LAKE PLACID - The Lake Placid Summit Classic lacrosse tournament has descended on the village for the 30th straight year, and has brought along an estimated 15,000 friends to celebrate.
The Summit Classic is essentially two tournaments over the course of a week: first was the scholastic tournament early in the week, consisting of youth, high school and college-age players, followed by the adult tournament, which includes a 65 and older age group for the first time and concludes Sunday, Aug. 11.
Son of co-founder George Laveille, Kevin, who also serves as one of the tournament directors, said, in addition to the games, there's a lot to take in during this year's Summit Classic.
"I'm almost 38, and my whole life has been here in early August, so to get to 30 years and see it maintaining its strong magnet to all these special folks is really awesome," Kevin Laveille said. "It's really competitive on the field; and off the field there's tons of camaraderie. People are coming back to do reunion type things; they're coming back to see their college buddies from a long time ago.
"The lacrosse community is just kind of small, relatively, and people can gather here and knock a lot of birds out with one stone. Everything just kind of comes together and makes it special."
Laveille said organizers estimate there are more than 650 teams, and about 15,000 people including players, kids, spouses and fans.
"Some people are here all week, coaching at the beginning and playing at the end," he said. "We've got a 65-and-over division this year. Last year we had a single game, but this year we've got five teams in that division, so that's setting a new bar for everybody.
"On Thursday, we'll do our Legends event, highlighting three lacrosse legends to us: Roy Simmons Jr., Paul Rose and Phil Kessler, who have all had major impacts here for years. So we'll celebrate them and some other award winners, including Tri-Lakes youth lacrosse who will be getting Lacrosse All-Stars Grow the Game Award. It's a tribute to their efforts to get youth here, boys and girls, playing lacrosse.
"(Tri-Lakes has) really become a legit youth lacrosse program."
On Friday, Aug. 9, a World Lacrosse seminar was scheduled, with the aim of eventually getting the game added to the Olympics. Laveille said in an effort to make that happen, rule changes will be implemented and a demonstration game will take place on Friday.
"It's a little bit of a format change," he said. "There will be fewer people on the field, smaller field (and) shot clock really just to make it fit into the Olympics. Right after the seminar, we're going to have the MLL Legends play on our Legends field here in the new format, so people can watch what plays out and have their opinions on it."
According to an article on the Summit Lacrosse website, the new format will shorten the game to 8-minute quarters with a running clock, institute a 45-second shot clock and have just six players on the field.
For a full schedule of events, go to www.summitlacrosseventures.com/lpsc.