Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Language of Lacrosse

Have you ever been to Piedmont? Its charm and blind curves remind me of Orinda, where I spent part of my childhood. It's hidden in the Oakland hills and I'd never been there until Saturday's lacrosse game.

Witter Field, as far as I can tell, has no parking lot. If it does it's well-hidden, just like the field itself, which is part of Piedmont High School.

This is completely consistent with my lacrosse experience: confusing and revealing itself little by little.

The first thing you notice at an elementary-school-aged girls lacrosse game is the silence from the bleachers. Deafening silence. Nice oxymoron.

Few parents understand the game enough to backseat coach the same way they do at soccer or softball games. Every now and then one claps or yells "She's hot!" but other than that they are quiet or count softly to three. Three is the number of times the ball has to be passed before a player can attempt a goal. Being hot means it's now an option to shoot. The kids can actually hear the coach's instructions because the parents aren't drowning them out.

Our coach played at Notre Dame and coached boys' high school lacrosse before his own daughter was old enough to play. This guy knows his stuff. Thing 2's team is good. Really good. We didn't know how good until we started crushing playing other teams. Our goalie may as well be weaving baskets from blades of grass. Our coach also appears to be a classy guy, having the girls stop going for the goal when it came just shy of the time we humiliated the other team by a ridiculous blowout discrepancy in the scoring.

The girls wear kilts. Thing 2 happily wears it. Yesterday it was turned sideways with the stripe running down the front and the back. She looked like a skunk.

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