The WCLL Championships will be contested at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, Michigan.
By Neil Downe
TROY - The WCLL 2014 League Championships are moving from the campus of Ohio State University, where the Buckeyes have hosted the last two years, to Michigan Friday and Saturday, April 18-19. The league championships will be contested away from the inclement weather in Pontiac, Michigan at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas at www.ultimatesoccerarenas.com.
Towbey Kassa, Oakland University's head coach and WCLL championship host, said the event is a great deal of work, but well worth the effort once those involved get a chance to see the arena.
"I don't think anyone will have a problem with the event once they see what a first class facility Ultimate Soccer Arena is," Kassa said. "The facility boasts two full sized lacrosse fields with plenty of seating, a full service restaurant and bar and a sportings good store for those last minute items, but mostly, there's plenty of parking and no rain to worry about."
Kassa said the WCLL governing board was certainly thankful for Ohio State's sponsorship of the championships the past two years, but urged those attending they will not be disappointed.
The WCLL Division I qualifers will get the championships underway Friday afternoon, April 18 and play into the evening. The winners of first round DIvision I games will be back on Saturday to contest for the league championship and an automatic berth into the WCLA National Championships. The losers of first round Division I games will play a second round consolation affair Friday night at Ultimate Arena to end their weekend.
All of the WCLL Division II qualifers will begin round one competition Saturday morning and proceed until the 7 pm finals in Pontiac. The WCLL Division II qualifers are playing the entire event on Saturday because many of the DIvision II schools cannot play on Sunday, April 20 because of Easter nor could they miss school on Friday, April 18.
Kassa said the WCLL board made a decision to play a one-day event based on the suggestions of the WCLL Division II coaches.
WCLL League championship qualifiers include divisional conference winners and at-large choices based on seasonal records. The WCLL qualifers will be announced the evening of Sunday, April 13, 2014 after the league board has made those determinations based on the regular season records. The WCLL Championship schedule and list of qualifers will be posted on the WCLL webpage the same night.
"With the addition of Minnesota and Notre Dame into the WCLL Division I lineup and all the quality teams in Division, this should be a great championship," Kassa said.
The cost of the event is $5 per person per day, which includes a souvenir WCLL wristband and all the lacrosse you could ever want to see. The cost of admission will cover the rental fee for the sports arena, Kassa said.
No upcoming events found.
By I. Koffalott
BALTIMORE - You have to own the right balls if you want to play lacrosse this spring. Without purchasing complaint NOCSAE lacrosse balls this year, some WCLL and WCLA teams could be cancelling games because they weren't proactive.
The NCAA and US Lacrosse have both indicated in recent press releases that womens' lacrosse games in both collegiate leagues will be cancelled if NOCSAE certified balls are not available.
Chris Carter, the WCLL vice chair, said all teams competing in his league will be required to have the balls available for games.
"This isn't a choice for teams to consider and games will be cancelled if those playing or hosting do not provide the proper equipment," he said. "US Lacrosse and the NCAA are serious about this issue. There is no wiggle room."
The problem at hand is a shortage of available product weeks before the start of the season.
Gary Neft, the WCLL commissioner and owner of Queen City Sports, said he has available product, but compliant lacrosse balls are in short supply.
"We're getting a few cases a week right now and hopefully it will pick up, but there is a real shortage of complaint balls for sale right now," he said.
Several of the ball manufacturers have been producing product for close to three months, but are still having trouble meeting demand, said company officials.
"The official line from the NCAA and US Lacrosse is that balls are available and I am being told by the manufacturers that supply is a problem...so who do you believe?," said Greg Normand, a WCLL and WCLA board member. "I am not sure it matters who you believe, but you better have compliant product or games will be cancelled."
Pat Dillion, an NCAA spokesman said, referees have been instructed to walk away from scheduled games if the NOCSAE complaint balls are not available for play.
Dillion said visiting teams might want to consider traveling with certified balls to make sure the trip they take isn't in vain.
"We were told there is no problem with availability for balls and they have to be provided," Dillion said.
Whether balls are readily available or not is open for debate, but the end result is that officials will not work games without the proper equipment, local officials have said.
"Short of purchasing a branding iron, I would find some compliant balls and make sure you have the right equipment and for some of us that's critical because play begins next week," Normand said.