Festival Thoughts

Any talk about the 2012 Euros in here please.

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Moaning Git
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Festival Thoughts

Postby Moaning Git Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:48 pm

I spent a week at the Euros as a Festival Ref and thought I would share a few thoughts.

First I was disappointed so few UK teams took part in the Festival, I think you missed out on a fun event, and also the fact that you were not there took the competitive edge from the Festival. All credit to Bristol Uni though for their participation, good humour and competitiveness especially against the US based teams.

So a question . Why did so few UK teams compete? I have a feeling that the length of the festival and the associated costs might be the main reason, is that the case?

As I ref I ended up working a lot harder than I imagined, having to cover as least 6 x 40 minute games a day in high heat and humidity. But probably the most challenging aspect was refing at different standards to suit the games. Some of the Festival teams were there for the craich, complete with cow v Pikachu or goalie ve goalie, or backwards faceoffs; others though were there for some top level lacrosse, having paid many thousands of pounds to take part, or as with the Jerusalem team having something to prove. This was certainly not easy, but in the end I think the refing team which included officials of all standards and from Europe, North America and Australia did a good job despite problems arising.

During the Festival I saw precious little of the full international games as I was working until 6pm, but I was able to spectate during Friday evening and all day Saturday. I spent quite a bit of time sat with the Irish contingent having met the guys from the Eire team at camp. They were fantastic company and the supporters were consistently behind their teams, urging them on and always in a positive way. During the final I only heard one anti English comment, and that from a drunken Yank who could hardly stand up!

Unfortunately there was one disgraceful incident of racism during the week when some moron decided to draw swastikas an Israeli team area. I am proud to say that this action was universally condemned by players, officials, and organisers. There is no place for racism in Lacrosse.

The Israeli teams competing in the Euros had a very high degree of support, commitment, and ability, and with the financial resources they have available I have no doubt that they will soon have a major impact on the European rankings.

Overall, I think that the Euros were a great event to be part of and I enjoyed myself and made a number of friends. That said there were problems in the organisation that need to be considered and avoided in the future. I was very impressed by the way in which the organisers sought to promote the sport nationally and to use the event as a springboard to develop Lacrosse in the Netherlands. I think perhaps that in doing so they overextended themselves somewhat and this caused problems in other areas.

Oh yes and I watched Crooked Arrows, and enjoyed it!
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Re: Festival Thoughts

Postby young_trig Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:03 pm

A great review, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us
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Re: Festival Thoughts

Postby Rotisserie Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:18 am

Having organised and captained the Bristol Uni side while we were over there I thought I might as well add my thoughts to Mr. Git's.

We took a team over for the full 10 days of the championships, 5 of which we spent participating in the festival. We also took a day off from the games to do some 'sightseeing'. I would agree that it was disappointing to be the only English side to have made the trip over but it's fully understandable that a 5 day long mid-week tournament is less than ideal for anything other than students. We kept costs to an absolute minimum by driving over and staying in tents at the official championship camp site. I think it came to roughly £200 each for travel, tournament entry fees and accommodation so it was definitely possible to do the trip on a low budget.

There were 12 teams in the men's festival competition which could pretty much be broken down into 3 ability catagories.
USA starz, Global Players and Tel Aviv - These teams were made up in majority by student athletes from colleges around the US/Canada. The standard was VERY high, many of whom play at the NCAA Div I, II and III level.
Eire - As I understand it these guys were the Ireland 'B' team with a few Americans who didn't qualify for the Ireland national team. They were considerably better than the rest of the non-elite festival teams.
Everyone else - All of the other teams were of fairly similar standards, with the level being somewhat similar to what I've seen in the SEMLA leagues.

As MG stated, It would have been nice to have some other English teams present to fill in the gaps and spread the ability slightly to give teams like Eire a few more competitive games. Thankfully the 'Elite' touring sides were very respectful of the weaker opponents and did not run up the score. Instead they just looked to have some fun by playing out of position or making friends with the other team. The Global Players team had 4 defenders who play at Colgate (NCAA Div 1) so naturally we did not have a lot of the ball during that game. It was great for those of us in attack to chat to them about things like their day to day training/weights/film schedule while our own defenders learned exactly what it's like to try and defend against the best.

Outside of the festival we all massively enjoyed being at and watching championships. The England team were never particularly tested by any of their opposition, even when they played poorly or let some poor discipline slip in. The 2-man zone in their opening game against Ireland was particularly interesting. I was particularly impressed by the standard of the D-poles. We had more time than the referees to watch games so were able to catch other championship games in between playing matches at the festival pitches. Sweden and Finland were both much better than I expected them to be.

The venue for the games was fantastic. With 18 (I think there were about this many?) astroturf pitches and 3 large clubhouses it was pretty ideal. Every minute of the 10 days we spent in Amsterdam was unbelievably good - whether it was getting drunk and high with the other festy teams at the camp site, watching international lacrosse in the sun (occasionally rain) or playing against some of the top players in the sport.

A quick note on the Isreal team:
We had our tents pitched next to one of their huts so were able to get to know the guys pretty well. Tel Aviv was entered in to the festival but the two teams are essentially one. The festival guys were just waiting on citizenship/passports before they can fully qualify for Israel. The festival team was also considerably better than the national team so this Israel team will definitely be one to watch over the next few years. I would not be surprised if they are up there with England/Australia/Japan come Denver 2014.

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