ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester Knighthawks and their Thruway rivals the Buffalo Bandits are collaborating to provide top young lacrosse players a summer league to showcase their skills.
The Upstate Collegiate Box Lacrosse League is open to high school seniors through college seniors, including those who are fifth-year NCAA eligible. Non-collegiate players 18-21 who have not signed a pro contract are also eligible.
Registration is open until June 1, with early-bird discounts available now. League fees are $550 with a $363 deposit due at the time of registration.
Dan Carey, General Manager and Vice President of Lacrosse Operations for the Rochester Knighthawks, and Craig Rybczynski, Lacrosse Operations Manager for the Rochester Knighthawks, discussed the summer box league Monday during News 8 at Noon.
“Box lacrosse is very similar to field lacrosse as far as the skills but played indoor in a hockey arena, five-on-five, and fast-paced,” Carey said. “We have a 30-second shot clock so it’s a lot different than field lacrosse but it’s very similar in a lot of ways.”
The Upstate Collegiate Box Lacrosse League will feature a player combine on June 7 in Rochester and Buffalo, a draft on June 9, and games on Monday and Wednesday evenings from June 14 to July 28. “It’s something that we felt was important to bring to this area, There’s a lot of potential for us to see players that we could potentially draft for the Knighthawks. It’s a great opportunity for college players, and there are high school seniors that would be looking at going into their college freshman year. And just the exposure to box lacrosse definitely helps enhance skills in the field game as well.”
Rybczyski believes talented players will be drawn to the opportunity and the competition. “It’s going to be the Knighthawks and Bandits of the future. We’ll have two teams in Buffalo and two teams in Rochester. They’ll play an eight-game schedule. They’ll have five practices. And one of the carrots that we’re dangling out there is the winner of our league will go to San Jose, California for the National Championships from August 6-8. I think that’s something really cool for kids to play for in the summer where they may be just working out or playing with friends.”
For the Knighthawks, the Upstate Collegiate Box Lacrosse League represents a step toward the return of the National Lacrosse League, which suspended its season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Unfortunately, we just weren’t able to make it work with the pandemic,” said Carey. “We explored multiple options and we just couldn’t come up with a great solution so we look to move to next year. We’ve targeted our start date for the first weekend in December. Our product to me will be even better. Given this amount of time to prepare for a season and just the eagerness and the hunger that our players and our staff, and everybody involved will have, so there’s a lot going on right now but it’s a lot of positive things.”
To learn more about the Upstate Collegiate Box Lacrosse League visit RochesterKnighthawks.com/ucbll.