Nearly 100 teams from nine states, British Columbia, and Alberta descended upon the Rinks in Huntington Beach and Irvine last week for the United States Box Lacrosse Association Nationals. Well over 1,000 boys and girls competed for gold medals in divisions that ranged from Pee Wee to High School Elite. All told, 27 medals were awarded across nine stacked divisions (see below for all medal winners).

“The tournament was a huge success,” said USBOXLA founder Matt Brown. “It was the largest Nationals Tournament we ever had.”

Founder of USBOXLA is just one of the many hats Brown wears. In his spare time, he is also the Associate Head Coach at the University of and the Offensive Coordinator of the Canadian National Team. Brown probably knows as much about lacrosse as anybody in North America, and as he explains in this 2014 interview, he is convinced that box lacrosse is the future of the game and all young players should be playing box.

As Americans begin to get Brown’s message, box lacrosse is exploding across the nation in much the same way field lacrosse has in the last 10 years. USBOXLA now claims over 18,000 members over a nationwide geographic footprint. Teams from as far away as Georgia made the trek to Irvine for the Nationals, and programs from non-traditional lacrosse states like Arizona and Minnesota brought multiple teams to the tournament.

“We’ve grown so much in the last five years that we’ve had to ping-pong locations,” Brown explained. “We started here in Irvine with these three facilities originally with about 30 teams. We outgrew that and had to go to San Jose to handle 60 teams. And then we outgrew that, and now we’re back in Southern California using the seven rinks that are available in Irvine and Huntington Beach.”

Brown is impressed not only by the growth in numbers but also how quickly Americans have caught on to the game.

“I’ll be honest with you, from a competitiveness point of view, this year was by far and away the best we’ve seen,” Brown said.

One of the reasons for the growth is that USBOXLA takes a grassroots approach to the game. They move into new geographic areas one program at a time and welcome players of all levels.

“It starts by getting one group of kids together to experience the box game and a few coaches that are really passionate about it,” Brown explained. “And once they experience this type of an event it becomes addictive. These kids, whether they win or lose, they come off the floor with a big smile on their face.”

Are you ready to start thinking inside the box? Stay tuned for news on the 2019 USBOXLA Nationals and more as MaxLax ramps up it box lacrosse coverage in the coming year.

2018 USBOXLA Nationals Medal Winners

High School Elite
Gold: Cali*Lax ALL-STARS
Silver: Team America
Bronze: Denver Elite
Fourth: Lacrosse Force

Midget A
Gold: ELEV8
Silver: Chilly Willy
Bronze: Cali*Lax ALL-STARS
Fourth: True Minnesota

Midget B
Gold: Arizona Outlaws
Silver: Arizona Box Lacrosse
Bronze: Cali*Lax ALL-STARS
Fourth: Minotaur

Bantam A
Gold: Team Superstar
Silver: Junior Stealth
Bronze: Cali*Lax ALL-STARS
Fourth: West Coast Woodsmen

Bantam B
Gold: Arizona Outlaws
Silver: 3d Georgia
Bronze: Lacrosse Force
Fourth: 49ers Lacrosse

Peewee A
Gold: Junior Stealth
Silver: Team Superstar
Bronze: Denver Elite
Fourth: Cali*Lax ALL-STARS

Peewee B
Gold: Arizona Outlaws
Silver: True Minnesota
Bronze: Mad Dog
Fourth: Team Superstar

Novice
Gold: West Coast Wolves
Silver: Denver Elite
Bronze: True Minnesota
Fourth: Mad Dog

Girls
Gold: Denver Pride
Silver: Denver Pride
Bronze: Team America
Fourth: True Minnesota

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