Things To Do With Kids In Calgary: Lacrosse and the Calgary Roughnecks

Calgary roughnecks

[twitter]There’s a first time for everything, and this weekend I had my first experience at a lacrosse game. The Calgary Roughnecks represent the city in the National Lacrosse League and the home opener on the weekend saw thousands of fans gear up for a new season.

And I mean “gear up.” Maybe it’s a Calgary thing, but I have never seen more jerseys in a crowd, no matter the sport, when Calgary is playing. There’s a reason they call the fans the C of Red for the Flames. Everyone has and wears a jersey – and it’s the home red one. That spirit has transported to the Calgary Hitmen, and obviously the Calgary Roughnecks too – jerseys are everywhere for both teams.

So, lacrosse. Did I like it? I don’t know. My wife did though.

A hockey game is played in a library, it seems. Sure there is cheering when something exciting happens on the ice, or if the game is on the line and tension is building, but otherwise it’s pretty quiet. In lacrosse, music blasts for the entire game. The announcer chastises the opposing team, and cheers on the good guys. Basketball is a little like this, but lacrosse seriously keeps the energy in the building going for the entire 2 hours. There are live djs mixing while the game is on, and then AC/DC, Nickelback, or The Black Keys blasts in between. It’s like going to a concert and a lacrosse game breaks out.

The goalies are huge. Ridiculously huge, and they don’t move. A friend assured me the goalies were 140 pounds soaking wet, but with their gear on they looked like Akebono.

Lacrosse is a very fast game, and the players come off and on like in hockey. The game is actually easy to understand too. You’ve got 30 seconds to get a shot at the net. You can’t go in the crease. Cross checking is allowed. GO!

The guys who play in the NLL do it for the love of the game. A guy is only going to make about $25 000 for the season, and many of them don’t live in the city they play for. Many of the Calgary Roughnecks live in Vancouver or Toronto. So, every weekend they board a plane and fly to the team’s game. Then, after the game, the team scatters back to their homes for their regular 9-5 jobs. That’s old school.

It’s an affordable and fun night out too. Tickets range about $25-$40 giving you good value for a night out with the kids at the Dome.

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