Southeast Michigan will get an up-close look at some of the leading high school men’s varsity lacrosse teams from the Midwest and Canada at the North American Lacrosse Invitational (NALI), set for May 18-19 at Brother Rice High School (7071 Lahser Road, between 14 Mile and West Maple Road) in Bloomfield Hills.
According to the US Lacrosse Participation Report, a record total of 722,205 players competed on organized lacrosse teams in 2012. The growth rate from last year (683,730) was 5.5 percent, marking the ninth straight year of at least 5 percent growth.
More than half of the participants (389,275) compete at the youth level, representing a 7.8 percent growth rate from last year. Over the last five years at the youth level, the number of boys playing has increased 62 percent and the number of girls playing has increased 61 percent.
Lacrosse continues to be the fastest-growing sport at the high school level, and a total of 282,148 players competed in 2012.
"Our metro-Detroit lacrosse tournament has grown to be a nationally recognized tournament with national rankings at stake as determined by Under Armour/ Inside Lacrosse High School Power Rankings," said Hugh Mahler, President of the Board of North American Lacrosse Events.
Mahler went on to explain that the tournament, now in its third year, is truly unique involving teams from both the US and Canada. Six of the teams set to participate are listed in the top 10 Midwest teams (including Ontario, Canada), according to current Midwest rankings from Under Armour High School Regional Rankings.
The tournament is being coordinated by the North American Lacrosse Events, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization headquartered in Birmingham, Michigan. The group’s mission is to promote leadership, excellence and sportsmanship throughout the two-day competition.
This year's teams include:
· Canada - The Hill Academy Prep Team and Hill Academy Red Team
· Michigan - Brother Rice High School (Bloomfield Hills) and Detroit Country Day (Beverly Hills)
· Illinois - Loyola Academy and New Trier
· Indiana - Culver Academy
· Ohio - Western Reserve Academy, Upper Arlington, Archbishop Moeller, Dublin Jerome
· New York - Bishop Timon-St.Jude
The event will group four teams into Red, White, and Blue divisions during the two-day tournament. Teams have met in competition during the regular season to determine tournament standings and brackets for the NALI Tournament. There will be a champion named in each division and all game scores will be reported to Under Armour High School Rankings as posted in Inside Lacrosse. National rankings will be at stake.