Daily Archives: June 16, 2009

“Inside Lacrosse Magazine” July Issue Chronicles “23 Of The Wildest Seconds In Lacrosse History”


Inside Lacrosse Magazine Cover

The odds were long, but the Orange were able to beat them, rallying for three fourth quarter goals – punctuated by 23 of the wildest seconds in lacrosse history – to pull even with Cornell before Cody Jamieson’s winner in OT gave Syracuse yet another NCAA title. IL was there for that and all the other crazy moments in the final weekend of the season, from Kenny Nims’ game-tying circus play to CW Post and Cortland’s Sunday wins, plus Northwestern’s fifth straight women’s title. We look at all those, plus have a sit-down with Tewaaraton winner Max Seibald as the final send-off for the Class of 2009.

The rest of our jam-packed July issue takes a look at some of the veteran voices of the MLL, the fresh faces that will hit up the Under Armour All America Classic, plus much much more. Check out a copy today!

Columns

John Jiloty: Good/Bad Guys
Peter Lasagna: Hello in There
Quint Kessenich: June Madness?

 

Growth Of Lacrosse (Video): New University Of Denver Men’s Lacrosse Coach Bill Tierney Foresees “Explosive Growth” In Lacrosse


The growth of intercollegiate lacrosse, a sport previously considered a regional phenomenon, has been steady, yet inconspicuous. That is until last week, when Princeton’s Head Coach Bill Tierney announced he was leaving the Tigers after 22 years to accept a head coaching position at the University of Denver. So, why did Tierney decide to make the move? What impact will his decision have on the future growth of the sport and what does he hope to accomplish in Denver?
Find out in this exclusive interview with the lacrosse legend.

Men’s Lacrosse Popularity: NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships To Return To Baltimore, “The Heart Of Lacrosse”, As Attendance At Gillette Stadium In Boston Area Declined


Year Site Semifinals Finals Weekend
2003 M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore 37,823 37,944 106,861
2004 M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore 46,923 43,898 122,011
2005 Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia 45,275 44,920 133,801
2006 Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia 49,562 47,062 144,604
2007 M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore 51,719 48,302 146,003
2008 Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass. 48,224 48,970 145,828
2009 Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass. 36,594 41,935 102,601

Weekend attendance includes Division II and III title games.

After spending the past two springs at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., the NCAA men's lacrosse Final Four comes back to M&T Bank Stadium over Memorial Day weekend in 2010 and 2011 before returning to the Boston area in 2012.

After spending the past two springs at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., the NCAA men's lacrosse Final Four comes back to M&T Bank Stadium over Memorial Day weekend in 2010 and 2011 before returning to the Boston area in 2012.

Lacrosse’s version of the prodigal son returns to Baltimore – albeit on a temporary basis.

Tickets will go on sale today for the 2010 championship weekend in Baltimore. Some observers say the event is returning to Baltimore not a moment too soon. Attendance at Gillette Stadium was among the lowest for a men’s lacrosse Final Four.

“I’m a New York guy, and I went to school in New York, but I realize that in terms of a concentrated area, that is the heart of lacrosse,” CBS College Sports analyst Paul Carcaterra, a former Syracuse All-America midfielder, said of Baltimore. “You can argue that New York is a better state than Maryland in terms of lacrosse on the high school and college lacrosse levels. But from the standpoint of a concentrated area, when you’re talking about New York, you’re talking from Syracuse to Long Island, which can be 300 miles in some cases. When you think about Maryland lacrosse, you think about a concentrated 45-mile area. It is the heartland in terms of being that centrally located area.”

Others believe it’s convenient for more fans to travel and watch the games, too.

“I just think Baltimore is better situated to service the fans,” said Quint Kessenich, ESPN analyst and former Johns Hopkins All-America goalie. ” Southwest Airlines can fly you to BWI [Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport] cheap. The hotels are nearby, [so] you don’t have to rent a car. And it’s the Northeast corridor – D.C., Virginia, New Jersey. Think about the amount of fans within a four-hour radius.”

The NCAA enjoyed unheard-of success when staging the three-day tournament – which includes the Division I final and semifinals and the Division II and III finals – at the Ravens’ M&T Bank Stadium.

Baltimore hosted in 2003, 2004 and 2007 and set attendance records in each of those years. The announced 51,719 who showed up to watch the Division I semifinals in 2007 is still a single-day record for the tournament.

