Best Place to Find Low Prices - Discontinued Gear

Friday, June 19, 2009

Coming Soon - Box Lacrosse! Part 2

I received an email back from the Soccer House regarding us playing box lacrosse there. Just as before, they are still enthusiastic for us to move in. In fact, they are so excited that we could actually start playing there as soon as we want!

With the rapid rise of heat and humidity already this summer, playing indoors may not be a bad thing. Maybe instead of starting in September like I originally planned, we could look at starting box lacrosse in August. The early stages could see a pay-as-you-play system or it could be a full blown league. I will probably throw up an interest poll to influence my decision.

So far we have been offered Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday nights. Personally, I would prefer to stay away from Friday because most people have things going on, especially during the high school football season. Again I will post a poll to influence my decision.

A standard box lacrosse playing surface is 180-200 feet by 80-90 feet. The Soccer House's field is a little smaller at 180 feet by 70 feet. While not too small, it does make me wonder how well a standard field lacrosse or even a hockey goal would fit in there with their six foot base (official box rules specify a four foot base). Still, part of me wants to keep using a standard field lax goal to continuing developing field goalkeepers.

My biggest concern with the goals is transporting or storing them. I know that neither of my vehicles can hold one folded goal, let alone two. Since the Soccer House is located just off the bypass, driving with my rear door open is not such a good idea. You can be sure that I definitely will not do it in the middle of winter (or during a big rainstorm). Plus, I need to verify which goals we can actually use.

We will get a box league started this year. It is mostly just a question of when. To get this puppy moving, I need your help and feedback. Contact me with your ideas. I may post them (without your name attached, of course) or you can simply comment below. Any and all ideas are welcome!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Clinic Status Update

Unfortunately I have nothing new to report about an Iowa/ISU clinic this summer. I am trying to reopen the lines of communication with ISU. Iowa is pretty much out as an option. Their head coach stepped down and many of their players left the state for the summer.

I also have not heard back from the YMCA about their planned lax clinic this summer. I had hoped to spread the word and contact the parents of some interested kids. If anyone has any specific (and accurate) information, contact me ASAP.

Coming Soon - Box Lacrosse!

I realize that summer just began a few days ago, but I am already looking towards the fall. Specifically, I am looking at how lacrosse will play out this fall. With unpredictable numbers during our Summer Open Lacrosse League I am a little nervous about the fall, especially with hockey, basketball, wrestling, football and their related activities looming. That is why I wanted to get the feelers out now.
Some of you may recall me talking earlier this year about setting up a modified box lacrosse league (that's short field indoor lacrosse in case you did not know) at the Soccer House just off the south side bypass. This is still something I am interested in and I think that many of you may be down for doing this. Once school starts back up, it will be pretty much impossible for us to use the fields on a regular basis and once it gets cold we will not want to. Playing box lax at the SH allows us to keep playing without freezing to death.
I have already re-established contact with the SH about playing their this fall. Last January they were supportive of the idea and I imagine that they still are. I am trying to reserve a weekly block of time so that we can schedule our games as a league. Hopefully that will solve the attendance problem we are having right now. I have no idea what night will be open, but I know we will not be playing there on Wednesdays, Fridays, or Saturdays. Of course there will be a fee to play; we have to rent the field. Once I get the information back from them and get an idea of how many people are playing (plus some related stuff) I will pass on the fee info. My goal is 4-6 teams of 10 players. Just like the SOLL, the league will be open to high school and adult players.

What are your early thoughts? Please post them below or email me.

Quick summary of box lax:
1. Hockey rink size field with boards.
2. 5v5 instead of 9v9 in the field.
3. Hybrid of lacrosse and hockey (no, you don't wear skates).
4. Uses the same equipment as field lacrosse (we'll let you wear hockey gear as always), but no long poles.
5. Generally the goals are smaller - 4x4 instead of 6x6. This might not apply in our case...

