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Monday, April 28, 2008

The Fastest Game On Two Feet

. . . Performed by kids who play for the love of the game.

On Sunday, Kyle and his first and second grade lacrosse team played their first-ever lacrosse game. They were entered in an Under 9-Year Old tournament in Pottstown, PA. The tourney rules dictated that each team would play with seven kids at a time - two attackers, two defenders, and three midfielders - and a goalie for four 8-minute quarters. It was a day-long event, and Kyle's team was playing in three games.

Unfortunately for Kyle and his teammates, only seven kids showed up, which meant that every player had to play every minute of every game - with no breaks. What a way to start their lacrosse careers, huh? They also did not have a goaltender, so the tourney allowed them to put up a blocker in the net. Opposing players could score, but the blocker only stopped shots to the center of the net.

Kyle (left, in blue) getting double-teamed by the big kids.

What really killed Kyle's team's chances was the implementation of the "Hot" rule. This rule, used often in tournament settings, states that a team has to complete one pass before taking any shots on net. That was not a problem for the teams Kyle was facing - most of them had been playing lacrosse for a few years - but Kyle's team had been playing the sport for all of four weeks.

Novice or not, it was good to see my son hustle to check an opposing player's stick. Kyle is in the center, but watch the entire clip to see him stick check the player at the end. Nice!

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Kyle's team lost the first game by a score of 2-0 - an impressive showing for first-timers - but went on to lose the other two games by more or less blowout scores. After the second game, our kids had no energy left, even after I gave Kyle three Red Bulls. (Kidding, kidding! I'm not that parent!) And as if to illustrate how exhausted the boy was in the third game, watch him dragging to the sidelines at the half.

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The Calvary Crusaders lost all three games yesterday, and never scored one goal. Amazingly, they didn't care: they were too busy having fun playing a game they love. I have never been so proud of my boy.

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