BEERSHEBA, ISRAEL — Israel Lacrosse has announced Be’er Sheva LC as the newest addition to the Israel Premier Lacrosse League (IPLL) for the 2016 season. Be’er Sheva joins Ashdod, Ashkelon, Haifa, Kiryat Gat and Netanya in the now six-team league.
Jordan Hirsch, who had a decorated playing and coaching career and will be joining Israel as an assistant coach at the 2016 Men’s European Lacrosse Championships, will man Be’er Sheva’s sidelines, while Taylor Roy, who led the successful launch of Kiryat Gat’s youth lacrosse programs over the last year, will relocate to Be’er Sheva to serve as Program Director.
Through a developed relationship with Kivunim, a group that manages the community centers in the area, Israel Lacrosse will begin recruitment in community centers immediately — starting with 3-day clinics for 4th and 5th graders throughout the summer, which will be offered free of charge this year. Intra-city league play for the U-19, U-15 and U-11 programs for both boys and girls will commence in September 2016. Additionally, the teams will have the opportunity compete against teams from Ashkelon, Ashdod, Kiryat Gat, Netanya and Sderot.
“Building a new program is both the most fun and most challenging part of our jobs because despite the various obstacles we may face in getting started in a new city, there isn’t a more rewarding moment than watching kids connect with lacrosse,” said Roy of her new role. “From my work around the country, I’ve learned that the success of our clubs depends not only on the standard youth leagues and IPLL program, but on community support. I’m excited for our staff to get started introducing the game in Be’er Sheva because with a number of special initiatives in the works aimed at incorporating the whole city this program is set to take off at full-speed.”
Roy will be paired this summer with Roey Ringel, who competed for the blue-and-white at the 2012 European Championships and recently completed his service in the Israel Defense Forces.
Hirsch takes the reigns in Be’er Sheva for the club’s inaugural season in the IPLL. During his career at Nazareth college, Hirsch was named Empire 8 Conference Sportsman of the Year as a senior captain while helping lead his team to appearances in the NCAA Division III Quarterfinals in 2007, NCAA Final Four in 2005 and the National Championship in 2004. Since graduating in 2007, Hirsch has served as an assistant lacrosse coach for his alma mater, Hampden-Sydney College and Lynchburg College, gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience that will surely bring him success at the premier level.
As is characteristic of all Israel Lacrosse’s established programs, Beer Sheva’s high school players will participate in volunteer work through Sticks for Kids by using lacrosse to teach communication, goal setting and teamwork to at-risk youth. Beer Sheva LC will also host lacrosse clinics for children at the Hatzrim Air Force Base and for Bedouin children from Rahat in conjunction with the Peres Center.
Since its birth in Israel, lacrosse has been largely taught by members of the Jewish diaspora who have moved to Israel to help spread the game. This year, an exciting new development in Be’er Sheva will help empower coaches much closer to home. Beginning in the 2016 fall semester, Israel Lacrosse will be teaching courses at Kaye Sports College for Physical Education and Ben Gurion University Athletic Center, bringing lacrosse one step closer to becoming the national sport of Israel by incorporating it into school curriculums nationwide.
The IPLL schedule has been specifically designed to attract NCAA athletes – with eight games in four weeks – over the summer, during the collegiate offseason. Each team’s roster, which is currently comprised of the best lacrosse players that live in Israel, will be bolstered over the summer by 8-10 talented players from abroad. Premier League athletes are offered internship and volunteer opportunities in coaching youth lacrosse players in their city, as well as marketing, public relations and operations for their club. Affordable housing is also made available to visiting players in the “Lacrosse Embassy” of each city.
Athletes who are interested in competing in Beer Sheva, or elsewhere in the Israel Premier Lacrosse League can receive more information at: israellacrosse.com/play-in-the-ipll/. Players of all nationalities and religious backgrounds are encouraged to participate.
Israel Lacrosse has also announced Tel Aviv LC has suspended operations for the 2016 season. The logo, colors and history of the club will remain with the city.