Hudson Valley Box Lacrosse League is Taking Off

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By Ben Gurwitch
The Mahopac Water Panthers play some of their home games on Rt. 6 across from the Mahopac Firehouse.

The Hudson Valley Box Lacrosse League continues to expand. Now in year three, the league is primed for its most successful summer yet. We sat down with Coach Bryan O’Gorman to discuss the league and its future. Coach O’Gorman is the commissioner of the league and coach and founder of the Mahopac Water Panthers, one of the teams in the rapidly growing league.

“Box Lacrosse is rapidly growing, but there’s no convenient access or outlet to play here in the Hudson Valley Area,”  O’Gorman said. He went on to explain that, before the league started, he would have to travel quite far to play a game.

Box Lacrosse has been around for a long time but it is a relatively unknown sport. O’Gorman calls it a “hybrid offshoot of lacrosse.”

Although it has lacrosse in the name, Box Lacrosse bears a big resemblance to hockey. It is normally played on a hockey rink with a layer of ground put over the ice. The game is played 5v5 and players are responsible for all parts of the floor. There is no down time. The ball is always moving.

“You have to be more precise with your shots and with your passes because it’s played in a more confined space,” O’Gorman said.

He also described it as a more physical sport than lacrosse. Due to the game’s unique nature, Box Lacrosse is a great place for lacrosse players to hone their skills. With a smaller goal and less space to work with than in lacrosse, players have to work on improving all parts of their game and being as perfect as possible. Many lacrosse players are drawn to this and play Box

Lacrosse in their offseason to hone their skills. O’Gorman explained that a lot of the league is made up of current lacrosse players, but there is a significant portion of people who played Box Lacrosse elsewhere and are now looking for a place to play it in the Hudson Valley.

O’Gorman described the league’s recruiting process as “through word of mouth so far.” Word of mouth has worked for the league’s organizers so far. They have done an excellent job getting people to play in the league. O’Gorman was proud to discuss the many talented Division 1 lacrosse players who are members of the league. The league has capitalized on a lot of lacrosse players who are ready for a new challenge or new excitement.

In the league’s first year, it was focused on the Hudson Valley. There were three teams, all in the area. Last year, the league had a big expansion, adding teams coming from New York City, Rockland County and Philadelphia. The league had four different “play day weekends” before the playoffs. This year, the league will again change its format to accommodate a growing number of teams. The league will have a summer series. There will be three stand-alone tournaments on three different weekends. The tournaments are all about growth. The organizers have worked hard to have more teams in tournaments. Teams will come from all over the east coast to play.

Beyond the tournaments, the Box Lacrosse league has weekly pickup sessions. They are always looking for more members. The league is highly competitive. The teams are mostly made up of college lacrosse players and professional box lacrosse players looking to hone their skills. O’Gorman made it clear, “We don’t want to be a beer league.”

For a league that has not really marketed itself, other than on social media (hvbll2024), the Hudson Valley Box Lacrosse League has done impressively well. As buzz around the league and the league’s budget grow, the league will grow too.

Visit them at Mahopac Water Panthers LC (@mahopacbox) • Instagram photos and videos

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