond – a love for life and sport.
#4. The Equipment
This is when players will move away from their traditional school colors and move towards something a bit more in your face. Like we mentioned in the beginning of this article, summer lacrosse is more expressive and individuals from around the world are already planning what their summer set up is going to be. Players that are forced to use a certain brand of equipment during the season get a chance to use what they really want to use and prefer. Time to be funky and try some different concepts and ideas.
#5. The Format
Aside from the experimental style we witness in the players we also see it carry over into the event coordinators. Chumash, Mini-Stick, 3V3, 5V5, 7V7, etc…we see it all. Whatever you’re into you can play it. If you just want to grab a stick and head to the park to play some barefoot games you can. There are no rules, restrictions or boundaries in the summer, it’s a free for all in terms of how we experience the sport. Pick a flavor.
#6. The Experience
Perhaps the greatest element of summer lacrosse is the new relationships you can form. As you move away from playing with your school team you will most likely meet new people and sometimes even befriend your regular season enemy. You need to embrace this opportunity to build strong rapport with people that share a passion of yours.
So with summer officially kicking off on the 20th of this month we encourage all of you to keep your sticks out of the garage, attic or equipment bag and keep them in your hands because summer lacrosse is rad. Maybe rip your pocket out and dye up something funky, maybe try out a traditional, maybe try to do a back flip in a game – whatever you’re into. Get on out there and have some fun, enjoy the sunshine, warm weather and good lacrosse vibes.
Here’s to great lacrosse!