My mind is constantly thinking of new ways to celebrate the game. Since having an ADHA moment in my Jeep during Vancouver traffic, a conversation with Jeff Sauve, and an e-mail conversation with Teddy Jenner, I have given it some more thought and here is what I have come up with.
A new tournament featuring Canada, USA, and the Iroquois Nationals in a Round-Robin Box & Field Lacrosse Tournament, to determine the undisputed North American lacrosse powerhouse. The tournament will be held in off FIL championship years. Check out the details after the jump.
Location, Location, Location
This being the first tournament of its kind for lacrosse: three teams, two facilities, two formats of play, location will be key. The obvious location choice is where the tournament will have the ability to make money. So a “lacrosse” fan base will be vital and a serious effort on the PR front to draw the casual fan. A regional lacrosse awareness is also essential to draw upon sponsorships. An ideal location will be a city with both an NLL and MLL franchise, but exceptions can be made.
Canadian Locations: Toronto (ACC & BMO Field) and Vancouver (Rogers Arena/Pacific Colosseum & BC Place/Empire Field/Waterfront Stadium)
American Locations: Rochester (Blue Cross Arena & Marine Auto Stadium) and Denver (Pepsi Arena & Invesco Field)
With the game growing and different variations of the game continually being used, rules will factor into the tournament format. Familiarity and zero-learning-curve is necessary for players, coaches, and fans . With the addition of the Toronto Nationals, more Canadian and Iroquois players have gained pro field lacrosse experience. Featuring this tournament in an NLL and MLL city will also create a instant game-play recognition with fans who frequent professional games. Along with drawing the casual fan, using NLL and MLL rules allows the tournament to cross-promote with both pro teams and leagues in the respective host city. Additionally, FIL affiliation might be necessary to allow MLL players to participate in a field lacrosse event.
Both professional leagues (NLL, MLL) carry a 23 man Active Roster and each have a 18 man Game Day Roster, although the NLL will be moving to 20 in 2011. With this being an intensive tournament and the uniqueness of two playing formats the addition of 2 men to the Active Roster will be necessary and warranted (25 AR, 18 GDR). Using that same format including the additional 2 roster spots, each of the three teams will be required to submit a 18 man Base Roster and a 7 man Format Specific Roster that can include any given combination of Box Specific and/or Field Specific players (Note: Most notably the possibility of starting goalies for each format). Obviously GM’s will play a huge role in this type of tournament. Each Format Specific Player must appear on at least one Game Day Roster during the Round-Robin. Rosters could be loaded to one format and have Format Specific Rosters dedicated to the “off-style” of play for a given nation.
Play Ball! Tournament Format
A full Round-Robin. Each team plays the other two teams in both a Box and a Field game. With that being said each team will play two (2) box games and two (2) field games during the Round-Robin. At the end of the Round-Robin the first place team will play the second place team (tie barker going to winner of two game head-to-head series, if necessary GF/GA Differential) in a best of three (3) series to determine the undisputed best “lacrosse” nation. At the beginning of the tournament, along with roster submissions, each team will submit their preferences (if finishing first) for the championship three (3) game series. The team finishing first determines if a Box or Field game will be played first and if a third and deciding game is necessary, if that game will again be a Box or Field game. Needless to say, finishing first in the Round-Robin is decisive in a team’s success during the championship series.
Since the NLL All-Star series in Melbourne, Australia, the emergence of LXMPro, and the unification of the ILF and IFWLA to form the FIL, lacrosse at the elite level has been experimenting with new ways to expose potential fans to the best players. This is only one new and unique way to celebrate our elite players and nations.Co-Founder of Vagabond Lacrosse, the company that produced RUGBURN, Fox is a former Founder's Cup winner who played his college lacrosse at DII Wheeling Jesuit University, Junior lacrosse with Wallaceburg and Sarnia, and most recently for the WLA's Burnaby Lakers. Fox has also held coaching positions with both Wheeling Jesuit and Whittier College.
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