Saturday, November 8, 2008
So I decided to get two beginner sticks, some balls, and a bag. I got two sticks, because who else has one right now and who wants to play alone? The balls speak for themselves. And the bag allows me to carry it all, duh. I also joined Club Lax to get free shipping. Great Atlantic Lacrosse is offering free shipping on any order over $100 for Club Lax members until November 16, 2008. Here is what I decided on:
Gait Icon 2 $32.99 (Club Lax $29.69). I love this stick already. It has a 10 degree offset like the higher end professional models. Its aluminum handle is soft and feels like a higher quality than its price tag suggests.
STX AV8 $35.99 (Club Lax $32.39). This is the best selling beginner stick so I had to get one. Plus, I am generally a fan of STX.
Nike Lax Duffel Bag $39.99 (Club Lax $35.99). This monster is huge and can hold two sticks and a ton of gear. The shipping invoice said this bag was five pounds by itself. Crazy! Awesome price though; every other brand is more costly. Plus, the Nike Lacrosse logo is cool.
I also got two white and two orange Warrior lacrosse balls. They are $1.99 each (Club Lax $1.79). Great Atlantic Lacrosse has a few other beginner stick options and a great selection of shafts, heads, and gear too. Check them out and get playing!
Now for the bad news, technically these are my Christmas presents from my mom and grandma. They (and my wife) said that I could not have them before Christmas. At least I got to "inspect" them the other night...
Friday, November 7, 2008
I am trying to spread the word in every way I can think of without buying ad space somewhere (frankly, I don't have the money). I have emailed everyone I know that lives in Des Moines and may be interested in lacrosse. I have posted on the Lacrosse Forums regularly. I threw a couple of items up on the Menace thread of BigSoccer.com. I renamed my MySpace username "Central Iowa Lacrosse" and threw up the link there as well. I joined the Des Moines Lacrosse League group page and sent the link to everyone I could think of (the link is also above and on the main page of this blog above the poll). Central Iowa Lacrosse also comes up on Google. I plan on getting out my old journalism textbooks and hammering out some sort of press release soon. Maybe Juice or CityView will put something out about my efforts to bring lacrosse to Des Moines...
I am trying to change things up to make the site more appealing. Pictures have been added, posts have been reformatted, and the whole page has been cleaned up. To prevent myself from running out of topics until we actually get something going, I will only post every other day. Updates will be posted as they occur. Hopefully by spacing my posts out more, you will be more inclined to share your thoughts.
You may notice some new links on the sidebar. They are not lacrosse related, but are all local. If you have a business, blog, or website and you would like your link to appear on Central Iowa Lacrosse, drop me a line and I'll put it up. Let's help each other out.
I am not giving upon lacrosse in Des Moines. I am merely scaling back my blogs as a practicality. My efforts will continue and I would LOVE your help. Spread the word any way you can. You know I will.
On the floor, a team consists of a goalkeeper and five runners. When the sport originated teams played with six runners. However, in 1953 the sixth runner, a position called rover, was eliminated. Team rosters are typically a total of 16 to 24 players on the bench. The goalkeeper can be replaced by another runner (often when a penalty has been signaled by the referee or at the end of a quarter).
A players lacrosse stick must be between 40 inches (1.0 m) and 46 inches (1.2 m) in length (youth levels may use shorted sticks). In most box lacrosse leagues, the use of an traditional wooden stick is allowed. In the National Lacrosse League, wooden lacrosse sticks are not allowed. Besides a lacrosse stick, each player must also wear a certain amount of protective equipment, including: a lacrosse helmet with facemask, lacrosse gloves, arm and shoulder pads, and back/kidney pads (optional in some leagues).
During a typical game the number of officials can range from one to three, depending on the league and level of play.The playing area of box lacrosse is typically a ice hockey rink during the summer months. The playing surface is usually the melted concrete floor underneath the rink. The National Lacrosse League plays on artificial turf placed on top of the ice. Some leagues, and teams that have dedicated box lacrosse arenas (such as the Iroquois), have outfitted their playing surface with artificial turf similar to the National Lacrosse League.
