Off the Crosse-bar Podcast: The NEW American Box Lacrosse Association

A few weeks ago we introduced you to Joe Ernst who is spearheading the Texas Box Lacrosse Association in hopes of growing the game in the south.  The indoor game in the US has had its ups and downs as evident with the NALL/Fall NALL/PLL debacle, but that’s not to say people aren’t playing inside the friendly confines of the box. Whenever I think of American box lacrosse the Baltimore Indoor Lacrosse League is at the forefront of my mind. The BILL has been around for many years and many top level American’s have played in it. Coast to coast more and more indoor leagues are popping up, more and more lacrosse academies are taking form and that means more and more bodies to look after. Well cue Joe Ernst again. With combined efforts of some dedicated people, the new American Box Lacrosse Association has been formed and is now the official governing body of indoor lacrosse in the United States. That’s right; the US now has their very own CLA! After the jump hear from Ernst about this ground breaking endeavor and how he hopes to build a nationwide lacrosse federation on this week’s Off the Crosse Bar Podcast.

“There are so many different forms of indoor down here in the US that it’s hard to keep things organized,” said Ernst as he hopes to have one set of rules nationwide. “Some leagues don’t allow hitting, some say no board play, and some even allow big sticks to be used. Our goal is adapt all the rules of the Canadian game in hopes of getting on the same level as all of the guys playing up north.”

That doesn’t seem that hard to do in essence but when you realize that many parents unfamiliar with the Canadian rules look upon the Canadian game as thuggish and too rough you can see where the speed bumps lie for the newly formed ABLA.

“I tend to get more bruises and injuries playing field lacrosse than I do when I play indoors,” adds Ernst who a few months ago launched the Texas Box Lacrosse Association.

There’s a quote on the ABLA main page from legendary field lacrosse coach Bill Tierney that gives the indoor game a lot of weight, “I believe that box lacrosse gives young people many more opportunities to excel in our game. If I had my choice, I would have every player under the age of twelve play box lacrosse exclusively or at least a majority of the time…. Learning how to pass and catch in traffic, understand how to shoot and developing a sense of physicality are all positive traits developed by the box game.”

Now if one of the games most decorated and intelligent minds has this stance on the indoor game you’d think people would listen. Ernst hopes to capitalize on that and is already working on a national tournament for this summer, August 25/26th in Huntington Beach, California.

With the hopes of creating leagues from minor all the way through senior lacrosse, the ABLA doesn’t want to disrupt what’s already in place, as Ernst points out, “any existing league will still stand alone as their own entity, we’re just going to be there as the overseer of everything.”

Therefore, its upwards and onwards for the ABLA and the indoor game in the United States.

For more information on the American Box Lacrosse Association, check out their website at www.americanboxlacrosse.com

Teddy Jenner is one the leading sources for lacrosse information. He comes by his love of lax honestly with a lifetime of experience, two Mann Cup championships and six years of play in the NLL. Email him at ted.jenner@ilindoor.com, follow him on Twitter @OffTheCrosseBar or catch him on Team 1410 radio in Vancouver, B.C., as the host and producer of the Off the Crosse-Bar Radio Show In 2012, he was awarded the BCLA's Norm Wright Merit Award- handed out to a member of the media deemed to have have contributed to the promotion of lacrosse.

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