Since meeting Kelsey Cuje, we are pretty sure there isn't anything she CAN'T do, especially when it comes to lacrosse. Her passion for playing and bringing women together is contagious. Kelsey is in San Diego pioneering women's box lacrosse (that's her below). It's not grass roots. It's not pickup games. She has started the first U.S.-based Women's Box Lacrosse Association for Senior-A (18+) teams to play box lacrosse. Mic drop.
Kelsey Cuje, Founder of the WBLA in action photographed by George Sanchez (@capturedbyweinchez)
The WBLA is now formally launched and she is hosting an open house in San Diego Pechanga Arena for those that have field lacrosse, or not, experience to come and get a taste of a fast-paced, physical and fun game.
Box lacrosse got its roots from a traditional indigenous people’s game which was used as a means of spiritual healing and settling differences between tribes. Today’s version of the sport, played on a rink with boards, is known as “The Fastest Game on Two Feet”. It requires speed, skill, tenacity, and due to its high level of physicality, it builds a unique camaraderie amongst teammates. Many of our current members are former athletes of sports such as rugby, basketball, or field lacrosse, however no prior knowledge of sports is necessary to develop love for this game and a person with any level of athletic ability will be able to play a role.
WBLA will offer a highly competitive and equal opportunity athletic community for women from all backgrounds. Players will get to experience a high-octane contact sport where they will push their bodies to new limits and they will learn to overcome adversity as part of a tight-knit team.
Who can play Box Lacrosse?
First of all, everyone. Obviously if you've played field lacrosse, then you may understand the game, but really it's for everyone. Kelsey, and her team are really excited to grow box lacrosse in the U.S. for girls and women. This game is a great way to try something new that is fast paced and team oriented. It's a full contact, full equipment sport with no watered-down rules for women to play. The biggest reason players fall in love with this sport and keep coming back is the stalwart sense of community, even amongst players from opposing team. There are opportunities for under 18 youth box through San Diego Junior Seals. WBLA will be providing opportunities for girls 18 and older to play.
Why Box and Why Now?
Kelsey actually wanted to get this all started in 2020, but the shutdowns really curtailed the progression. This year has so many great lacrosse opportunities, certainly in the field space (World Lacrosse in Summer 2022, Womens Cup Box Futures, Official USBOXLA box lacrosse tournament taking place at Loyola University). USA Lacrosse and the NLL have announced their partnership, which Kelsey is really excited about that extra spokesman/support for box lacrosse. There has been a working group under the World Lacrosse umbrella that has been specifically focused on growing box lacrosse and they have been her biggest supporter.
What do you want people to know about WBLA and how to incorporate the organization into their programs?
There is so much happening with the WBLA, but in order to not overwhelm the potential future players, you can do a few things:
1. Attend free Open House on May 17 and May 24 at Pechanga Stadium from 7:30 - 9 pm. Sign up here
2. If you want to play in the Summer tournament, contact Kelsey at firstname.lastname@example.org on how to join the San Diego travel team
3. If you are interested in starting a team in your city, contact Kelsey at email@example.com and she can get you started!
Triad Athletes is excited about the growth of lacrosse, and to grow women's sports opportunities where possible.
Follow WBLA on Instagram for latest news!