Box lacrosse goals are dimensions are traditionally 4 feet (1.2 m) wide by 4 feet (1.2 m) tall. In the National Lacrosse League and Major Series Lacrosse the dimensions are slightly larger at 4 feet 9 inches (1.4 m) wide by 4 feet (1.2 m) tall. These nets are significantly smaller than in field lacrosse nets which measure 6 feet (1.8 m) wide by 6 feet (1.8 m) feet tall.Each period, and after each goal scored, play is restarted with a face-off. During play, teams may substitute players in and out as they wish. Sometimes this is referred to as "on the fly" substitution. The sport utilizes a shot clock and the attacking team must take a shot on goal within 30 seconds of gaining possession of the ball. In additional, players must advance the ball from their own defensive end to the offensive half of the floor within 10 seconds.
A penalty shot, where a player from the non-offending team is given an attempt to score a goal without opposition from any defending players except the goaltender, may be awarded under certain circumstances. By rule, teams must have at least three runners in play. If a team commits a third penalty resulting in a "three man down" situation a penalty shot is awarded in favor of having the offending player serve in the penalty box. A penalty shot may also be awarded, at the referee's discretion, if a defensive player causes a foul to prevent a goal (by throwing his stick, holding, tripping, or by deliberately displacing the goal, or a defensive player intentionally falls and covers a ball in his own team's crease).
Similar to fighting in ice hockey, fighting is illegal in box lacrosse. However, what separates box lacrosse (and ice hockey) from other sport is that at the top levels of professional and junior lacrosse, a five-minute major penalty is given and the players are not ejected for participating in a fight.Fighting in youth or club level box lacrosse is typically penalized with expulsion and suspensions. In 1990, when the Six Nations created the new Mohawk lacrosse league, fighting was specifically targeted as unacceptable. Violators were ejected from the game in which the altercation occurred and given a minimum three game suspension.
As far as box's future in Des Moines, I am unsure. There are two ice rinks (if you do not count Wells Fargo Arena) with three sheets of ice between them. It is possible that at least one of these rinks could take a cue from the Canadians and put down turf for the summer. This would allow us to play box lacrosse just like our northern neighbors.
I seriously doubt that either rink would want to invest the money it would take to convert their rink for a sport no one even plays yet. The Facility tries not to thaw its ice as much as possible and would most likely not want to put turf on top of their current surfaces. Plus, their building is typically far too warm in the summer when playing on the ICE, so playing without it would be hellish. Bucs Arena has more potential, but playing there is not very likely either.If Box Lax comes around any time soon, it would be in one of two ways. The first would be to play an outdoor version of Box, which would really be more like field lacrosse with a shorter field and fewer players. This has potential, but would have some of the problems of traditional field lacrosse. Still, it would give us the chance to play outdoors and work on attacking and high pressure defense. The Gaits and others honed their skills in the box, so this could prove advantageous when we enter the GPLL.
My other thought is that there is a venue just off the south side of Des Moines that may be suitable for box lacrosse. Perhaps the Soccer House would allow us to set up shop during their off months. My understanding is that the building is unused for most of the summer and even part of the winter. Now, I do not know what the air conditioning situation is in there, but I imagine it is ghastly. Still, I think the Soccer House shows the most promise to host Box Lax in the near future...
Supplemental information obtained from: Wikipedia
Continue to Part 4
Thursday, November 6, 2008
In Native American society, lacrosse served several different purposes. The sport was used for conflict resolution, the training of young warriors, and as a religious ritual. Games could be played on a pitch over a mile wide and sometimes lasted for days. Early lacrosse balls were made out of deerskin, clay, stone, and sometimes wood. Lacrosse has played a significant role in the community and religious life of tribes across the continent for many years. Early lacrosse was characterized by deep spiritual involvement, befitting the spirit of combat in which it was undertaken. Those who took part did so in the role of warriors, with the goal of bringing glory and honor to themselves and their tribes. The game was said to be played "for the pleasure of the Creator."
Lacrosse has witnessed significant modifications since its origins in the 14th century, but many aspects of the sport remain the same. In the traditional Native American version, each team consisted of about 100 to 1,000 men on a field that stretched from about 500 yards to a couple of miles long. These lacrosse games lasted from sunup to sundown for two to three days straight. These games were played to settle inter-tribal disputes, to toughen young warriors in preparation for future combat and to give thanks to the Creator. The Alqonquin tribes referred to the sport as "baggataway".
