28 April 2008


by Chris

Holy Moly, what a great trip ! The other members of the Dublin Riggers Box Lacrosse team and I went to Prague to play in a tournament, but I had no idea how cool it was going to be.

We flew into Prague and were met at the airport by a driver to take us to a small suburb of Prague called Radotin (Rad-o-teen)

It has a very small town feel. Not many shops and certainly no western style amenities. There are still many reminders of the Czech Republics cold war era past as Czechoslovakia, like this building below.

Which turned out to be our hotel !

It actually turned out to be a very convenient, clean suitable accomodation for a bunch of lacrosse players, even if the elevators seemed unsafe.

From our hotel room you could see the train station below and the hillside dotted with houses...wait a second, whats that in the center left of the picture below ?

Holy, its a brand new lacrosse field and a club house with a restaraunt & bar !

Thats right folks, somehow the North American Indian game of lacrosse got a loyal following in Eastern Europe and they take it very seriously.

The box lacrosse Aleš Hřebeský Memorial is held by Lacrosse Club Custodes Sokol Radotín to honor its former player who tragically died in the autumn of 1993 (click on either of these logos to go to their website)

Aleš Hřebeský was born on July 1st, 1972 and was among the most gifted LCC players. Moreover, he was a keen ice-hockey player, gymnast, and cycle-ball player. On November 30th, 1993 he died of the injuries caused by a drunk driver who hit Aleš while he waited at a bus stop.

This is the third year the Dublin guys have gone to the tournament, but my first. Unfortunately, I hurt my back/ribs at another tournament earlier this month so I decided to coach instead of play.

Their were 16 teams in the tournament this year. 8 teams from the Czech Republic and 8 teams from abroad, including Canada, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, England, 2 from the US and us from Ireland...the Dublin Riggers ! This tournament is really run well. After the first round of games during the day Thursday, there was an opening ceremony that night...pictured below.

Thats us in the middle wearing black & blue with only a 7 man roster.

The atmosphere at their little stadium is awesome. They have a lot of fans who come out to support their local teams and they really get into it.

The weather was great, except the one day it rained. There is only one field, so the games started at 8am every day and lasted until 8pm. Plenty of lacrosse to watch in between trips to the beer shack, the bbq stand for kielbasa or going into the restaurant for proper meals.

They even have acts that perform in between games and at halftime.

The last night of the tournament there was a game between the Czech Under 21 National team and an all-star team of the visiting teams from abroad.

Each player got introduced and ran out onto the field...hey wait, who is that coach of the all-star team running onto the field
Why its Dublin Lacrosse's own Chris Arnold !

At halftime of this game they had Czechs doing Native Indian dances...they are crazy with lacrosse fever !

After the game they had some people twirling fire and swallowing burning sticks, it was crazy.

They even had a huge fireworks display afterwards. They really know how to put on a tournament.

Another highlight of the trip was meeting professional hockey player David Koci, who until recently played for the Chicago Blackhawks. He was just traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

We know all of this, because Bingo met him on the plane to Prague ! Koci gave Bingo his phone number and insisted they get together, which one night we did over drinks (and drinks and drinks)

Here's a highlight reel of Mr. Koci's specialty...being a kick ass hockey goon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

best lacrosse trip ever cant wait for next year