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WK
1
Fri, Dec 2
FINAL
Philadelphia
8
Halifax
18
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Vancouver
8
Toronto
19
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
San Diego
15
New York
14
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Albany
11
Buffalo
10
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Rochester
16
Georgia
11
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Colorado
6
Saskatchewan
18
WK
2
Fri, Dec 9
20:30:00
Las Vegas
Panther City
Fri, Dec 9
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
San Diego
Sat, Dec 10
19:00:00
Toronto
Rochester
Sat, Dec 10
21:30:00
Vancouver
Calgary
WK
3
Fri, Dec 16
22:00:00
Calgary
Vancouver
Fri, Dec 16
22:30:00
Panther City
Las Vegas
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Buffalo
Toronto
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Rochester
Albany
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Georgia
Sat, Dec 17
19:30:00
Halifax
New York
Sat, Dec 17
20:00:00
Colorado
Panther City
WK
5
Fri, Dec 30
19:30:00
Halifax
Buffalo
Fri, Dec 30
21:00:00
San Diego
Calgary
Sat, Dec 31
21:00:00
Panther City
Saskatchewan
WK
6
Fri, Jan 6
22:30:00
Philadelphia
Las Vegas
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Panther City
Rochester
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Halifax
Albany
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Buffalo
Georgia
Sat, Jan 7
19:30:00
Toronto
New York
Sat, Jan 7
22:00:00
Vancouver
San Diego
Sun, Jan 8
0:00:00
Calgary
Colorado
WK
7
Fri, Jan 13
18:30:00
Albany
Halifax
Fri, Jan 13
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Colorado
Sat, Jan 14
19:00:00
Halifax
Toronto
Sat, Jan 14
19:00:00
Panther City
Philadelphia
Sat, Jan 14
19:30:00
Georgia
Buffalo
Sat, Jan 14
21:00:00
San Diego
Calgary
Sat, Jan 14
22:00:00
Las Vegas
Vancouver
Sun, Jan 15
15:00:00
Rochester
New York
WK
8
Fri, Jan 20
19:30:00
Buffalo
Rochester
Fri, Jan 20
22:30:00
Vancouver
Las Vegas
Sat, Jan 21
19:00:00
New York
Albany
Sat, Jan 21
19:00:00
Toronto
Philadelphia
WK
9
Fri, Jan 27
18:00:00
Rochester
Halifax
Fri, Jan 27
19:00:00
Buffalo
Philadelphia
Sat, Jan 28
19:30:00
Buffalo
New York
Sat, Jan 28
20:30:00
Las Vegas
Saskatchewan
Sat, Jan 28
21:00:00
Toronto
Calgary
Sat, Jan 28
21:00:00
San Diego
Colorado
Sat, Jan 28
22:00:00
Panther City
Vancouver
WK
10
Fri, Feb 3
21:00:00
Georgia
Colorado
Sat, Feb 4
18:00:00
Calgary
Halifax
Sat, Feb 4
19:00:00
New York
Toronto
Sat, Feb 4
19:00:00
Albany
Philadelphia
Sat, Feb 4
19:30:00
Rochester
Buffalo
Sat, Feb 4
22:00:00
Panther City
San Diego
Sat, Feb 4
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
Vancouver
Sat, Feb 4
22:30:00
Colorado
Las Vegas
WK
11
Fri, Feb 10
19:30:00
Toronto
Georgia
Fri, Feb 10
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Calgary
Sat, Feb 11
19:00:00
Halifax
Rochester
Sat, Feb 11
19:30:00
Albany
New York
Sat, Feb 11
20:00:00
Vancouver
Panther City
Sat, Feb 11
21:00:00
Colorado
Calgary
WK
12
Fri, Feb 17
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
San Diego
Fri, Feb 17
22:00:00
Calgary
Vancouver
Sat, Feb 18
19:00:00
Georgia
Toronto
Sat, Feb 18
19:00:00
Las Vegas
Albany
Sat, Feb 18
19:30:00
