Lacrosse all-season sport now for kids

Story by Mike Davies, Pererborough Examiner

There seems to be an appetite for young lacrosse players to play outside the traditional summer season, says Nationwide Lacrosse co-founder Brad Self.

The Rochester Knighthawks star and Calgary Roughnecks Shawn Evans, both Peterborough Lakers, will hold their second annual Nationwide Lacrosse March Break camp March 10 to 14 at the SPIplex on Hwy. 7 near Fowlers Corners. This comes as they enter the final week of their inaugural Winter League for boys and girls aged five to 11 which wraps up Thursday at the Trent Athletics Centre gymnasium.

With the winter season dominated by hockey, Self admits they weren't sure what kind of response they'd get to indoor winter lacrosse. They floored five teams, each guaranteed four games plus the playoffs. Players are divided into lines according to age or skill level for two-minute shifts.

“It's been great for it being a new business and not knowing what to expect. It was a bit of risk and taking a chance but we sold out and had people on the waiting list. Obviously there is a demand for winter lacrosse,” Self said.

“We've seen a lot of improvement in the kids. A lot of them are beginners with thoughts of trying out in the PMLA. We've also got kids from Cobourg and Lindsay who are coming which is exciting for us that the word has gotten out.”

Self says they'll consider expanding into a fall season as well and possibly creating separate age groups.

“It's hard with the hockey season to figure out what is best,” he said. “Those are things we'll consider.”

They kicked off their business with a March Break camp last year and hope to improve upon it this year.

It's a half-day camp from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. daily, with drop-off and pick-up for 15 minutes preceding and following those times.

“We'll make sure no kids are left alone,” Self said.

There will be3 1/2 hours of skills instruction from NLL players Self, Evans, Cory Vitarelli and Dustin Dunn and guests. It's open to boys and girls aged six to 12 of all skill levels from beginner to rep. Each participant will get a Nationwide Lacrosse pinny and daily prizes from Under Armour.

“We're going to teach them the fundamental skills and do some skills testing. We will break them into teams to do a tournament at the end. They will get to learn the game and then go out there and use it and play some games,” Self said.

The skills testing includes radar guns, target shooting, obstacle courses and breakaway challenges.

NOTE: The cost is $175 plus taxes. Parents can register their children in person Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Trent Athletics Centre gymnasium, online at or call Brad Self at 705-868-1811 or Shawn Evans at 705-768-8828.