(Friday, Oct. 16) – The National Lacrosse League’s (NLL) Georgia Swarm today announced a partnership with the Gwinnett Lacrosse Academy, an indoor youth lacrosse league based in Gwinnett County.
Starting this fall, Swarm players will begin hosting a series of indoor youth lacrosse clinics for members of the Gwinnett Lacrosse Academy. League registrants will also receive a Georgia Swarm T-Shirt and (2) Home Opener Lower Level Tickets (Jan. 9 at The Arena at Infinite Energy Center). The first set of clinics will take place the weekend of Oct. 24-25 at the Silverbacks Sports Center in Suwanee with Swarm players Kiel Matisz, Shayne Jackson and Rick Lewis.
Playing the game of indoor lacrosse – or also referred to as box lacrosse – at the youth level is great for skill development as it offers 5-on-5 action, which gives younger players more repetitions both shooting and passing ball. Playing in a confined space with boards, and shooting on a smaller goal also improves accuracy and decision-making.
"The Gwinnett Lacrosse Academy is excited to partner with the Georgia Swarm as our kids will now have the ability to learn the box lacrosse game the right way from Georgia Swarm professional players,” said Bob Lombardo, President of the Gwinnett Lacrosse Academy. “Due to time constraints, our plan is to begin to introduce the players in our league to the Georgia Swarm players this winter through our indoor clinics. Then this summer and next fall and winter, take it a step further and use proper box goals, shot clocks, and learn the fundamentals of a box offense and defense. Learning the box game correctly will be a great benefit to those that play field lacrosse."
“It’s our mission to support the growth of box lacrosse here in Georgia and partnering with the Gwinnett Lacrosse Academy is a great opportunity for our organization to give back,” said Andy Arlotta, Swarm Co-Owner and President. “We’re excited to get our athletes out in the community where they can help teach the sport to players of all ages.”
Entering its sixth season of operation this November, the Gwinnett Lacrosse Academy offers indoor league-play at five different age levels: Bantam (1st-3rd Grade); Lightning (4th & 5th Grade); Juniors (6th & 7th Grade); Seniors (7th & 8th Grade) and High School (9th & 10th Grade).
Lombardo, who played Division I lacrosse at Hofstra University, has been coaching lacrosse for over a decade in Gwinnett County and has seen the sport grow rapidly firsthand. With a professional lacrosse team now based in Gwinnett, Lombardo believes the sport is ready to take another step forward.
“It’s going to be huge and it’s going to help grow the game,” Lombardo said. “The kids are going to be able to see some of the best lacrosse players in the world right in their own backyard.”
Patrick McEwen of Inside Lacrosse recently wrote on the benefits of box lacrosse after watching the 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships: “The smaller goals and larger goalie pads in box lacrosse mean that players have to get inside or to the middle of the field and often use some kind of fake or deception to fool the goalie in order to score. Therefore, it's not surprising that players who grew up playing box tend to be much better inside and deceptive finishers.
“… For a variety of reasons (but most importantly the shot clock and lower value of possession), box lacrosse affords players a far greater opportunity to make mistakes because the cost of a mistake is much lower.”
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