After a summer full of great field lacrosse tournaments box lacrosse is taking over again. The European Lacrosse League (ELL) is on the doorstep to its 4th edition. The ELL is an event dedicated to the growth of box lacrosse and increasing competition amongst European box fanatics on a professional stage. This year 4 teams take part in the competition: Defending champion Deutschland Adler (GER), Pietro Filipi (CZ), Custodes and Wolves (both originated in Radotin, CZ). After Deutschland Adler hosting a camp to Grow the Game in Germany and preparing for the ELL we want to give you a closer look at what we can expect.
This week we hooked up with Ondrej Mika, a member of the ELL organization team including Jan Barák and Tonda Gottwald, who spared some time to answer a few questions about the ELL 2013:
How many players applied for the 2013 ELL and how many played in 2012?
2012: 146 players took part; 2013: 100 players selected from 141.
Players from how many nations will we see in 2013?
12 nations are represented: AUT, CAN, CZE, ENG, GER, IRL, NED, POL, SVK, SWE, USA and SCO – Have a look at the teams and rosters
Why is the amount of teams reduced compared to last year (6 in 2012 vs. 4 in 2013)?
Lack of human resources: We don’t have enough enthusiasts who would run the teams. All work is still on voluntary basis.
Who is your favorite team?
I must be “objective” and independent as an organizer
Your prediction for the winner?
Really hard to say, DEA will be strong, CUS will be eager to beat them, PIF have many great international players, WOL are young but can surprise again. Looking forward to interesting games.
Will the ELL be covered live by NET TV?
Yes, tournament 1 will not be live, but will be recorded; remaining tournaments will be live and archived at www.net-tv.cz.
Are there plans to expand the ELL in 2014?
Certainly we would be happy to get more teams involved again and we will be happy for potential partners in other cities. Although the league is smaller this year we see interest from players and increasing interest from lacrosse media, so hopefully the future is bright.
Do you see a progression in the growth of box lacrosse in Europe?
Yes, we are very happy about progress in Germany thanks to Jamie Plunkett’s effort, and in Finland. Great to see interest in France.
What European nations are on the doorstep to compete with a CZ national team?
I guess Germany and Finland will be very competitive soon.
Thank you Ondrej for taking the time. We are looking forward seeing you and the rest of the ELL team in Berlin
We are looking forward to great games and will try to cover the game days starting with the first in Berlin 31.08 – 01.09. Best luck to all teams and players and congratulations up front for the great organization by Ondrej, Jan and Tonda so far. More infos on the ELL webpage