By Liz Lane
(June 7, 2013) More than 5,000 young athletes will compete in the Ocean City area this weekend during the annual Beach Lax Festival.
About 2,200 girls and 3,000 boys will make up almost 300 lacrosse teams during the three-day competition. The girls’ divisions, ranging from U-9 to high school age, will play at least six games in “rapid fire action,” said tournament co-organizer Tim Gilbert.
The girls’ tournament kicks off today (Friday) at 5:30 p.m. with games on the fields on 145th Street and Northside Park on 125th Street. They will continue Saturday and Sunday and play from 7 a.m. to about 10:30 or 11 p.m.
Teams from each boy’s division, ranging from U-9 to U-15, will play three full games in a championship-style format ending with a playoff round. Their tournament begins Saturday at 8 a.m. at several locations including Northern Worcester Athletic Complex, Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic School, Berlin Immediate School and Buckingham Elementary School.
Gilbert said many of the athletes will come from the Baltimore, Annapolis and the Washington D.C. areas. Others will travel from Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania and a few will come from Colorado and Georgia.
Gilbert said the tournament is so popular this year that both the girls’ and boys’ tournaments are at full capacity. He said they had to turn teams away. The beach festival began, Gilbert said, about five or six years ago to see how local teams compare to those from other states on the “lacrosse food ladder.”
For more information, visit www.beachlax.org.