The Deutsche Lacrosse Verband (DLaxV) = German Lacrosse Association has succeeded now in fielding youth development teams in all of the last U19 World Championships, albeit in most cases as U21 teams by the good grace of the international governing bodies.
In 2003 the U21 Men’s team played in Baltimore for the first time, and in 2007 it was the ladies turn and the U21 Women competed in the IFWLA Championship in Peterborough, Canada.
The year after, it was the second U21 Men’s team, who surprised the world of Lacrosse by finishing a strong sixth place, when no one expected them to, in Coquitlam, Canada.
In 2011 Germany had the pleasure of carrying out the IFWLA U19 World Championship in Hannover and of course it was the time for the first German U19-only team, proving that the youth program in Germany is growing rapidly.
Now since the beginning of 2011, the focus again turns to the men. Through a series of try-outs and training camps, well attended by about 70 young laxers, the first „DLaxV U19 HerrenNationalmannschaft“ (German Men’s U19 National Team) is beginning to take shape. We look forward to a successful year in 2012 with the culmination of this huge organisational effort coming at the U19 Championships in Turku.
Indeed however, it is true that every future requires its past and so here a quick overview of German Youth Lacrosse — where we were and where we are going.
U19 — WLC 2003 — Where We Were
The first U21 Men‘s team from Germany was sent to the ILF/IFWLA combined U19 World Lacrosse Championships hosted by US Lacrosse at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland. Germany did not field a women’s team at this event.
The Team was organised and coached by Head Coach Ingo Hess, the former Head Coach of theDLaxV Bundesliga Ost men’s team BHC. He was assisted on the sidelines by Uli Haufe and by FabianSeibt, who was the DLaxV/GLA President until 2006.
It stands to logic that the enormous organizational pressures of constructing and accompanying such a pioneer team were tremendous, and thus the sporting success was unfortunately limited in this first go-round as a result. Nonetheless, the coaches and managers were able to set up preparation camps and also had a pre-event training camp in Baltimore with scrimmages against other competing teams.
Felix Friedheim, the 2008 U21 Assistant Coach was a U21-Nationalspieler and played in Attack. He recalls this phase of U21 history as follows: „At that time there were plenty of opportunities for the individual players to expand and improve their stick skills. Despite the difficult development phase in German Lacrosse many important keys for the future were realised.“
And those keys were prone to unlock the doors for this U21-Nationalmannschaft. The boys went through the “Red Group” and crushed their opponents, entering the fight for the right to be in the “Blue Group” undefeated. They ended up winning against Japan in an overtime-thriller and played games against Australia and England, finishing with a very good sixth place in the “Blue Group”.
Thus the cornerstone had been laid for a promising future and the wheels were set in motion for those who came after to hopefully redouble the effort and really get things going.
U19 — WLC 2012/2016 — Where We’re Going
The obviously present upcoming goal is of course the FIL World Lacrosse Championships 2012 in Turku, Finland. Looking beyond that, Germany hopes that for the next 2016 Championships, our youth program will have established itself thoroughly, as to allow us to field a true U19 team in the “Blue Group” and be able to compete on this level.
However, as noted above, all that is only part of the greater picture which we hope will ultimately result in further stability in the national team concept and in the whole of German youth lacrosse, right down to the youth leagues which has been started for the first time in 2007. These even younger kids, some as young as 9 or 10 now, should have the U19 team as a goal in their eyes to reach for, a little bit at a time, day by day on the field of play.
It is of central and existential importance that the further growth and development of the youth program is established in order to look forward to a long term successful lacrosse future in Germany. With competence and a strong will of all those involved, this concept can and will be realized, in both the immediate and distant future…
The Road To Turku
Dec. 2010 Berlin
First camp under the concept „Road To Turku“
March ‘11 Hamburg
Second Camp with roughly 60 kids attending
August ‘11 Marburg
Third Try-Out. First arrival of Headcoach John T. Pirie.
Nov. 2011 Berlin
Fourth Try-Out combined with friendly games against Czech‘ U19.
Feb. 2012 Amsterdam
Friendly games against Netherland‘s U19,
Netherlands Men‘s team and Durham University.
Combined with Top 40 Try-Outs. First invitational camp.
March ‘12 Hamburg
second Top 40 Try-Out: Team Turku will be
picked by Coaching Staff afterwards.
April 2012 Cologne
diagnostics– and athletics camp at German
Sports University Cologne (DSHS/SpoHo)
June 2012 Berlin
Prep-camp prior to Berlin Open 2012.
Europe‘s biggest lacrosse tournament, with many international guests.
July 2012 Berlin/Turku
World Championships in Turku, Finland and prep-week in Berli