Lacrosse: The lightning-fast game!
Vienna. It just doesn’t fit together. The players should weigh the ball lovingly in their nets, in the original sound of this sport it is called – a little more swinging – “cradle the ball”. But lacrosse is not a quiet strategy game, a swinging back and forth, defensive players can use these lacrosse heads. Although it is already characterized by tactics, it is also considered the fastest team sport on two legs – and without skates. True or not true, no other team game undoubtedly knows such rapid tempo changes.
“It’s a mixture of ice hockey, football and basketball,” says Dan Lang. The 23-year-old played Marist at New York College in the First Division, the strongest college lacrosse league in the United States. Up to 30,000 spectators cheer on the young players on the field. Especially on the east coast of the USA the sport with the net club – in short: stick – experiences an enormous popularity. The college league often even trumps the Major League Lacrosse, the professional league on the field, in terms of audience.
Sport with the most sprints
On the hockey field in Hernals, the Vienna Monarchs’ ball player rotates the one meter long bat in his hands. He “cradles” him with a nod – one could say in German. Anyway, the rubber bullet is dangling in the net. The trainer on the edge of the field yells tactical instructions at him. The monarch hesitantly trots in the direction of enemy defense. You might think he wants to lull his opponent to sleep. But then it’s lightning fast: an explosive start, one or two body deceptions, pass, shot, goal.
“Compared to other sports, you have to do even more sprints,” says national player Andreas Seidler. The 29-year-old has been running, catching and netting for the Vienna Monarchs for more than five years, making him one of the country’s biggest lacrosse routiners. During his business informatics studies, he leafed through the Sports University Handbook with friends. “They wanted to try out “some new ball sport”. The short description of Lacrosse was the most exciting.
Seidler, a former player trainer himself, is enthusiastic about the efficient training units of the new coach Lang. Whether it’s promoting sprinting skills or technique training with a stick – the former college lacrosse player from New York is helping the monarchs in many ways.
Lang, who has been with the Viennese team for half a year, is taken with the level of some local players and returns the compliments to his protégé Seidler: “Andi could certainly play in one of the US college leagues. Klaus Hauer, top scorer of last year’s champion Vienna Cherokees, also confirms Lang’s great talent in the game, which is even the number one national sport in ice hockey-mad Canada this summer. Lacrosse’s roots go back to the native population of the Great Lakes and the North American East Coast.
God of War and Hillary Clinton
The Indians called the game Tewaraathon, which they dedicated to the god of war and with which they conjured up their team spirit. Often there were more than a hundred people standing on the battlefield, not infrequently the day-long “games” with opposing tribes were actually about life and death. A French Jesuit missionary was to later baptize the warlike game of the Indians La Crosse, because the thugs reminded him of the bishop’s staff of the same name. The descendants of the indigenous inventors of this game now form their own team. The Iriquois Nationals are among the top six teams of the so-called Blue Division at world championships.
But at last year’s World Cup finals in Manchester the lacrosse selection of the American natives was missing – there were passport problems. Even the intervention of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the British authorities did not help. Meanwhile, Austria took part in a World Cup for the first time, finished third in its group of four, the Grey Division, and finally became 21st out of 29 participating nations. The USA crowned World Champion with a 12:10 final victory over Canada.
The two nations play lacrosse in their own spheres. “They are more than one size too big for everyone else,” says Andreas Seidler, for whom last year’s World Championships have undoubtedly been the highlight of his career to date.