So when the city joined Boston, Denver and the Meadowlands in New Jersey in submitting bids for the 2010 to 2012 final fours, the decision to return to Baltimore was not complicated.

“They were with us from the beginning when they were the first NFL stadium [to host the Final Four in 2003], and they’ve had that commitment,” said Tim Pavlechko, a senior associate athletic director at Bucknell University who chairs the selection committee. “I think as a committee and as a sport, it’s important for us to look at this championship as something that we’re trying to continue to grow and take it to levels above where we are now. And we know bringing it to Baltimore will certainly help us achieve more of those goals.”

Nurturing the sport’s growth played a role in the NCAA’s decision to send the men’s Final Four to Philadelphia in 2005 and 2006 and Boston in 2008 and 2009. The 2008 title game had the largest crowd (48,970) to watch a tournament final, but last month’s semifinals drew just 36,594 – the smallest crowd to watch the event since it was moved to professional stadiums after the 2002 season.

NCAA officials said a factor in the declining attendance was a poor economic climate and cited similar falling numbers at sporting events such as the Preakness and major league baseball games. But Kessenich said Boston doesn’t have the lacrosse community that Baltimore or Philadelphia has.

“There’s a recession, but when you’re in Boston, you’re so reliant on people from outside ZIP codes,” he said. “You have to fly here or drive long distances, and it’s an expense. Baltimore, Philly, New Jersey give more day-trippers an opportunity. So I’m a big fan of that. And I think the overall experience in Baltimore and Philly is better than the fan experience here. The folks here have done a great job and I love this venue, but outside of the lacrosse games, I don’t think the experience lives up to what we see in Baltimore and Philly.”

Baltimore has seven Division I schools within a 90-minute drive and seven Division III institutions within a three-hour commute. The city is also home to the Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame, US Lacrosse and Inside Lacrosse magazine.

And Towson University has submitted a bid to host the 2010 women’s lacrosse final four, also on Memorial Day weekend.

“Baltimore has such a rich lacrosse tradition, and the city really supports the sport, which is part of the reason why US Lacrosse is here,” said Colleen Aungst, a US Lacrosse spokeswoman. “It’s just a natural fit, and we’re excited that it’s going to be right here in our backyard.”

City officials estimated that the 2007 weekend generated $15 million in economic impact, and the stadium’s proximity to restaurants, hotels and shopping is one reason Mike Partridge of Atlanta and his family have already reserved tickets for 2010 and are making similar plans for 2011.

“Baltimore is the best spot because it brings together the ‘family’ of the lacrosse world,” Partridge wrote in an e-mail. “Kids from all over the country gather together in the Inner Harbor for what becomes the mecca of lacrosse for a few days. The city is focused on the event, and there is a buzz about lacrosse everywhere that you go.

“Lacrosse takes over the entire city. [M&T Bank] Stadium is within walking distance of a bunch of hotels, and there is a community feel even as you walk from your hotel to the games.”

Now the onus is on Baltimore to prove its claim to be the sport’s hotbed. Carcaterra said he believes the lacrosse community will respond.

“I think Baltimore will draw a tremendous amount of people,” he said. “I would be rather shocked if Baltimore doesn’t draw 50,000 next year.”

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/bal-sp.lacrosse16jun16,0,5099195.story

2009 Men’s Lacrosse Final: The Final Moments…..(Video)


2009 NCAA Men’s Championship final moments set to music…..

“College Lacrosse 2010”: New Lacrosse Video Game Has Been In Development For 3 Months And Will Available Through XBox Community Games Channel


Duke attackman Ned Crotty dodges behind the cage. He splits to his left hand, then to his right. There’s no outlet.

North Carolina defenseman Ryan Flanagan waits for his opening. Crotty rolls back to his left hand — or tries to, anyway. Flanagan slaps up on Crotty’s stick and sends it propelling into the air.

Quint Kessenich barks through the console speakers, “Yard sale!”

* Blast Lacrosse was licensed by the National Lacrosse League and Professional Lacrosse Players Association, produced by Aklaim Sports and released in May 2001 for Sony’s PlayStation. It features the NLL’s nine teams at the time and fast-paced play mirroring the comic book-like movements of NBA Jam and NFL Blitz.

Lacrosse fans have craved this kind of virtual reality in their living rooms for decades: a big-budget video game dedicated to their sport. Thanks to the social networking phenomenon, the clamor has reached fever pitch.

