Sure, baseball is known as “America’s pastime,” but did you know lacrosse is one of North America’s oldest sports? First played as early as the 12th century, lacrosse was invented by Native Americans of the United States and Canada. Originally, the team sport was played for many reasons; for religious rituals, to resolve conflicts, heal the sick and strengthen men in preparation for war. Now, lacrosse is a wildly popular sport among youth and high school and college-aged kids with both males and females.
In Florida, lacrosse continues to grow. Unfortunately, the game is traditionally played on outdoor fields and notorious Florida thunderstorms (combined with hot, humid weather) make for a muddy mess. A few schools and indoor sports facilities are changing the way we look at the game. That’s why David Ott, the Panthers lacrosse coach at Allen D. Nease High School, opened G.O.A.L.S., the county’s first indoor sports facility. The acronym stands for Growing Outstanding Athletes in Lacrosse and Soccer.
The turf, installed by Collin’s Turf Division of Jacksonville, will host a variety of events including dodgeball, soccer, flag football and box lacrosse – a six-on-six format that is supposed to be good for stick control. Ben Collins, owner of Collins Turf, met with Ott to discuss options for the indoor turf. “He was hoping to avoid the use of the recycled tire infill that some local outdoor fields have because of its tendency to migrate to the top and be messy,” explains Collins. “He was also looking for a durable turf that would withstand the rigorous usage of a commercial facility. After reviewing dozens of turfs, we decided upon a bowform monofilament with thatch sub-layer for a resilient spring feeling underfoot.”
Collins also had the factory add on a 5-millimeter foam backing to replace the bounce that was lost from the elimination of the rubber infill and the field was glued down with a high-quality adhesive to keep it in place for years to come. “The part that made me happiest with this installation is that we were able to provide the customer with a turf that is 2.5 times more durable than the competitors turf,” he says. “And we were $12,000 cheaper on the pricing.”
Learn more about the G.O.A.L.S. facility at goalsindoor.com.