College box lacrosse has been around for many, many years in Canada. In the great white north, the primary season for box lacrosse is in the summer (because they play hockey on the same rinks in the winter). Most of their lacrosse is played in a "club" setting much like we see here in the US. Junior lacrosse is for players ages 16-21. Its a crossover from high school to college but is mostly the older players on the Junior A teams.
This is a VERY big deal to the Canadians. As soon as their US college seasons are over, they are back in Canada and on the floor playing 1-2 games per week. Box lacrosse is part of the culture in Canada. Arenas are packed for big games in the summer and winning the Minto Cup is a very, very big deal.
Cornell star Jeff Teat, a Canadian, is a great example of a college star in the US that travels home every summer to play box lacrosse. Take a look at this video evaluating him as a player.
We do have college box in the US and it is getting more and more organized every year. The CCBLL (Colorado Collegiate Box Lacrosse League) kicked things off in 2017 when Denver Assistant Coach Matt Brown, a Canadian and former pro box player, wanted to get his players playing in the summer.
In 2018, The Ohio Collegiate Box Lacrosse League was born and USBOXLA established the National Collegiate Box Series as a National Championship for collegiate box lacrosse. In 2020, Connecticut and Upstate New York were starting their programs but were delayed due to Covid.
One of the biggest stars playing in the Denver leagues was University of Denver, Team USA and pro star Trevor Baptiste. He was able to refine his game to be MORE than just a FOGO. He actually took NO faceoffs in the summer season to force himself to develop as a player. Take a look at his story:
So you know that box lacrosse is good for your development now, right?
If it's so good, why are we not playing more in the US?
For two major reasons.
First, the US a field lacrosse country first and the summer is dominated by field lacrosse tournaments for recruiting, adult play and now even the professional game with the PLL using a traveling tournament model. This works and is great for high school students getting recruited, post-collegiate men playing for fun and the professional players.
But...what about the current college players? Not a whole lot going on except for the occasional tournament IF you are asked to play. How do you get better?
The second issue is facilities. In Canada, "boxla" is played on ice rinks that have been thawed for summer. Most towns have them so rinks space is easy to find. Here in the US, we don't!
We generally rely on private facilities which are VERY expensive to rent which is why box lacrosse costs more to play that field lacrosse.
So...college box lacrosse is NOT new. It's just new to this area!
We are seeking to change that and establish the MABLL Collegiate Divisions in Baltimore and Northern Virginia for Summer 2021. As we grow and as the country comes out of the pandemic, our vision is using four facilities within the Baltimore/DC/Virginia Area and having 16 teams! We also plan to join the NCBS and compete for a National Championship!
This is a passion for us because they game has given so much to us over the years. This is NOT a profit center and there is very little profit in running box leagues. Our pledge to you is that you will pay a fair price, get quality coaching, our coaches will be fairly paid and we will put a great product on the floor.