MCLA Tournament in SoCal presents a huge opportunity

edited August 2013 in West

imageMCLA Tournament in SoCal presents a huge opportunity

The MCLA bringing it's week-long national championship tournament to Irvine next spring and again in 2015 presents local club teams with a great opportunity to showcase their game and for young SoCal players to see what top-level club ball looks like up close.

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Comments

  • It's great news that the MCLA Championship will be in SoCAL. Looking forward to a quick hop on Southwest versus the slog to Denver for hail stores, tornado warnings and drenching rains. Oh right, that was just one year.
  • I say this as an east-coast, born-and-bred NCAA (DIII) laxer, but the more I hear about MCLA play, the more I'm tempted to hop on a flight and get involved with some of these club programs. Despite the paltry number of NCAA programs out west, it's great to read about how much the MCLA is growing the game in these new areas--and doing so at a very high level, at that.

    I'll admit that part of me worries about the east-west divide in our sport right now. With the MLL and LXM "competing" for the best post-college talent (apologies for bringing up this overblown issue) and with MCLA teams dominating the west coast lax scene, surely an understandable fear exists that these two lax hemispheres will remain separate. Yet I'll also admit that this is more of a problem out east where I'm from. The traditional NCAA lax community can be rather snobbish about high-quality club teams, even though few MCLA players (I think) would argue against the higher overall competitiveness of DI and top DIII programs.

    I'm simply happy to know that there are so many opportunities for players to experience a high level of lacrosse all across the country. As with the MLL-LXM issue, I believe that lacrosse needs as many outlets for exposure as possible, and there's still plenty of room in this small lax town for the both of them.

    But I also hope the MCLA Tournament comes back east after two years in its SoCal epicenter. Lacrosse needs to grow, but it also needs to mingle.
    Kevin Rowen
  • Kevin RowenKevin Rowen LAS Editorial Intern SoCal

    Lacrosse needs to grow, but it also needs to mingle.

    In an ideal world, that "mingling" would be ONE location for both the MCLA and NCAA tournament. Same week same time, rotating each year to different locations, including some Western sites.

    Just a thought... never going to happen, but how fun would that be?
    thebuckethelmet
  • socolax2socolax2 CT's finest
    Would be pretty interesting, but that would imply that the lacrosse world would accept the MCLA as more than a club entity (which I would be willing to say it is) but I don't see it. What I do see is the NAIA finally having enough programs to sponsor a championship. How much chaos will come forth?
    All opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.
  • Kevin RowenKevin Rowen LAS Editorial Intern SoCal
    @socolax2 I agree that an MCLA-NCAA combined championship festival isn't going to happen, but just wanted throw it out there because it would be awesome if it did happen. Your NAIA point is really interesting. Do you know how many NAIA teams compete in the MCLA? I know Concordia is, but I'm not sure how many others are.
  • socolax2socolax2 CT's finest
    NAIA schools with varsity teams in MCLA: Aquinas, Davenport, Indiana Tech, Lawrence Tech, Siena Heights, Michigan Dearborn, Dordt, Emmanuel, Judson, Lindenwood-Belleville, MoBap, Reinhardt, Robert Morris (IL), St Andrew's, SCAD, St Ambrose (Joining GRLC next season), Tennessee Wesleyan, and Westminster.

    The only varsity NAIA programs not in the MCLA right now are Point, Marygrove, and University of St Francis.

    NAIA schools with club teams in MCLA: Biola, Cal-Merced, College of Idaho, Concordia University Irvine, Marymount, SOU, Taylor, and William Jessup (Joining MCLA 2014)

    NAIA clubs not in MCLA: Holy Cross (IN) and Northwestern (IA)
    All opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.
    chriscurtisKevin Rowen
  • socolax2socolax2 CT's finest
    edited August 2013
    Add Great Falls and Johnson & Wales (Colorado) to that list of NAIA varsity programs joining the MCLA.

    http://www.ugfargos.com/article/308.php
    Post edited by socolax2 on
    All opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.
  • Kevin RowenKevin Rowen LAS Editorial Intern SoCal
    @socolax2 what's the difference between NAIA varsity and NAIA club in terms of how the teams function in the MCLA? Also, that's an extensive list, well done!
  • socolax2socolax2 CT's finest
    NAIA varsity programs are funded, tend to offer scholarships, and are run through their schools athletics department. NAIA club programs are just like NCAA club programs, they're player driven or run through the school's campus recreation/club sports division. As far as the MCLA is concerned, they're no different, like they're not treated differently. I for one enjoy the NAIA's presence in the MCLA because they operate in a varsity manner, you can expect them to have matching gear, show up on time to games with all of their guys (as opposed to traveling with 14 guys) etc. I think they add legitimacy to the context that MCLA is not a club league but rather a league for teams who wish to operate on a varsity brand without the NCAA stamp of approval. However, I am concerned that when they hit 50 men's teams, what that will do to the MCLA. Losing 50 programs in 1 swing would be chaotic. Several NAIA programs are already playing within NAIA lacrosse conferences in addition to their MCLA ties. This refers to the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, which is composed of Aquinas, Davenport, Indiana Tech, Lawrence Tech, Siena Heights, Michigan Dearborn, and Marygrove.
    All opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.
  • Kevin RowenKevin Rowen LAS Editorial Intern SoCal
    socolax2 said:

    However, I am concerned that when they hit 50 men's teams, what that will do to the MCLA. Losing 50 programs in 1 swing would be chaotic.

    50 teams is a lot to lose, but the MCLA does have over 200 teams right now... 150 teams is still plenty for two divisions of MCLA play. But yes, it would be very chaotic and require a lot of restructuring.
  • socolax2socolax2 CT's finest
    90% of the NAIA teams play in DII, its a big hit to take.
    All opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.
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