Last weekend, I competed at the 2011 War at the Shore lacrosse tournament in Brick Township, NJ. I have been attending this tournament since 2005 when it was held at the National Guard Base in Sea Girt, NJ. It is one of the largest and most competitive summer tournaments in the northeast which happens to be located in an area of the state of New Jersey, that has been highlighted heavily on MTV.
The facility that the tournament is played on is at the Drum Point Soccer complex in Brick Township. The fields are grass and much smaller than the full field scale and if you haven’t played on grass in a while, it can be a hard adjustment. However, there is one, full sized, artificial turf field in the complex! The 80+ teams hailing up and down the eastern seaboard, are split up into 2 competitive divisions – A and B. The games are 1 hour long, consisting of two 25-minute halves at running time with no “clearing-clock”. Each team is guaranteed 4 games the entire weekend – 3 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday. To accommodate equal playing time, some teams would have to start Saturday as early as 8:15 in the morning or finish up close to 7 in the evening. Sunday is the elimination round and one loss means an early exit to beat the traffic on the Garden State Parkway, or some well-deserved rest & relaxation on the beach.
(Some of the tournament fields)
Stand out teams always making a regular appearance on the A division are; Universal Lacrosse, Power-Tek A, Digz, Laxbal, Hatteras-Press and Tri-State, among others, make for good games to watch on the sideline. On the B division; Power-Tek B, Red Army, Lagunitas, Red Tide, BOFA-deez, Edgars Pub, Rod’s Tavern are some who have found success in past years. Newcomers such as the team I played for, Team RWB, was made up primarily of West Point grads – some of them coming back from military service overseas! Team Ol’ Skool was sponsored by The Art of Lax™ – half of them built from the Brooklyn Lacrosse squad that won the inaugural Salt Shakerz tournament at Randalls Island in New York City back in late-June. Both squads were among the 64 (yes!) teams in the B-division, that were looking to make long strides into the tournament.
Unlike a tournament such as The Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Tournament, there are no “age-brackets/divisions” in War at the Shore. The competition is very unpredictable in ways that you may go up against a team consisting of fresh out of high-school grads, current collegiates and former MLL players, or a team that scrambled desperately to get guys during the week. That unpredictability makes for a lot of curious eyes prior to the opening whistle. Overall, “expect the unexpected”.
Some pics of the competition:
Majority of the teams competing seem to also make a “fashion statement” while playing on the field. As a visually stimulated person (artist) it’s good to see how artistic creativity and design are fused into the game of lacrosse.
Some of the uniforms during the event:
Didn’t catch the name of these guys but the rugby look/stripes was a good look.
Inspired by “Looney-Tunes”.
America DOES run on Dunkin.
Dirty (above) and the Finest (below).
I “WONDER” where that idea came from? )
The Killer Bees. I remember seeing them (Wu-Tang Clan) in concert!
These uniforms made me look twice.
Team USO Lax (above) and Team RWB (below), both representing and supporting a great cause.
The event is long and the weather can be hot. It was VERY hot this year. Bring a few tents, some chairs, a cooler or two of fluids and keep the sun block handy. In between the somewhat long wait for games, you can catch-up with many in the lacrosse community and/or peruse the numerous vendors and their merchandise.
Event sponsor Digz had their products on sale.
LAS sighting! LAX ALL SUMMER… for sure!
The shafts lined up looked like a Mondrian painting.
When the tournament was held in nearby Sea Girt on the National Guard base, the beach was literally yards away. A cool dip in the water after your first or last game was key! That is definitely missed.
Bar/restaurant/club establishments that are popular destinations for the Saturday night plans in the Jersey Shore area are; D’Jais in Belmar, Jenk’s in Pt. Pleasant, Leggett’s & Edgar’s in Manasquan, Parker House in Sea Girt, Bar Anticipation or “Bar A” in Lake Como, among others. Be prepared for sharing taxi’s with complete strangers if hoping to different places and cover charges at the door. Try to make sure your teammates make it back on Sunday. There have been many who easily “miss” the next day. But after a long day of lacrosse, sometimes staying in with dinner, sitting on a couch and watching t.v. is a good thing.
Interested in coming to the Jersey Shore next year?
The website is: http://jerseyshorelax.com/ and the person in charge is Mike Dowd. Find 23-25 guys to make a team. Get inspired to design some really cool uniforms or whatever suits you. Practice on a grass surface – the bumpier, the better! Do not forget a tent and some folding chairs. Finally, get your hotel rooms in advance, or go into renting a house with some teammates.
However, If you’re like me, befriend a person who has a weekend house in the area. )
Gatorade & water = HOT!
Speaking of HOT?
Dave Zoni (at right) with Team RWB sideline coach, Steve Heller (Head Coach at Brookdale Community College). The Dave Zoni story was also posted in an article back in April on LAS.
I know it’s not lacrosse but this has been one of my favorite sites to check out once in a while: http://www.weirdnj.com/