The game became known to Westerners when a French Jesuit Missionary, Jean de Brébeuf, saw the Iroquois tribesmen play it in 1636. It has often been assumed that the name lacrosse stems from the resemblance that a traditional wooden lacrosse stick bears to a bishop's crosier. Jesuit missionary Jean-de-Brébeuf noted this resemblance in the Relation des Jésuites around 1640. However, the word crosse in the French of that time period was a general term used for any type of staff. The name lacrosse is simply a reflection of this and is perhaps shorthand for the phrase "le jeu de la crosse" (the game of the hooked stick).
As Europeans invaded the Americas, the traditional native game evolved into a more "traditional" sport with universal equipment and rules. For centuries, the game was only prevalent in East Coast areas where the Iroquois version of lacrosse was codified.
The NCAA, NFHS, and MLL play similar versions of field lacrosse. Every four years there are international field lacrosse championships, which have been dominated by the United States with eight gold medals (out of ten). Canada, with two golds, is the only other team to win the international game. Unlike every other sport, lacrosse allows the Iroquois Confederacy to field a team, which is typically ranked in the top five. Australia, England, Ireland, and Scotland are also fairly successful.
Field lacrosse involves two teams, each competing to project a small ball of solid rubber into the opposing team's goal. Each team starts with ten players on the field: a goalkeeper or "goalie"; three defenders in the defensive end; three midfielders free to roam the whole field; and three attackers attempting to score goals in the offensive end.
Players scoop the ball off the ground with their stick and may run carrying the ball in their stick, pass the ball through the air to other players, or throw it at the goal. In men's lacrosse, players may kick the ball, as well as cover it with their sticks, provided they do not withhold it from play.
Time continues to run in dead ball situations such as in between goals, with two exceptions: when the referees deem it necessary to avoid a significant loss of playing time, for example when chasing a ball shot far away or during care of an injured player; and in the last three minutes of the fourth quarter of any men’s game.
Play is quite fast and fluid with typical games totaling ten to twenty goals.
Offensive vs. Defensive Players- the offense consists of three attackmen and three midfielders all of whom use short sticks. The defense consists of three midfielders, three defensemen, and a goalie. Defensemen are known to use longer stick than midfielders and attackmen. On defense, teams are allowed to trade out one short stick player for another long stick player. Unsurprisingly, this player is called a long-stick midfielder (LSM).[Referred to in more detail below] Teams may also sub in a short-stick midfielder that specializes in defensive play, called a Defensive Midfielder (DM).
Offsides- this occurs when there are more than six players (three midfielders/three attackmen or three midfielders/three defensemen) on one half of the field. Midfielders are known to run the whole field but it is seldom during a game that an attackman or defenseman leave their offensive and defensive zones. Their zones are separated by the midfield line. However, defensemen and attackmen can cross the midfield line when a midfielder "stays back" and temporarily trades positions with him.
Crease- the crease is the circle surrounding the goal. This is the goalie's home. Defensemen are allowed to cross through the crease but players on offense are not. It is within this area that the goalie cannot be hit and players cannot make contact with the goalie's stick when he is in full possession of the ball.The field of play is 110 yards (100 m) long and 60 yards (54 m) wide. The goals are 6 feet (1.8 m) by 6 feet, containing a mesh netting similar to an ice hockey goal. The goal sits inside a circular "crease", measuring 18 feet (5.5 m) in diameter. Behind the crease is the area designated simply as "X".One Attackman will remain at "X" in most types of offensive setups, such as chasing after a shot in which the first player to the spot where the ball went out gets possession of the ball.
Each player carries a lacrosse stick measuring between 40 inches (101.6 centimeters) and 42 inches (106.68 centimeters) long (a "short crosse"), or 52 inches (132.08 centimeters) to 72 (182.88 centimeters) long (a "long crosse"). The designated goalkeeper is allowed to have a stick from 40 inches (101.6 centimeters) to 72 inches (182.88 centimeters) long. The head of the crosse on both long and short crosses must be 6.5 inches or larger at its widest point and 2.5 inches wide or wider at its narrowest point.
