I had never watched a lacrosse game before, never known anybody who even played lacrosse until moving to the East Coast.
Now that we have been here for two and a half years we thought it was time I experienced this sport. So we bought a groupon for a local match between Rochester’s Knighthawks and the New England Black Wolves at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester.
Luke had been to a box lacrosse game while living in Colorado but this was my first encounter with the sport. A box lacrosse game is indoors usually played on artificial turf put down over a hockey rink. It lasts for four 15 minute quarters.
I asked a lot of questions and learned as we as we watched.
The teams have 5 players each and a goaltender (keeper). Unlike soccer all players, minus the goalie can move around freely, even behind the goal. The ball can roll, bounce, be passed, or carried in the net of the lacrosse stick almost anywhere on the field.
This game was very fast paced and the announcers kept popular music playing throughout the game pausing only to announce penalties and scores. Also, players were traded-out, almost anytime during the game, not only at quarters. This was done often as the game requires a lot of sprinting.
The arena itself was clean, and the environment mostly family-friendly in-spite of the several fights on the playing field throughout the game. (From what we got this was mostly instigated by the guest team). At each quarter a different activity happened on the field:
First quarter the cheerleaders did a routine on the floor. Half time local girls and boys lacrosse teams held scrimmages at either end of the field. Then a local kids dance team did a floor routine. During the last break they did a hot dog race, three people dressed as hot dogs racing around the field, and a chance for kids to win prices by scoring goals.
I learned later that night that Box Lacrosse became popular in the 1930’s over field lacrosse, which has larger teams and is played outside, because of weather and to keep track of the small ball. The NLL, National Lacrosse League was started for box lacrosse specifically and includes teams mostly on the east coast although there are some on the west coast and Colorado. We found out that this year the Knighthawks will be going to the playoffs for NLL.
It was clear that our local team was well loved by fans, knew how to play by the books, and knew how to score. The final numbers: Knighthawks 12 Black Wolves 5.
We thoroughly enjoyed the game. So much so that we bought another Groupon for a field Lacrosse game later this summer!