RAPID PROGRESS IS MADE IN PLANS FOR LACROSSE REVIVAL

Meeting of Sponsors of Professional League to be Held Here Next Week

TWO LOCAL TEAMS

Toronto, Boston and New York Will Also Enter Squads—Matches to Take Place in Ball Parks

By L.S.B. Shapiro

Joe Cattarinich during his playing days with the hockey Canadiens

Plans for the revival of professional lacrosse on a prestigious scale are going ahead rapidly and there is every likelihood that an international league embracing three teams in Montreal and Toronto and three in New York and Boston will get its schedule under way early in June.  The idea has been nursed by Joe Cattarinich, one of the owners of the Canadien hockey club, for several months and early next week the sponsors of the league, who will eventually become the owners of the teams, will meet here at the Windsor Hotel to draw up final plans for the building up of the league.

There will be a radical change in the type of lacrosse to be played in the new league.  It has been nicknamed “box lacrosse” and will have a field 200 feet by 110 feet, all enclosed by a board fence.  It is planned to have seven men on each side, instead of the regulation 12 players, and the rules of the game will be changed around in equally as drastic a manner.

The names of the sponsors of the new league have not been released.  Cattarinich is undoubtedly the leading spirit of the whole project.  He was a famous lacrosse player in his youthful days and knows the game and its possibilities as well as anyone in sport.  In Toronto, Charlie Querrie, part owner of the old Toronto St. Pats of the National Hockey League, and also an old lacrosse star, is the power behind the revival there.  The men behind the project in New York and Boston are said to be well-known figures in sport, but their names have not been made public.  Baltimore is also prominently mentioned as a possible league city, but there is little likelihood that it will materialize as such this year.

PLAY IN BALL PARKS

Making a bold bid to place the new league firmly on the map as a major sport, the sponsors are going to no little expense in equipping their cities with home fields.  The games will be played at night in the baseball parks of their cities.  Here, the Royals Stadium in Delorimier will be utilized, and plans are being made for lighting the field for night play.  The box-like arrangement can be erected in something like an hour and taken down in less than that to allow for a ball game the next afternoon.  With only a small part of the field necessary for the lacrosse game, the lighting problem is not as acute as that for night baseball.  In New York and Boston, it is confidently expected that the Yankee Stadium and the Polo Grounds will be utilized.

This photo from the 1932 American Box Lacrosse League gives an idea of how the planned league would have played in baseball stadiums; ultimately, the league settled for hockey arenas, leaving the American league to implement the outdoor idea.

There will be two teams in Montreal.  One of them will be Canadiens, with Newsy Lalonde at the helm as manager.  There will also be an English-speaking team, the sponsors of which have not yet been announced.  One team in Toronto will compete in the Canadian representation, and in the United States, two teams in New York and one in Boston will bring the league up to strength.

Gerry Kendall of Toronto

Professional lacrosse was at its height shortly before the war when it stood head and shoulders above anything else in the sporting world in Canada.  Crowds approximating 10,000 attended the games and excitement was at fever heat, comparing favorably with the furore [sic] created by the professional hockey teams of today.  The Canadian Professional Lacrosse League was composed of the Irish-Canadians, Nationales and Shamrocks of Montreal, Ottawa, and Shamrocks and Toronto of the Queen City.  The league went into its decline during the war and although it is still considered Canada’s national game, it has never reached its heights of pre-war days.  Next week’s meeting may settle the fate of the game.

(Montreal Gazette, April 21, 1931)

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