The head of a goalkeeper's crosse may measure up to 15 inches (38.1 centimeters) wide, significantly larger than field players' heads to assist in blocking shots. Goalies at the youth levels commonly use shorter crosses. Although most attackmen and midfielders utilize short crosses, defensemen carry long crosses, and one midfielder on defense may carry a long crosse. Some teams choose to distribute their sticks differently, not uncommon because a team may only have 4 long crosses on the field during live play, excluding penalty boxes. Most modern sticks have a metal shaft, usually made of aluminum,titanium or alloys while the head is made of hard plastic. Metal shafts must have a plastic or a more popular rubber cap at the end. The heads are strung with string, leather, and mesh. The strings in the "pocket" are called shooting strings and accuracy or "v" strings.Male players are required to wear helmets, gloves (much like hokey gloves), shoulder pads, and elbow pads.Women players are only required to wear eye protection since contact is not allowed in women's lacrosse.Athletic supporters and protective cups for all male players are also strongly recommended and often required.
Field lacrosse can be played on any flat or slightly crowned surface. This means that any soccer or football field in Des Moines could potentially make an ideal place to play. The Cownie Soccer Complex or one of the youth associations would make an ideal home for a larger organization with youth leagues and whatnot. Any high school stadium in the metro has the potential to be a decent field for a Great Plains Lacrosse League team.
On the national level, NCAA schools pretty much only pay attention to field lacrosse when recruiting and ranking players. Since all of their programs are field, this makes absolute sense. The high school league in Omaha is a field program, and I envision central Iowa teens playing against them someday soon.
Obviously, Field Lacrosse is what I see as the ultimate goal for lacrosse in central Iowa. My plan is to have some sort of organized field lacrosse by 2010. I would like to have enough men to at least have regular scrimmage games. From these players, a GPLL team could be formed to compete as early as 2011. Until then, I would like to introduce lacrosse, get some officials trained, and play whatever form of lacrosse we can. Women do not typically play men's lacrosse, but considering the current absence of the sport in the metro, we can work around that. Teens are also not typically allowed to play with adults, but this rule can be overlooked for now as well. If things go as well as I hope in the next few months, I see no reason why a rudimentary form of a local field lacrosse league cannot exist.
Supplemental information obtained from: Wikipedia
Continue to Part 3
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I am not promising a huge blog for each, nor am I saying that I will not directly quote outside material. With each description, I will try my best to talk about how I think they will fit in with my plans/vision for Des Moines. Things like how and where each version could be played, how many people will be required, what kind of equipment can/will be used, and what type of organization/officiating will be needed for each game will be discussed.
First and foremost I will discuss the basic game of lacrosse, formally known as Field Lacrosse. This is the game that most of the world thinks of as "Lacrosse." The NCAA and MLL play field lacrosse and field lacrosse was played in "American Pie." I'll look at Field Lacrosse tomorrow.
On Friday, we'll discuss the second most popular type of men's lacrosse, Box Lacrosse. This is national summer game of Canada and was originally invented as a way for ice rinks to make money in the summer. The Gaits honed their skills in the box.
On Saturday, Women's lacrosse will be featured. Its origins and major differences from men's field lacrosse will discussed. As I stated above, this game is the least likely to be seen in Des Moines in the near future.
Sunday will feature the newest version of lacrosse, Chumash. It can be a co-ed sport if needed and requires the fewest players. The field, goal, and official requirements are smaller than the other men's games as well.
Most of the games use the same type of goal and similar field dimensions (although Box features a condensed field). A standard lacrosse goal looks similar to a hockey goal with some slight variations. Figuring out which type of game will be played will ultimately determine which type of goal(s) Central Iowa Lacrosse will need to get a hold of and what kind of field we will need to arrange.
PS. A few people have asked me about where in Des Moines lax sticks can be purchased. Scheels and Sports Authority have both had beginner sticks, most notably the Warrior Outlaw (pictured below), in stock over the last year. Play it Again in Ames usually has some lax stuff. Most Dick's have lax sticks and the Clive Play it Again may have a couple around. According to Warrior's website, Slapshot Hockey is listed as an authorized distributor (they sell Warrior hockey sticks and glove), so you may be able order Warrior lacrosse through them. I am not sure on this since I have not asked about the possibility of bringing lax into their store yet. Also, check out Great Atlantic Lacrosse. It is a highly reputable and reliable online retailer with a great selection and many brands.
