American versus Canadian Lacrosse players.

The Difference between American and Canadian Lacrosse Players

(Written by Gary Groob)


Fundamentally Different Motives

As a boy growing up in Canada who played lacrosse, just like in hockey, the goal was to hoist the championship cup in the air. In Canada, we are raised to play for the glory of “The Trophy”.

The focus in the United States is more of the football mentality, playing for a scholarship, rather than just the glory of the game.

Neither is wrong, both are noble goals, but it does set the two cultures apart.

Difference in Scheduling

To play seven games in eleven nights, while taxing, is not impossible for the Canadian player - in fact, it has been done in many Mann Cup championships over the years. The American player is more focused to a career outside of lacrosse and would rather play once a week, preferably on the weekend, concentrating on school or their vocation during the week. Which answers the question of why in the past were there so many Canadians playing box lacrosse (indoor), and not as many Americans?

The summer lacrosse leagues are a prime example, with the Canadian box lacrosse leagues teams (Major Series Lacrosse and Western Lacrosse Association) playing once or twice during the week, more in the playoffs. Whereas the American field schedule (Premier Lacrosse League) having strictly weekend schedules.

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) with head offices based in the United States, also schedule the majority of their games on the weekend with players holding full time jobs during the week.

Questions and Factors to be Addressed
Two essential questions to be addressed if leagues were to operate full time (with 40 to 80 games a year);

1. Could the league pay the players enough to stop them working in their careers of choice?

2.  Would they price themselves out of the market for fans?

 In addition, three significant factors would have to take place;

1.  Solid ownership groups

2. Substantial TV deals

3.  Major corporate sponsors

Former Commissioner Nick Sakeiwicz of the NLL, who had experience growing leagues (he was the man in charge of the Major League Soccer expansion beginning in 1996), started bringing in corporate sponsorships and worked out multimedia deals, as well as expanded the league by six teams in the last few years. The league's motive operandi are dealing with NHL/NBA ownerships, or Multi-Billionaires (Joe Tsai of Ali Baba fame) who own their arenas.

Time will tell if the pro leagues get away from the weekend only idea. However, as long as players have regular day jobs, weekend games will continue to be the norm. One big question - If professional leagues do opt for weekday games, will it still be appealing for the American players?