There’s a new game in Texas. Former Southwestern University Head Coach Joe Ernst is bringing box lacrosse to Texas and has formed the Texas Box Lacrosse Association (TBLA). We aren’t talking “indoor” lacrosse, we are talking real Canadian box lacrosse. “When I moved on from Southwestern I took a look at Texas lacrosse and found a critical component missing, real box lacrosse. While there are many successful youth and high school programs in Texas the one thing that we need here is BOXLA. Teaching the players in Texas how to play in the close quarters of a box arena and how to shoot on 4×4 goals will help propel Texas to the next level and quickly.” Said TBLA Founder and President Joe Ernst.
The Texas Box Lacrosse Association (TBLA) is currently forming leagues in Austin, Dallas and Houston with the potential to add San Antonio in the very near future.
TBLA will host leagues for youth and adults beginning early June 2012. The leagues will have the following age guidelines: Mini-Tyke (Ages 4-6), Tyke (Ages 7-8), Novice (Ages 9-10), PeeWee (Ages 11-12), Bantam (Ages 13-14), Midget/JV (Ages 15-16), Jr. A/B (Ages 17-18) and Sr. A/B (over 18). The leagues will be extremely affordable, youth and high school will cost $250 for a 10 week season that meets twice a week and Sr. A/B will cost $150 for a 10 week season that meets only once a week. Under $15 an hour for quality instruction in the box game and weekly games that include rink time, officials, stats being kept and games being filmed is a steal. Once up and running the TBLA will host a YouTube channel that will have game film added weekly.
Youth and high school leagues will feature not only games but an educational component to teach the players the true Canadian style of play. Box lacrosse is one of the fastest growing components in the lacrosse world and improves the play of any level player very rapidly. And hey who doesn’t want to play lacrosse in the summer months in Texas in a 72 degree arena rather than 110 degrees on the field.
“This is NOT meant to replace field lacrosse, but to add to the education of the Texas lacrosse player and make them better players on the field.” Said Ernst
TBLA will be bringing in current and former professional players from the NLL to put on clinics and add to the educational component that makes these leagues so valuable. Each week players will get a one hour, multi team practice/skill session as well as a game day.
The TBLA has entered into some great partnerships to help bring box lacrosse to Texas. The TBLA and Grow Texas Lacrosse are combining to hold a GTL box event to spread the game in the state. CATZ Austin Sports Performance Center is offering a discount on personal, sport specific training to TBLA players. And, South Swell Sports in Austin will be providing equipment and apparel for the TBLA.
Recently 1Lacrosse, the premier manufacturer of custom lacrosse shafts out of Houston, TX signed on as sponsor of the TBLA. 1Lacrosse will be providing custom, TBLA branded Box Cutter shafts to all players in their TBLA gear bag. Please visit their site at www.1lacrosse.com
In addition, a group of box lacrosse leagues around the country is currently forming what will amount to a national governing body for box lacrosse in the US. The first of many ventures by this organization will be to host a National Championship tournament in Huntington Beach, CA August 16-20, 2012 for all age groups.
Here is what some top NCAA D-I coaches are saying about BOXLA:
“I believe that box lacrosse gives young people many more opportunities to excel in our game. If I had my choice, I would have every player under the age of 12 play box lacrosse exclusively or at least a majority of the time. The number of touches of the ball and the ability to develop better stick skills in a game of box lacrosse far surpasses what happens to young people on a 110 x 60 yard field. Learning how to pass and catch in traffic, understanding how to shoot, and developing a sense of physicality are all positive traits developed by the box game.”Bill Tierney
Head Coach, Denver University
6x Nation Champion Princeton University
Hall of Fame Coach
“When you watch Canadian kids [box lacrosse players] score, when you see their skill level around the cage, you wonder to yourself, ‘Jeez, are we teaching kids [in the U.S.] the wrong things?’”
Head Coach, University of Virginia
4x National Champion
Hall of Fame Coach
The founders of this league have played box lacrosse and field lacrosse at the highest levels and live right here in Texas.