While these tournaments are for different genders and age ranges, with both in their developmental years they were combined into the same date and time frame, Georgia Games officials said.
The Georgia State Games was created in 1989 as part of the state’s effort to win the bid to host the 1996 Olympic Games, according to the Games web site. The non-profit Georgia Sports Foundation administers the annual series of sporting events, which are open to all regardless of skill level.
It has offered boys’ lacrosse for several years and formerly offered the sport for adult men. However, this will be the first time for girls — all due to a “tremendous” 2012 season with the boys, according to Georgia Games Public Relations Director Taylor Wood,
“Last year we had about 68 teams compete in our youth boys’ tournament, and had several coaches inquire about having a girls’ one as well,” said Wood.
After the season, Executive Director Eric Pfeifer decided to add two new championships to the schedule.
As of June 12, Girls’ Lacrosse Event Coordinator Paige Gadsby said there are seven different teams registered, with an estimated 15 players per team.
There are three divisions for the girls’ tournament – U13, U15 and high school – ranging from ages 12 to 18. The men’s tournament will be for ages 18 and up.
These two tournaments will bring teams from Cumming, Kennesaw, Moreland, Norcross and Savannah to Cartersville.
Nate Cloutier, adult men’s lacrosse event coordinator, said, “We’re hoping to get enough participants to form at least four teams so that the event can be a success.”
Since several years have passed since the Georgia Games hosted an adult lacrosse event this year will be used to rebuild and gain more recognition.
Gadsby said, “While we predict this tournament will range more on the smaller side, our expectation is for every person in attendance to have an enjoyable weekend. We want to give the players and teams a memorable experience.”
Along with the lacrosse competition, the Georgia Games plan to incorporate interactive games for the teams during their down time between matches. The games will include opportunities for the participants to win prizes for the fastest shot and shooting accuracy.
Once this season is over, Wood said there will be an assessment of the success of the events. This assessment will determine whether or not these tournaments will continue.