Field Lacrosse Game

A few months ago Luke and I decided to go to a professional box lacrosse game downtown Rochester. It was a great learning experience for me and a lot of fun too. For more on this see Rochester Box Lacrosse.

After enjoying our groupon for the box lacrosse game we decided to get tickets to a professional field lacrosse game in order to see the differences and find out which we enjoy better.

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When I bought the tickets I thought through the summer time and decided the end of June would be sunny enough to enjoy an outdoor sport. Well, not this summer.

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After checking the weather, the stadium website, and the Major Leauge Lacrosse website, nothing was canceled. So we packed warm clothes and rain coats and headed to Brockport, a neighborhood west of Rochester.

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When we got to the state university college campus it was overcast but not raining. We walked over to the stadium just at the national anthem finished and got our tickets.

With how cold it was we opted for supporting the local team by buying two cups of coffee then settled into our seats. The Rochester Rattlers and Ohio Machines were playing on the college football field. Luke said it felt like being in High School again. Shortly after the game started it began to sprinkle fortunately it only lasted for a short time

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Watching the game we noticed several differences from our box lacrosse experience.  The teams had more players on the field at one time and of course the field was longer. Because of this similar to soccer some players played defense and some offense. The goalies were in less padding and gear but had larger nets. Also in general this version was less aggressive, less offense attaching and more running and passing.

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We were grateful that the ball was a bright orange because it would have been hard to see otherwise. Luke said he missed the big screen to capture the moments closer and to get play-backs of what happened.

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Also unlike the box lacrosse this game was much slower paced partly because the  the game was televised on an ESPN channel the game was stalled often by commercials after time outs. During time outs the announcers went through a short list of advertisements, the same ones, each time.

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No one seemed to have their full attention on the game.  The audience was mostly families with young boys who had played a lacrosse game on the same field before the professional game got started. The local cheer/dance group for the local team were very unprepared and unprofessional..

Overall we are glad we went. It was good to see the differences and to learn that it is obvious the box lacrosse is much more popular around here.

Rochester Box Lacrosse

I had never watched a lacrosse game before, never known anybody who even played lacrosse until moving to the East Coast.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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!