Some of the advantages of playing box through the fall/winter:
1. It is inside. Field conditions and weather are a nonfactor.
2. The field is smaller. That means less running for us lazy guys!
3. Only five runners and a goalie are on the field at a time. That means we can have several smaller teams and line changes.
4. There are seats, concessions, and restrooms at the SH. Your friends and family can come out and witness the games!
5. You get to work on your stick stills, dodging, defense, shooting, etc. in a smaller area.
6. No chasing balls!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Way to Go Polk County!!!

I contacted the Board of Supervisors after I read the news about the Schlegels' plans for the Chops. This is the response I received:

"Thanks for the email. I appreciate your input into this matter.
I think it's fair to say that the Board is committed to one level of hockey and one level only: AHL triple AAA professional hockey. This is the view not only of Polk County but our management partners, Global Spectrum, as well.
I have nothing against the CHL or any of its fans, players or cities. However, I believe our commitment was to field a triple AAA team and that remains our objective.
The short term of this complicated matter may not look very pretty, but bear with us. Our long term objective is to have a stable NHL affiliated AHL team taking the ice at Wells Fargo. We continue to work with Global, the current operators and the AHL League office to resolve this matter satisfactorily for our taxpayers.
Thanks again for your email Much appreciated.
Robert Brownell
Clive, Des Moines and West Des Moines"

Added 6/17: Just one reason why Polk County (and all of us) do not want to take part in the CHL.

Screw the Schlegels!!!!!!

Have you read the latest Chops article?

Here it is in a nutshell: The Schlegels want to sell the AHL franchise to Dallas (surprise!) to validate the Texas Stars (ironic, huh?). They want to replace the AHL franchise with a CHL franchise. They claim that CHL is the next step down from the AHL. Wrong.

The NHL has two affiliated minor leagues - the AHL and the ECHL. Although professional hockey does not use the same designations they are essentially AAA and AA, respectively. Every remaining league may have individual teams with NHL affiliations (mostly regional). Some teams have affiliations with AHL or ECHL teams and some have no affiliations. The CHL falls into this category.

I am not saying that the CHL is a bad league, but it is at least two steps down from the AHL. Pretty much every player on a CHL roster will never see time in the AHL, let alone the NHL. Had we had this league originally I would not be so upset, but the Schlegels are taking away our Lexus and giving us a used Kia while telling us that it is essentially a new Toyota.

I love having professional hockey in Des Moines. I really do. No matter the level, I will support the team openly (I even have several pieces of Stars merchandise). However, I will boycott any replacement teams that the Schlegels own. They have screwed the hockey fans, Global Spectrum, Polk County, the state of Iowa, and the community too many times. Polk County needs to kick Kirby & Co to the curb!

Basic North America Hockey Pyramid:
Major league: NHL
Minor AAA: AHL
Minor AA: ECHL
Minor A: CHL, IHL
Canadian Major Juniors
Junior A (including USHL - DM Bucs)
Junior B
Junior C
Independent Juniors
High School

Monday, June 15, 2009

This Week & Next Week

As of late turnout seems to be kind of crappy. We've had enough to play half field games, but we can do much better than 8-12 guys per session. Between the Valley team, new players, and interested adults there is no reason not to have 16-25 guys every time.
I understand that people have to work and have other obligations. Still I must say that I am extremely disappointed in the guys from the team that have not made a single session thus far. Now that we are adding an additional night each week, I expect every returning Valley player to make at least one session per week. Since I cannot make it every time, I do not expect anyone else to be there all three nights either. I know that some of you have already contacted me to explain why you are not playing.
We are now playing Mondays (which Cam is running), including tonight! I know this is kind of late notice, and I apologize. I got busy yesterday and just did not get around to updating the site. Remember we only cancel when thunderstorms (lightning and lax sticks are not a good combination), tornadoes, or monsoon type rains are breaking out. I will do my best to post/email as soon as I know.

Schedule for 6/15 - 6/27:
Monday starting at 5:30 pm
Thursday starting at 5:30 pm
Saturday starting at 11:30 am

Tribe 7