Continue to Part 2
Enough politics, back to lacrosse!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I also found the game times listed on a local gymnastics site (www.jacobsgymnastics.com/). Trying to find a website specifically for this club but came up with nothing. Does anyone know if such a website exists? If so, could you please post or email me the address so I can get it on this blog? If anyone knows anybody on or affiliated with this team, please direct them to this blog or get them in touch with me. To meet our goal of bringing lacrosse to the Des Moines metro area, our efforts should be coordinated. I also found a video, but have not yet watched it since YouTube is blocked at my office: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxj430TAAIs
In other news, I also found a Des Moines Lacrosse League group site now exists. I have joined the site as a member (making me the second). I have not yet contacted the founder, but will do so when I have more time. The link is on the side bar and right here:
You may have noticed that I added more graphical links as well. I am in the process of getting a graphical link for every local college club program. If/when I get the Valley/Waukee Lax Club link, I will post one for them as well.
The first European settlers of the plains in the current State of Iowa found a tribe of big game hunters who referred to themselves as the Iowa. These people are believed to have been the descendants of the Oneota – a people of Mississippi origin who moved into the Upper Iowa River area around 1250 C.E. The Oneota were an agricultural people. They raised corn and beans and lived in permanent village sites where they built houses made of wood. They were also skilled potters.
The word Iowa is variously translated as ‘one who puts to sleep’ or ‘beautiful land.’ The Iowa developed a way of life in response to the environment of this beautiful land. In the Northeast they found a heavily forested landscape that featured rugged canyons and deep ravines. Moved west they encountered a vast marshland. The rest of their domain was basically prairie. The Iowa lived in villages that were situated in river valleys. They depended on both hunting and farming for their livelihood. They followed an annual cycle that fit in with the seasons.
Throughout the winter period of November through April, the Iowa would trap beaver in their river valley winter camps. Around January they would hunt for bear. The hardy hunters would actually fight the bear in hand to hand combat. Around March the large camps would disperse, with small bands travelling to the sugar cane regions to make sugar and syrup. In April the bands would regather at the Summer camps. Here they would trade with the European fur traders before celebrating their annual Spring Festival. The Lodges that had fallen into disrepair over winter would then be rebuilt and the fields would be prepared for planting. In May the crops would be planted. Corn planting would be accompanied by religious rites.
Summer was the season of hunting and war for the Iowa people. The young warriors would travel far from their villages on long distance hunts for the bison and the deer. They would travel out on war parties, usually fought over hunting rights to certain areas.
During the 17th Century, many tribes from eastern states were forced west as a result of warfare with the British, Americans and French. Such tribes as the Sauk and Fox, Kickapoo and Ojibwe moved into the traditional Iowa hunting grounds. This, naturally led to inter tribal warfare. This century also saw an increased interaction with white fur traders by the Iowa. As a result of trading for metal pots and tools, the making of traditional clay pottery and stone tools began to fall into decline. The white man also brought with him disease – primarily smallpox – which ravaged through the native villages.
">The Iowa were closely related to the Sioux. Intertribal warfare over hunting grounds, however, had distanced them from these people. The language of the Iowa people is of Siouan origin. Linguists call this language ‘Chiwere.’ The Iowa were a religious people with many religious societies. They had bear and buffalo doctors as well as a Medicine Lodge. Iowa society was organised in accordance with Clan membership. Each Clan within a village was accorded specific responsibilities. The Thunder Clan, for example, would take leadership in warfare. Other Clans included the Elk, Beaver, Buffalo and Bear Clans.
Successive treaties during the 1800’s surrendered Iowa title of much of their lands to the United States Government. In 1836, the Iowa signed a treaty by which they were moved to a reservation on the Kansas-Nebraska border. Later treaties were to diminish the size of that . In the 1880’s many Iowa began moving into Indian territory in Oklahoma.
Today there are two tribes of Iowa Indians. They are the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska and the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma.
-This blog was copied from Essortment for educational purposes.
Monday, November 3, 2008
I truly appreciate the readers I already have and am thankful that you have taken the time to check this blog out. Bringing the sport to Des Moines is my passion, but it really is a collaborative effort. If I have no readers, then what is the point of having a blog?
