Box lacrosse has been surging in popularity recently and the entire Powell Lacrosse crew is pumped to see it happening. Box lacrosse is fast, physical, highly-skilled, and a lot of fun. It’s a great training tool to improve your field game, but it’s also an amazing game all on its own.
Most of us here at Powell got into serious box lacrosse a little bit later in life, and the only thing we regret about it is that we didn’t start earlier. Box lacrosse is here to stay. This is a good thing!
Growing up, we watched American legends like Sal LoCasio, Mark Millon, Tim Soudan, Regy Thorpe, Jake Bergey, Casey Powell, and Chris Schiller (as well as many others) make the jump into the box, and when we graduated from school, we too wanted to play at the highest levels possible.
Ryan Powell remembers his earliest days playing box, and how it made his field game better:
“Box lacrosse does more for a field player’s game than anything else. I absolutely love the game; and it made me a better field player because of the lighting quick decisions that are needed to be made so many times during each practice and every game. It also is a huge challenge to your stick skills.
Something that I always took a ton of pride in was having an awesome stick (wall ball was my training method for my entire playing career) but with the box game, and because of the tight quarters it requires, you to have a truly awesome stick in order to be successful.
There is no room for error when making a pass to a teammate that is covered in traffic; and you must be extremely accurate if you ever want to score goals! It was a challenge, but also a great opportunity. And it was a ton of fun.”
Blaze Riorden also loves the box game, and while he appreciates the differences, he also sees a lot of similarities:
“I believe there are plenty of similarities in the box and field game, it’s just that box presents everything in a more challenging manner. Shooting has to be more accurate, your stick skills have to be above par, and lastly the physicality is amplified.
Box is definitely on the up and up now, and the biggest thing I’ve noticed is that more and more box specific drills are being incorporated into field lacrosse practices.
I’ve always been one to have a stick in my hands so the transition skill wise was there,but learning the ins and outs of the game took me a while, as I still continue to learn every day.”
For Jordan Hall, box lacrosse actually came first, and he transitioned to the field game from there. Since we love looking at box lacrosse from all the angles, his perspective on that transition is also key:
“Long poles still give me nightmares. Shooting on the run is something I had to work on, but it’s still lacrosse and I like playing both. The net being 6×6 is a nice change. Box can be more physical as cross checking it legal and you can hit off ball.
Indoor players typically develop great stick skills from the constant contact while carrying the ball and shooting on a smaller net. Indoor practices are also WAY more enjoyable in my opinion. Because the goalies are padded, the fields are smaller and the boards give you the ball back you end up with more touches.
Less running, more passing, more shooting, more reps. Also playing with Canadians in indoor, the vocabulary in the locker room changes a bit too. US Lacrosse insuring the game was a big step. I hope they continue to throw resources at it. I believe the biggest hurdle was not understanding the game in the US. Many players, coaches, press members looked at box like an impure version of the sport so US Lacrosse’s support will hopefully go a long way breaking that perception of the indoor.”
When Ryan Powell looks back at the time period he showed the greatest improvement from one season to the next as a player, it was easily between his sophomore and junior years at Syracuse. The experience he received playing on the Awkwesasne Thunder brought his game to the next level, and it’s made him a huge fan of box lacrosse for life.
You get closer with the guys on your team when it’s box lacrosse because of the size of it – smaller locker rooms, and smaller rosters. We always felt as though the bond that you get with your teammates happens quicker and goes deeper. In the box game you are able to see everything during games and practices so you build a bigger appreciation for your teammates and the type of player they are and the work ethic they possess.
It’s really nice to see some more US box leagues starting – kids are starting to understand and play the game from a younger level, but it is still mind blowing that more US players haven’t committed to the indoor game and focused on using it as a tool to elevate their game.
There are only about 10 US players on active NLL rosters – and RP was the only American on a few of the NLL teams he played on during his time. We want to see this change! We can grow the US presence in the box game by doing what is being done – start kids playing at a younger age and be sure to teach them the game AND the culture, so they feel comfortable and confident when playing. If this continues to happen, watch out, because then the Americans will truly be coming!