Philadelphia
Buffalo
Sat, Feb 18
20:00:00
Colorado
Panther City
Sun, Feb 19
13:00:00
New York
Halifax
WK
13
Fri, Feb 24
21:00:00
Panther City
Colorado
Fri, Feb 24
22:30:00
Calgary
Las Vegas
Sat, Feb 25
19:00:00
New York
Rochester
Sat, Feb 25
19:00:00
Albany
Georgia
Sat, Feb 25
20:00:00
Vancouver
Saskatchewan
WK
14
Fri, Mar 3
18:30:00
Buffalo
Halifax
Fri, Mar 3
21:00:00
Las Vegas
San Diego
Sat, Mar 4
11:30:00
New York
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 4
19:00:00
Rochester
Toronto
Sat, Mar 4
19:00:00
Georgia
Albany
Sat, Mar 4
20:00:00
Saskatchewan
Panther City
Mon, Mar 6
19:00:00
Toronto
Philadelphia
WK
15
Fri, Mar 10
19:30:00
Halifax
Buffalo
Fri, Mar 10
21:00:00
Calgary
Colorado
Sat, Mar 11
19:00:00
Albany
Toronto
Sat, Mar 11
19:30:00
Philadelphia
New York
Sat, Mar 11
20:30:00
San Diego
Saskatchewan
Sat, Mar 11
22:30:00
Vancouver
Las Vegas
Sun, Mar 12
16:00:00
Rochester
Georgia
WK
16
Fri, Mar 17
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Calgary
Fri, Mar 17
22:00:00
San Diego
Vancouver
Sat, Mar 18
11:00:00
Georgia
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 18
18:00:00
Toronto
Halifax
Sat, Mar 18
19:30:00
Albany
New York
Sat, Mar 18
19:30:00
Colorado
Buffalo
Sat, Mar 18
20:00:00
Las Vegas
Panther City
Sun, Mar 19
15:00:00
Philadelphia
Rochester
WK
17
Fri, Mar 24
20:30:00
San Diego
Panther City
Sat, Mar 25
19:00:00
Toronto
Albany
Sat, Mar 25
19:00:00
Halifax
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 25
19:30:00
Georgia
New York
Sat, Mar 25
21:30:00
Calgary
Saskatchewan
Sat, Mar 25
22:00:00
Buffalo
San Diego
Sat, Mar 25
22:00:00
Colorado
Vancouver
Sat, Mar 25
22:30:00
Rochester
Las Vegas
WK
18
Fri, Mar 31
20:00:00
New York
Georgia
Fri, Mar 31
21:00:00
Las Vegas
Colorado
Fri, Mar 31
22:00:00
Calgary
San Diego
Sat, Apr 1
19:00:00
Buffalo
Toronto
Sat, Apr 1
20:00:00
Albany
Panther City
Sat, Apr 1
21:30:00
Vancouver
Saskatchewan
Sun, Apr 2
13:00:00
Georgia
Halifax
Sun, Apr 2
18:00:00
Rochester
Philadelphia
WK
19
Sat, Apr 8
19:00:00
Albany
Rochester
Sat, Apr 8
19:00:00
Saskatchewan
Georgia
Sat, Apr 8
21:00:00
Panther City
Calgary
Sat, Apr 8
21:00:00
Vancouver
Colorado
Sat, Apr 8
22:30:00
San Diego
Las Vegas
WK
20
Fri, Apr 14
21:00:00
Las Vegas
Calgary
Fri, Apr 14
21:00:00
San Diego
Colorado
Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Toronto
Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
Georgia
Albany
Sat, Apr 15
19:30:00
New York
Buffalo
Sat, Apr 15
21:30:00
Halifax
Saskatchewan
Sat, Apr 15
22:00:00
Panther City
Vancouver
WK
21
Fri, Apr 21
20:30:00
Calgary
Panther City
Sat, Apr 22
18:00:00
New York
Halifax
Sat, Apr 22
19:00:00
Georgia
Rochester
Sat, Apr 22
20:00:00
Toronto
Buffalo
Sat, Apr 22
21:30:00
Colorado
Saskatchewan
Sat, Apr 22
22:00:00
Las Vegas
San Diego
Sun, Apr 23
15:00:00
Philadelphia
Albany
WK
22
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Rochester
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Buffalo
Albany
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Halifax
Georgia
Sat, Apr 29
22:00:00
Colorado
San Diego
Sat, Apr 29
22:00:00
New York
Vancouver
Sat, Apr 29
22:30:00
Saskatchewan
Las Vegas
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Stories/Op-Ed

