All around me I hear men screaming and shouting, watch bodies crashing into each other, smell the heavy odour of human sweat and see a man close to me go down.
However as I am not in the middle of some military field practice, but at an international box-lacrosse tournament on the Bundeswehr-campus (German army) in Munich, a yellow flag is thrown and a whistle blows: “Two minutes for cross check” is the call made by the official. The game goes on…
On Saturday the 19th ten female and twelve male lacrosse teams meet to play a two-day tournament and just have fun. Close to 250 lacrosse players are distributed over two pitches. The participants come from six different European countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands) and a lot of them know each other from last year’s competition. The tournament’s status and quality is especially enhanced by the high international attendance.
Coming into the entrance hall it’s already easy to guess which sport is being played: bags full of helmets, pads and other guards lying around, sticks with strange mesh-heads everywhere, the sound of trampling feet to the left and to the right and the obtrusive aroma of people doing sports.
I turn to the right and enter the area where the men try to determine their champion. Behind a protective wall of upturned tables, I watch great combinations, heavy hits and sometimes more than spectacular goals. Suddenly a guy next to me is struck by a high velocity ball. I instantly check if he’s alright. However he just gets up grins and says: “I totally love lacrosse!” Everyone is enjoying the special aura of lacrosse, hence the atmosphere is absolutely brilliant: every time the Bundeswehr or the Munich team scores the crowd around me goes frantic.
On Sunday the group phase was over and finally in late afternoon the games everybody had been waiting for were coming up: The finals!
The last two teams in the female division were South-West-Mix and Pilsen (women), whereas Munich HLC and Pilsen (men) were playing for the men’s cup. While the Czech women had to accept their defeat against the German team, the men could celebrate a close and hard-fought 7-6 victory over the defending champions from the Bavarian capital. Although there were many heavy/unfair checks during the game, everybody shook hands, congratulated the other team’s success and laughed afterwards. Ultimately it was just a game everyone enjoyed.
To sum it up, the 9th Indoor-Lacrosse-Tournament on the Bundeswehr-campus in Munich was a total success! Not only the great games, but also the welcome-party and the players-party on Saturday evening were a great possibility for the lacrosse-community to celebrate their mutual passion for this less well known yet truly great sport.
I definitely haven’t had as much fun for a long time!
1. – Pilsen
2. – München HLC
3. – Team Bundeswehr
MVP: Wolfgang Grießl (Team Bundeswehr)
1. – Süd-West Mix
2. – Pilsen
3. – Köln
MVP: Jessica Stokhof (Essen Pirates)