The preview of the 2013 Berlin Open Lacrosse Tournament already captured some features about what participants, fans and officials could expect. Waking up on Monday morning on June, 24th,it felt a bit like the day after Christmas, only 365 days left for the next time of gifts and joy.
Before taking a closer look at the event itself, we want to say a big THANK YOU to BLAX (Berlin Lacrosse) who organized the Berlin Open (BO). Great job mates. You made the European Lacrosse world quite a bit better!
The BLAX Team that runs the Berlin Open 2013
Lacrosse for the peoples
On Friday morning at 9am, the first teams started a weekend full of great women’s and men’s Lacrosse. With a mixture of national, travel, tournament or club teams, all sorts of competitiveness and level of play could be expected. First indication about the different team characters and levels were given by their warm ups (too bad if you were on one of the national teams). Fairly said, who says a cup of coffee can’t be good enough to get your system running in the morning. With an average temperature of over 28°C (day and night) during the whole weekend, the word “warm up” is clearly misplaced anyway.
Here some impressions from the tournament by Timon Wolny
The Women’s Tournament
The women’s tournament consisted of 12 teams from 6 countries, all ready to show their best Lacrosse. Divided in 3 groups with 4 teams, the round robin was played on Friday and Saturday morning. In Group A, Team Germany clearly won its group consisting of second seeded Bundesliga South, third seeded Team Switzerland and fourth seeded Swedish Lax Mafia. Group B was dominated by USA Athletes International and LCC Radotin who showed a great game with the US team coming out first. Position 3 and 4 were decided between the Golden Girls and the Helsinki Chiefettes with Golden Girls taking home the win and finishing third. In Group C, the Global players dominated from the start finishing first closely followed by the teams Bundesliga West, Jizni Mesto and BLAX. In the Final round, group A winner Team Germany and group B winner USA AI proceeded to the final and showed off high class women’s Lacrosse in front of over 1000 spectators. A head to head game in the first half with spectacular scoring on both sides turned to an advantage for the US team who took home the title with a 17-11 victory over Team Germany. With high quality women’s Lacrosse over the whole weekend, all 12 teams showed the rapid development of Lacrosse in Europe and showed that some teams can compete with teams from the US. At this point we want to wish Team Germany and all the other European national team players all the best for the WC this year. We are sure, you will do great and have no reason to worry.
The Men’s Tournament
On Friday morning 20 men’s Lacrosse teams from 9 different countries including a Japanese team from Tokyo started the round robin games in 4 groups. Up front the US teams Global Players, US Stars and last year’s champion the Crease Monkeys but also the Japanese team Blue Bullets Tokyo as well as the German teams Prolax, Love Lax and Team Germany were the teams to watch out for. This list already showed the high density of quality teams competing in this year’s edition. And indeed the games on Friday were all on a very high level with good scoring, defending and goaltending on all pitches. In Group A, the Blue Bullets Tokyo finished first with high speed Lacrosse leaving the Global players in second place. Home team BLAX finished third beating 4th Bundesliga West and 5th placed ELF All-stars. Group B was dominated by Love Lax who finished first beating second seeded Jizni Mesto, third Crease Monkeys, 4th Team Latvia and 5th Sheffield Steelers. In Group C Team Germany made their way to the Quarterfinals finishing first with Team Switzerland taking the second place. Third placed Bundesliga Nord Deluxe beat 4th USA Starz who had problems getting up for Saturday games (stunning party performance though) and 5th German Oaks. In group D Team Prolaxshop dominated over second placed Team Austria, third LCC Radotin, 4th Team Poland and 5th Bundesliga East. With the high ranked Crease Monkeys and USA Starz only finishing third and 4th, the chances were with the underdogs Team Switzerland and Team Austria. In the Quarterfinals Blue Bullets Tokyo, LOVE Lax, Team Prolax and Global Players were able to take home the win to proceed to the semifinals. Hundreds of spectators already saw Lacrosse at its finest on Saturday’s placement games with the semifinals and finals to come on Sunday. Team LOVE Lax that rested the night before the semifinal beat the Global Players 8-6 with a great performance. In the second semifinal Team Prolax beat the tough fighting Japanese players from Blue Bullet Tokyo with 7-5 to proceed to the final where LOVE Lax was already waiting. For the first time in years two German teams would face in the men’s final and they proofed it with a great performance on both sides. In the end, LOVE Lax not only shared love with the other teams, officials and spectators but also earned the audience’s love by beating Team Prolaxshop 7-4 and winning the Berlin Open men’s tournament trophy. This final was a pure demonstration of the level German Lacrosse teams play at right now and predict a bright future for the German and European Lacrosse sport.
Until the sun comes up
There is a very close connection between Lacrosse and parties. Everyone that has ever been on one of the two parties at the Berlin Open weekend will agree that BLAX did everything to support this connection to their best ability. The girls from Team west took home the win on Friday’s party finishing strong and late. On Saturday’s party our English friends, the Sheffield Steelers finished on Sunday morning at the time the first games had already started. Great music, great people, great location, GREAT PARTIES.
The lime green Zebra
As the opening ceremony approached on Friday at 12 o’clock all the officials dressed up in custom made lime green uniforms to show support for LimeGreen Lacrosse. At first some players were a bit irritated by the bright colour but on Saturday morning all participants, players, organizers and officials were convinced by the supreme presence of lime green on and off the field. In addition most of the Refs gladly took the possibility of buying the shirts to support LimeGreen Lacrosse .
What to take home from the 2013 Berlin Open?
Got to come back next year !!! There was not a single person involved in the event that did not go home with a smile on their face. The bombardment of great impressions on and off the field created one of the best Lacrosse weekends in 2013. Additionally, the average level of play in the women’s and men’s games was the biggest improvement compared to last year’s tournament. High pace and intensity were present at all placement games and even made the game for the golden pineapple to a highlight for everyone that played and watched. As last year’s edition was dominated by the names Christmas, Bratton or Bradman this year it was all about the TEAM. And with a German team taking home the trophy in the men’s tournament German and European Lacrosse is definetely on the right way. – We are already looking forward to next year, the 20th anniversary of the tournament when teams can expect a bigger, better, faster, … Berlin Open 2014.
Grow the Game
Team Prolaxshop player rocking the Lacrosse All Stars theme on the sideline
For the first time, LimeGreen Lacrosse was able to present our custom Grow the Game shirts in cooperation with Lacrosse All Stars. These shirts will be a major part of our fundraising campaign of the LimeGreen Lacrosse blood cancer support. They also represent our mission to grow and improve the sport of Lacrosse in Europe. Our GTG shirts will be available at different events throughout the year and soon at the Captain Lax Lacrosse store.
At this point we want to thank the organizers of the Berlin Open for the great support and fantastic cooperation as well as the Captain Lax team for selling our shirts and of course the officials for wearing our colour with pride and supporting and spreading the word.
For more inforamtion, stats and pictures visit the BLO webpage.