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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Challenge of Bringing Lacrosse to Des Moines

When I started this whole lacrosse thing, I thought it would be fairly easy to get people in Des Moines to play. I mean, it is not perceived as a wuss sport the way soccer is (I am a huge soccer fan by the way and usually buy Menace season tickets so do not think I am bagging on footie). As a face paced stick-and-ball game, I thought it had a real shot of catching on in Des Moines. The fact that it combines the pace of soccer, the impact of football and hockey, the stick-and-ball aspect of baseball, and the versatile skills necessary for hockey made it seem like a quick sell.

As I have been working on this website and talking to people, I have come to find that most Central Iowans have never seen a game despite the fact that MLL games are on ESPN weekly during the summer, NLL games appear on VS (and sometimes on channel 20), and the NCAA championships are on ESPN every spring. I realize that I am blessed with a wife who let me have Mediacom's college sports tier package so I can watch college lax all season, but it saddens me that most people have only experienced lacrosse on American Pie.

By dedicating this site to lax, retooling my My Space page, spreading the word on Face Book and the Des Moines Adult Hockey site, and actually talking to people about lacrosse (if you know me, you would know how difficult that is for me), I know that I am doing the best I can to bring the sport to Central Iowa.

I know that people hate to drop loads of cash on something that they have never done before; God knows this would be easier if Play It Again had a bunch of used gear. That is why I want people to feel free to use the hockey gear they already have this summer. All hockey players would need to buy is a $30 beginner stick. I realize not everyone has hockey gear and that is a hurdle for some people. When the application process opens up, I plan to apply for a US Lacrosse equipment grant. Since Iowa is not exactly a "hotbed," I may stand a fairly good chance. In the meantime (and going forward), I recommend joining the Warrior Nation. As you build your profile up with pics, videos, and comments, you get points and move up in rank. Rank has benefits such as this.

I realize that the summer league is a while off yet but I am a planner, especially with something like this. Since people are not converting to lax on their own, my next series will discuss why you should pick up lax if you play hockey. Some things may apply to other sports like football and basketball while some may not. Most of it is common sense stuff, but it is worth pointing out. Check back here every couple of days to see the next article. And if you are into lax, why not point your buddies this way and get them interested too?

Tribe 7