Rod Shipley of <a href='http://mabll.com' target='_blank'>mabll.com</a>
In 1975, the league's first year, Rips Raiders captained by Byron Snyder and Rod Shipley won the championship. In 1976, the Hardee's team from Annapolis became the league's champoin. All the players in the league were ardent fans of the Maryland Arrows. Having the basic lacrosse skills (non-field), the players were learned how to play Box by clinics held by members of the Arrows. When the NLL broke up we obtained the wooden floor from the Arrows and re-located it at the Bowie Ice Rink. With the flooring being uneven and loose fitting, at first the games were pretty rag tag, however, as the first season came to a close, it was the players that learned the box game from the start that were the ones that excelled in the game. As more field players entered the league in subsequent years, the game became faster as opposed to the slower hockey/basketball style of play that was played in Canada and the NLL. In your pictures gallery the 2 pictures of the team in green was the Amerind team from Virginia, captained by the one and only Don West with John Zlatos, Don O'Shea, Rod Shipley (the good looking one) and anchored by an incredible goalie named Billy England as the #1 line. That was when the sticks were mostly wooden, the blood did flow and the in close pick and roll style of offense dominated the game. We wore helmets with no face masks, dealt with big dominating defencemen and great goalie work. It's a credit to all the dedicated players throughout the years with the love of the game that you have not only lasted this long, but have grown to where you are today. I'm very proud to have been one of the founding members of the league. It's such a great sport and like the rest of us from the 70's, we have a bag full of stories to share over a cold beer and shot of ouzo (it brings out the Crunch Crosscheck in us). Ask some of the old timers about that. Thanks for refreshing the memories.