8/13/2012 9:26:00 AM New Lakeland girls' lacrosse club could play in the spring Club holding meetings to learn the game, gauge interest
A new girls’ lacrosse team had its first meeting last Wednesday and could start play in the spring if enough players are interest in the sport. Pictured above, the girls’ game is less physical than boys’ lacrosse with fewer pads and only goggles and gloves for protection. Contributed photograph
More than 15 parents and players huddled under the shelters at the Minocqua Sports Complex on a rainy Wednesday night for the first meeting of the new Lakeland Area Girls’ Lacrosse Club. The club was started by Eric Boyer and his daughter, Emma, and the pair of have been looking for other girls to join the team, which Boyer said he will coach. “Emma said to me that it would be fun to play lacrosse,” Boyer said. “I said if you talk to your friends and if they are interested I will help in any way. Three weeks later, here we are.” Boyer played club lacrosse in college but said he has a lot to learn. “That amounted to seven or eight games and then sitting around with the guys we just went up against and having a good time,” Boyer said. “But I will go to any clinics and study up on anything I need to know if girls are interested.” Lacrosse is played using a long stick with a net on the end and small rubber ball. The object is to score goals in a net similar to ice hockey or soccer. The game is played at the high school level on a field similar in size to a football field. Having played the game, Boyer can begin teaching the girls the basics – catching and throwing the ball with the sticks. “It is not as easy as it looks,” Boyer said. “In fact, it is very difficult. Emma and I bought a couple of sticks and were just throwing the ball around and it is not easy.” The club is holding loosely structured practices throughout the fall for girls to come in and try throwing with the sticks and get a feel for the game. The first of these practices is Tuesday night, Aug. 14, 6-8 p.m. at the Minocqua Sports Complex. “We are going to make it two hours so if someone can only come from six to seven that is fine,” Boyer said. “Or if someone is working and can’t come until seven, that is fine, too.” Those attending are asked to bring a stick which Boyer said costs about $20 and may be purchased at sporting goods stores but they are not mandatory. “If we show up and we only have five sticks then we will share,” he said. “We just want to give girls a chance to try throwing the ball and catching with the sticks. Get them learning the game a little bit.” Girls of all ages are welcome to attend the practices as the club is for girls’ 19 and under.
Spring play If the club can secure enough interested players, they could begin play this spring taking on teams from Wausau, Wisconsin Rapids and Stevens Point, which all have teams. Girls lacrosse differs from boys’ lacrosse in the amount of physical play allowed. “In boys’ lacrosse you try to get that ball away from your opponent any way you can,” Boyer said. “If he has the ball, you can take your stick and whack him with it until he drops it or is forced to pass. There is also checking allowed.” But like hockey at the high school level, contact is limited for girls playing the sport. “They don’t want that physical play in girls’ lacrosse,” Boyer said. “They want it to be about passing the ball and just playing the game.” Boyer said girls wear less protective clothing as well. Boys’ teams are often wearing helmets, shoulder pads and hand protectors, where girls wear protective goggles and gloves that resemble batting gloves. What is the same in both the boys’ and girls’ divisions is the amount of running involved in the sport. “You run a lot,” Boyer said. “The field is huge and there is a lot of running involved.”
Open to others While the club is starting in Lakeland, Boyer said they would welcome players from other schools including Rhinelander, Eagle River and Tomahawk, among others. “This is a spring sport so it will compete with track, soccer and softball,” Boyer said. “That is going to be a decision that some girls are going to have to make.” But for now, Boyer said he just wants to gauge the interest in the sport and so far the response has been positive. The group has started a Facebook page, Minocqua Girls Lacrosse, and already has 27 members. A lacrosse team is 11 players so particpation at the upcoming practices will be key to judge interest. “If it is just me and Emma here throwing the ball around, then we will just probably scrap the idea,” Boyer said. “But if we can get about a dozen girls here twice a week, then I think this could be real fun.” For more information about the team, call Boyer at 715-614-3408. Bryan Rose may be reached via email at email@example.com.