Breaking the Box Ceiling

I was mesmerized watching my first box lacrosse game. The Georgia Swarm’s arena was packed, the music was loud, and the cheesesteaks were delicious. My best friend Alex and I had made the quick drive out of Atlanta for a girl’s night filled with lacrosse action, and it even included a surprise performance by Atlanta’s own Ludacris. Armed with a new curiosity for this side of the game, I was thrilled when the US Box Lacrosse Association offered me the opportunity to cover their Nationals event in 2018, as it would be the first year that the event included tournament play for girls teams. That was my first chance suiting up and playing box lacrosse. And I absolutely loved it. 

Historically, “box lacrosse” for me had meant playing 5 v 5 in an indoor rink during the winter. This continued when I moved to Atlanta, where I’d pick up my stick and hop in for indoor games when the weather got chilly. When a Facebook post popped up asking men to sign up to play box lacrosse, I decided I wanted to go for it too. I signed up, paid my fee, and gathered my box lacrosse equipment that I’d kept tucked away for an opportunity to play in an actual league. I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be allowed to play since it was technically “men’s box lacrosse,” but all my teammates were really kind and welcoming. They taught  me the nuances of the game, fist-bumping me on goals and  making me feel like I was another member of the team. That’s exactly what I wanted. I have lots to learn as a newbie, but I consider myself so lucky to have the opportunity to play box lacrosse and I’m itching to see how it will translate to the field this Spring.

As I have learned more about box lacrosse and its origins, I have come across young women that have played box lacrosse their whole lives in other regions! I want to highlight some of the amazing players I have had the chance to meet, and hopefully inspire other players out there to give box lacrosse a try. Though box lacrosse traditionally and professionally has been seen as a game that men play, I think it’s important to show that women can and are actively playing too, and that some are even playing at the highest ranks (more to come on that later!).

I recently had the opportunity to connect with players from Team Alberta’s U17 team, and knew I wanted to use my platform to share their story. Team Alberta is a provincial team made up of girls from local teams in the area who come together to play at Nationals events. This collaboration between a great group of local clubs and associations has built a valuable opportunity for girls to play lacrosse competitively with teammates old and new. Not only are the girls of Team Alberta an inspiring group, but box lacrosse is ingrained within their lacrosse culture. For them, box lacrosse is not a novelty or something “just for boys,” it is for everyone.

For Ella Royer, class of 2022, box lacrosse has always been a family affair. She started playing at six years-old with her brothers and was coached by her dad. Her teammate Emily Dodd ‘22, picked up box lacrosse from her older sister, who would use the time indoors as an opportunity to stay in shape during the off-season, before field lacrosse started up again. Logen Davis ‘22, also found box while looking for an opportunity to stay fit during the off-season, and quickly found herself immersed in the game. It quickly clicked for me that no matter when or how we all found box lacrosse, we quickly discovered a passion for it that made us want to keep playing. Interestingly enough, the players spoke of how many players, both male and female, in their region started off playing box lacrosse before transitioning to field lacrosse at a later time. What seemed like an other-wordly version of the sport to me is actually the norm for many young women in Canada, and I was fascinated by this because of the barriers I had seen for girls within the United States looking to play too!

Emily Dodd, Alberta

As I mentioned above, I had always viewed box lacrosse as a “game for guys,” simply because I personally did not know of or meet any other women that played box lacrosse until much later in my career. Ella echoed my sentiments, citing her frustration for “a game we all love to only be seen as ‘a men’s game.’’ Though she started playing box lacrosse at a young age, she eventually transitioned to field lacrosse because there were no opportunities for her to continue playing box at a higher level, whereas boys had ample options to continue with the game. And when opportunities did come up to continue, the boys leagues in her area had more opportunities to train and play with ample resources available. Still, she has taken advantage of the opportunities to continue playing box lacrosse, working alongside her teammates to establish a competitive box lacrosse landscape for girls.

Ella Royer, Alberta

Boys box lacrosse leagues were taken more seriously, especially with the consideration that the professional box league, the NLL, is 100% male. Recently, an all-female box lacrosse league was launched in Calgary to ensure girls could receive high-level training and skill development opportunities. For Emily, this was “a crucial first step in changing the narrative that box is a game only meant for boys.” Regardless of any roadblocks faced here and there, the young women in Alberta have persevered, winning many league and provincial championships! By setting a standard of excellent play, Alberta Lacrosse has created opportunities for more young women to play box lacrosse and find success within the game. 