Having said that, I have received my first email regarding this blog. Check it out:
What's the deal? This is a lax page, but you have a hockey pic on it. What the hell? Anyways, you say a lot about companies coming into lax, but who cares? What's that got to do w/ DM? And when are you gonna say something about playing lax in DM? I really want to toss the ball.
Well Tony (last name deleted for anonymity), the reason there is a picture of me in my hockey gear is that I felt it would be the best pic for the site. Would a pic of me playing lax be better? Of course, but since we do not yet have lax in Des Moines, I have no pic of me playing. Also, I felt that it would be wise to have a familiar pic up for anyone who knows me from hockey or elsewhere. It builds trust.
The reason I spent so much time on new companies coming into lacrosse is twofold. First, I began covering Nike and speculating about other companies entering lax purely as hook to bring more traffic. People who are already into lacrosse are excited about the prospect of the sport becoming more mainstream. When larger equipment companies like Nike or Easton come into a sport, it is an indicator that the sport is becoming more popular. The second reason I spent so much time on the new companies was to have interesting articles while the blog was becoming established.
As far as playing lax in Des Moines, things are happening now to get that ball rolling. This week will see a new series of blogs that talk about the different types of lacrosse and what will be played in Des Moines. With the holidays approaching and hockey games scheduled, I do not see lacrosse being played by me until after Christmas. I am hoping to get games going hardcore in the Spring of 2009. Maybe if we are blessed with a decent winter, we could look at some snowball on New Year's weekend. In fact, if anyone is interested in this, drop me a line and we'll see what we can do.
Until next time, I am your friendly host. Please post a comment or drop me a line here.
The poll to name the future Des Moines GPLL team is still running and will end after Thanksgiving. I wanted to leave it up for a while to allow people to find this blog and voice their opinions. Soon after will be a poll about potential team colors. I gave you my line of thought, but am interest to know what the fans think. This decision may impact the future of lacrosse in Des Moines...
There will some more polls coming up soon to preview another series on CILax. I will be examining various lacrosse leagues in depth and looking at what changes can and should be made to make them more successful. There will also be a series on the different types of lacrosse being played in North America and other parts of the world. Hopefully at least one of these games will appear in DM within the next 12 months...
What kind of blog would this be if I did not spend a little time talking about lacrosse's future in Des Moines? There will be articles about how the game will appear in Des Moines as well as playing times and locations. As information becomes available, I will pass it on to you. I plan on getting some interview questions together for ISU, Iowa, and other local MCLA club players. More discussions about the GPLL and potential high school club teams and/or a whole league are also on the agenda.
My hope is that the readership for this blog will continue to grow. I continue to mention it on MySpace and recently got in trouble for posting the link on the Lacrosse Forums. So far I have not been able to find the site on Google, but hopefully that will change soon. Keep spreading the word and I will keep trying to get better content posted. Until then, I am doing my part to spread the sport in the Heartland. Lacrosse will rise in Central Iowa.
Remember, tomorrow is election day. I ask that all of you vote only if you care about politics. Know what you are voting for and why you are choosing a candidate. Know what your candidate stands for and how his/her views will impact you. As a special treat tomorrow, I am posting a different sort of article. I hope you enjoy it.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I just wanted to let everyone know that I have made some updates to some of the old blogs. I added some pictures to the equipment series and reformatted existing pictures elsewhere (particularly in the Nike blogs). I found this blog bland and thought it needed refreshed.
Hopefully you haven't found this thing as dull as it looked recently. I am trying to make a conscious effort to make it more visually appealing without overdoing it. If things are too bland or too overloaded, let me know. Your feedback is very important to me and this blog is the first step towards the future of lacrosse in OUR city.
However, there is the distinct possibility that Cascade will remain as the preferred choice when a specific brand offers no helmet of their own or when self-sustained programs purchase helmets. For years, CCM was the default helmet for many hockey players as very few equipment suppliers produced their own lids. Even though Mission, NikeBauer, and Easton all have helmets of their own, many Louisville, Warrior, and Fury endorsed players continue wearing the CCM and its RBK sibling. Maybe Cascade's entry into the hockey helmet business will turn this around...
So how does this relate to lacrosse? As I stated above, three companies (alright, technically two companies since Brine and Warrior are both owned by New Balance) have already entered the helmet market. Gait's helmets are considered ugly by most fans, but are still widely used. Part of their popularity comes from their one-size-fits-all easy adjustment system. This had led Virgina, a top-notch NCAA program, to use Gait helmets.
