By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/10/12
Box lacrosse is not just a novelty sport in Philadelphia any more.
With support and programs developed by the American Indoor Lacrosse Association, box lacrosse is becoming more and more mainstream for youth, high school and college players.
The box game is highly popular in Canada where field space is limited and players are used to playing inside, also for ice hockey. AILA CEO/President and Philadelphia Wings Coach/GM Johnny Mouradian is both a product and a proponent of the box game.
On Saturday Mouradian came with the AILA to the Philadelphia Indoor Lacrosse Championships at the Feasterville Sportsplex as the official Education Partner of the box tourney. Mouradian ran a free clinic and also spoke with many coaches and players about the box game.
Mouradian said the box game differs from the field game because of the limited space, the 30-second shot clock and the small goals and padded goalies.
“This is what’s really cool about this tournament,” said Mouradian. “We’re talking to kids and coaches and they are enjoying playing.
“I saw kids from the Bandits and they said it was the first time they played the indoor game and that it was real rugged. You are always in the game; it will only help them be become better field players.”
On hand to help Mouradian was Wings standout Steve Holmes, a Germantown Academy grad and an AILA Director. Holmes, also an assistant coach at Malvern Prep, starred at Virginia and credits box lacrosse for improving his all-around game.
“Steve was talking to a lad that plays long stick and was explaining to him that he is now a better field player from the indoor game because he has developed better stick skills,” said Mouradian. “You have the shot clock and the goalie has those pads, so everybody has to be sharper.
“You have to see, read and react and make a decision. Everything starts more from a pick or screen. Then you give and go. It’s more than just a dodge. In such tight corners, you can dodge, but if everyone stands around outside, the defense just collapses.
“You can’t just dodge; you have to move to create space for the dodge to happen.”
PILC notes - Twenty-four youth teams will compete Sunday in the second day of action. There will be a Fastest Shot Contest led by Wings defenseman and NXT coach Brett Manney.