SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Swarm’s Youth Box League (YBL) – the largest youth box lacrosse league in the country – will wrap up its sixth season in the Twin Cities with its championship round this Sunday, May 18 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Chaska Community Center. Swarm players Shayne Jackson and Alex Crepinsek along with assistant coach Aime Caines will also be on hand during the championship games.
Founded in 2009, the YBL is devoted to growing the game of box lacrosse in Minnesota at the youth level. This spring, close to 50 teams competed in league play from March to May and had the opportunity to attend weekly clinics hosted by Swarm players and participate in an All-Star Game at Xcel Energy Center.
In 2014, the YBL launched its inaugural Elite League at the U13 and U15 levels, which offered kids the opportunity to play real box lacrosse in a league format for the first time in Minnesota history. Real box lacrosse is played by thousands of amateurs in Canada, and is played professionally in the National Lacrosse League (NLL).
Rule changes that differentiate the Elite League from the Developmental League include legal cross-checking, increased player protection, including bicep and kidney pads, a 30-second shot clock, crease dives and the elimination of slashing, spearing, and wrap-around checks. Both coaches and referees in the Elite League also had to pass BLA certification courses in order to participate in games. The Box Lacrosse Association of America (BLA), the national governing body of box lacrosse in the U.S, governs the YBL Elite League.
“Playing box lacrosse offers many benefits skill-wise for youth players and we’re excited to see so many local athletes taking advantage of the YBL each spring,” Swarm Co-Owner and President Andy Arlotta said. “Our league continues to grow each year, and we’re looking forward to ending the season on a great note this Sunday in Chaska. I’d like to thank all of our participants, coaches and parents for their involvement and support of the YBL this spring.”
2014 YBL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
*All games are played at the Chaska Community Center
U11 Developmental: Edina White (11-0) vs. U11 Free Agents (9-2) @ 11 a.m.
U13 Developmental: Minnetonka 2 (6-4-1) or Hastings Blue (6-1) vs. Minnetonka 3 (8-1-1) or Anoka Elite (3-6-1) @ 12:30 p.m.
U15 Developmental: Minnetonka 1 (8-2) vs. Wayzata (7-2-1) @ 2 p.m.
U15 Elite: Anoka 1 (8-1-1) vs. Woodbury United (6-4-1) @ 3:30 p.m.
Chaska Community Center
1661 Park Ridge Drive
Chaska, MN 55318-2841
Presenting sponsors of the YBL in 2014 are Blue Line Medical Services and Anderson Insurance and Investment Agency. Supporting partners include Lax All-Stars, Under Armour, EPOCH Lacrosse, Aspire Beverage Company, Play Like Pro Lacrosse Camp, East Coast Dyes, Boddam goalie gear, Burger Moe’s and Holiday Inn I-94 East.
FOLLOW the YBL on Twitter @SwarmYBL and LIKE the Youth Box League on Facebook at facebook.com/playmnbox. For more information on the YBL, please visit mnboxlacrosse.com or contact YBL Coordinator Ross Chicantek at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on how your local association can play REAL BOX LACROSSE, visit the Box Lacrosse Association of America (BLA) at blalax.com.