Karl Brummer, a rising high school senior at Trinity School in Minnesota, started a Facebook group three months ago lobbying EA Sports, a brand most recognized for perennial hits like NHL and Madden NFL, to produce a lacrosse video game.

“I felt like making a Facebook group and seeing how big it would become,” Brummer said. “I didn’t expect it to have any influence.”

The Official EA Sports Lacrosse Video Game Petition Group now boasts nearly 157,000 members, 3,500 wall posts and 160 discussion topics.

Click on Picture To Donate To Fight Cancer

Click on Picture To Donate To Fight Cancer Before Nov. 15

“The group is having a big influence on the lacrosse community. Most of the petitioners are lacrosse players, so this group unifies them. The group also raises awareness to Facebookers who have never heard of the sport,” Brummer said. “It is actually getting noticed by video game designers.”

One member of the group, Carlo Sunseri, has decided to do something about it. A Pittsburgh native and former three-time captain of the Robert Morris men’s lacrosse team, Sunseri left a 2007 Major League Lacrosse tryout for the Washington Bayhawks disillusioned with how he played compared to others there. He would not get signed.

“My parents asked me what I’d do if I had a million dollars,” Sunseri said, “and I said build a lacrosse video game.”

Sunseri tracked down a Scottish video game developer through Microsoft’s Xbox Live Community Games — a virtual console for user-generated content. It’s the perfect third-party community for someone like Sunseri with limited funding and contacts. He had never built a video game before, but found a developer who could fashion a lacrosse game from a soccer game recently released on the same platform.

Sunseri, a self-proclaimed entrepreneur and assistant coach at Robert Morris, provides project management and lacrosse know-how.

College Lacrosse 2010 has been in development for nearly three months and will be available for download through the Xbox Community Games channel in September, Sunseri said.

“Once on Xbox, it will be available to 20 million people in 26 different countries. The potential to spread the game of lacrosse is unparalleled to anything that’s been released on the market,” he said. “I’ve played lacrosse my whole life. I’ve always played video games, as well. I’ve always dreamed of playing lacrosse the video game just like we play Madden, NHL and FIFA.”

Sunseri recently provided a virtual demo of the game for Lacrosse Magazine. Although the graphics remain under development, he said, the game’s strengths are its customization and lacrosse-specific movements. For instance, Sunseri circumvented the NCAA’s steep licensing fee by allowing users to customize team names, jerseys, colors and rankings. They can unlock the game in NCAA tournament mode or pro mode — with versions planned for both indoor and outdoor.

Game-play features include:

  • College lacrosse rules, such as 10 seconds to advance.
  • Offensive formations, such as 2-3-1 and circle.
  • Six different camera angles.
  • Networking, with the ability to play friends online.
  • Various dodges, including swim, split and spin moves.
  • Training mode for passing, shooting and one-on-ones.
  • Defensive control for stick checks (with same planned for offense and cradling).

With its low-budget workarounds and limited availability, College Lacrosse 2010 might not satisfy the lacrosse community’s growing hunger for a mainstream video game. Others have ventured into this territory before (see below), but with limited scope.

“But if the first game is successful,” Brummer said, “then bigger companies such as EA will have to make a game eventually, as well.”

Public relations contacts for EA Sports did not immediately return e-mails seeking comment for this story.

It’s in the Game

Though mainstream brands such as EA Sports have yet to venture a lacrosse video game into the market, previous efforts by smaller companies have found varying degrees of success.

* On Feb. 15, 2005, the NLL announced that its partner, Activision, would produce a new video game to be released for the 2007 season. Former commissioner Jim Jennings, who resigned before the 2009 season, told NLL.com that the game would be released in 2009.

* Brine Lacrosse, a video game for mobile phones published by the equipment manufacturer of the same name, was released in March 2006. Produced by wireless entertainment provider SkyZone Entertainment, it features Mikey Powell on its title screen and regionally-based teams from Baltimore, Long Island, Upstate New York, New England, the Midwest and the West Coast.

* Activision included lacrosse among its offerings in Big League Sports for Nintendo Wii, released in December 2008. It features 22 events in six sports, including a one-on-one situational game for lacrosse. Big League Sports has “a singular focus on putting players in the most thrilling situations while competing in their favorite sports,” the press release stated.

* Virtual Wall-Ball was released in February 2009 as part of the US Lacrosse Widget, powered by Lacrosse Magazine. The computer game allows users to rack up points while playing wall ball on their desktops, with a highest scores platform and varying degrees of difficulty.