Though box lacrosse requires more equipment and allows for a more aggressive style of play, the mechanisms of passing, shooting, and catching are very similar to field lacrosse. For the girls from Team Alberta, playing box can be an advantage, especially when the field game becomes a little chippy. With experience playing in high-intensity and aggressive games already, the players are never shook up and use that toughness to their advantage. The “fast and exciting” pace of the game pushes players to be quick on their feet (no pun intended), sharpening their decision making, ball handling, and footwork skills as well as strengthening their resolve. And one of the best parts of box lacrosse? Logen likes that it is “pretty much the same for both male and female,” citing the similar styles of play as a positive. 

Logen Davis, Alberta

I believe we can all learn a lot from box lacrosse, and the opportunity for players to heighten their field lacrosse skills by playing in even tighter quarters in a different setting can truly help expand their game. Because box lacrosse has the same rules for all leagues regardless of gender, it can be easily adaptable and there’s no stress on the nuances of what could be considered “better” or “worse”! And as someone who’s only option is to play with a team of men, I simply consider myself as a box lacrosse player, without the “women’s” attached to the front in the way field lacrosse is traditionally referred to.

So what words of advice does Team Alberta have for any ladies out there looking to step out onto the box lacrosse floor? Overcoming the fear of being hit is number one. I was definitely intimidated by the size of other players and the more intense play of the game, but once I realized I could catch and throw like anyone else on the floor, I knew I belonged there too! What I didn’t necessarily have in size or power, I could make up for with stick skills and game sense. Being pushed into the boards and more aggressive defense are part of the game, and I was never targeted more than any other player. Though it may be a challenge at first, box lacrosse offers the opportunity to add a new dimension to your skillset as a player and join a new community in the process! Opportunities for women of all ages to try their hand at box lacrosse are crucial for the growth of the sport, particularly box lacrosse in any region. I am inspired by the creation of all-female box lacrosse leagues that allow players to play in a safe and inclusive environment, and grateful for traditionally male leagues that do not discriminate against women looking to play!

In some regions, women are not allowed to play lacrosse. This comes as a shock to many, particularly with the rise in participation of field lacrosse by girls and women around the world.  This piece wouldn’t be complete without shouting out someone I look up to a lot, Rachel Vallarelli. Rachel is a professional women’s field and men’s box lacrosse goalie, breaking boundaries by simply being herself and pursuing her dream to play lacrosse at the highest level. Inspired by Ginny Capucchioni, the first woman to play in the NLL, Rachel’s box lacrosse career began in the Boston Box League and took off from there. Though she’s faced adversity throughout her career as someone “going against the grain” because she is a woman playing in a sport that hasn’t had many women take part, she has embraced this adversity and pushed forward regardless. With all the strong support she has received, Rachel has also had unkind comments and judgement come her way simply because she is a woman playing with men. Understanding that “when people make unsupportive or inappropriate comments, there is a reason for it,” Rachel chooses to instead focus on the pursuit of a spot on a National Lacrosse League team. I was saddened to hear that Rachel has encountered venues and arenas that do not allow women to play box lacrosse, because this sentiment mirrors many barriers women face in the workforce, sports, and in society altogether. 

Rachel Vallarelli

For her, this is a call to action for the community to work to truly make box lacrosse, and lacrosse at large, an inclusive sport for all. On the bright side, she has had “more people in [her] corner” than against her. From teammates and fans, the welcoming atmosphere goes a long way. From being invited to the NLL U.S. Elite Combine to showing her skills at the invite-only tryouts for the New York Riptide, Rachel is leading the charge and showing lacrosse fans worldwide that dedication and passion for the game should open doors for anyone, regardless of their gender. “Always know there are people supporting you and in your corner, no matter where they may be in life or location,” she said.

Women belong on the box lacrosse floor, and I am so grateful for everyone that has shared their perspective with me. Hopefully they have inspired you to pick up some pads and hit the box floor too! Anyone that knows me knows I love to break a glass ceiling, and I know the sport is in wonderful hands with Team Alberta and others leading the charge. Women and girls deserve to have options for which version of lacrosse they play, whether it be field or box lacrosse, just like our male counterparts do. Whichever version of the game we each love best, at the end of the day, it’s all lacrosse! 

If you would like to learn more about opportunities for girls to play box lacrosse, the US Box Lacrosse Association hosts clinics to teach the game, and events providing opportunities to play. They have a full list of sanctioned clubs across the United States that participate in their box lacrosse programs. In late 2020, World Lacrosse announced a working group to develop a women’s indoor/box pathway to play box lacrosse at World Lacrosse events at the junior and senior levels. To learn more about Team Alberta and show them some love, take a look at their website

 

 

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