Warrior's Venom helmet is relatively new and uses an air system to allow a one-size-fits-all method. Its looks are radical in terms of lacrosse helmet design, but still aesthetically appealing. The wrap around stripes converge to form a large W on the back of the skull, which is pretty cool considering it is a Warrior helmet.
Brine seems to be the most popular of the three. Its Triumph helmets are stylish and comfortable. Their sight lines are outstanding and their protection is top notch. Their biggest hurdle is the lack of universal sizing. Having to purchase helmets for different sized heads is problematic for programs with smaller budgets and mathematically eliminates Brine from their orders (especially since needs can vary from year to year).
That brings us to the new helmets looming on the horizon. Ever since rumors started swirling about Nike entering the lax market, talk of a helmet came about. This helmet is alleged to be a joint project with STX aimed primarily at having a full line of Nike/STX lax gear for sponsorship purposes and for a greater share of the overall market. Nike entered the fray to capitalize on the rapidly expanding lacrosse market and chose to do business with a like-minded and reputable company with whom they already had a relationship. Many Nike sponsored schools have used STX for years, so it was a natural fit.
Nike/STX will most likely do some sort of joint branding scheme on their helmets (similar to NikeBauer's hockey equipment), with some combination of the swoosh and STX logo. Lacrosse offers many possibilities for the helmets designs. Imagine, if you will, ear vents shaped like miniature swooshes. Top vents could be shaped as S-T-X. The whole look would be cutting edge and futuristic, like most of the STX line (check out the Cell & G22 lines for example). The fact that most of the top NCAA programs would be wearing these helmets would only enhance their credibility.
On the other side of the coin sit Reebok & Adidas. Although they are one company, their lacrosse gear is completely separate. Reebok's stuff is made in house and Adidas' is made through a license (The Henson Group). Reebok is considered pro quality and Adidas has the stigma of a "newbie." No doubt the difference in quality comes from Reebok's work in hockey where CCM technology has produced out standing sticks and pads for the Vector. These materials are so similar to lacrosse that only a few minor tweaks were needed to create high quality gear. Their stranglehold on the NLL gave them plenty of testing and feedback opportunities as well.
The Henson Group/Adidas created their gear from scratch. Overall, it has not gotten terrible reviews, just not great reviews. This project was underway before Adidas bought Reebok, which is why a collaboration/cross-development system did not occur. Perhaps the Henson license will expire in a couple of years and the Adidas gear will be produced alongside the Reebok. The smart move at that point would be to make Adidas the upscale brand, but so far they have tried to make the two relatively equal.
As far as a helmet is concerned, there has been no solid talk yet. Still, I am sure that the company would like to bring at least one lid to the market. If only one brand brings a helmet to the table, my prediction is that it will be branded as Reebok. Again, they can capitalize on their hockey experience to produce a high quality helmet that any player would be proud and comfortable wearing. Design elements could incorporated vector logos and the sleek channels that adorn their hockey helmets. It would be curvy a la their glove line and probably compact like a Gait helmet. Bringing the corporate element into it, the ear vents could easily be made into Adidas' current trefoil logo. This would be a shout out to the corporation without taking away the fact that it is a Reebok helmet. It would be easy to modify the helmet for Adidas by removing the Vectors and carrying a "three stripe" theme with the vents. I would guess that Adidas will not have a helmet until their license with Henson is up.
Would helmets from Nike/STX and Adidas/Reebok be successful? I would yes, at least with new players. More experienced lacrosse players seem very reluctant to change, especially when it comes from a meg-entity like these. While they have embraced Maverik and Scorpion, time will tell on the BIG three. Reebok has gained some popularity among traditional laxers, no doubt due in part from their NLL sponsorship. Nike's relationship with STX will make them catch on, but their price points may turn off several buyers. Still, their helmets stand a decent chance since almost every helmet on the market falls in the $100-$225 price range. Landing somewhere in their and identifying key competitors and specific models will be crucial. Both have a great shot at producing high quality gear that is highly coveted because their hockey helmets are two of the most popular lines in that industry. It should not take much to translate that success to lacrosse.