The Georgia Games lacrosse tournament has been known to bring approximately 1,500 to watch and participate in its host city, said Emily Gilliam, the lacrosse event coordinator for the Georgia Games.
More than a week before the event is set to happen, Gilliam said 55 teams were registered for competition. Last year’s lacrosse event featured 40 different teams, mostly from the metro Atlanta area, according to Gilliam.
According to the website, the Georgia Games is an “Olympic style multi-sport festival that holds events and tournaments in about 42 different sports events, each held at a different venue.”
The Georgia Games began in 1989 with the youth lacrosse tournament beginning in 1998. This year’s festival of sporting events began on April 21 with fencing and is scheduled to wrap in September with taekwondo, both in Kennesaw. Other events are spread throughout metro Atlanta, including sites in Norcross, Gainesville, Woodstock and Atlanta.
Braly Fields served as the location for the lacrosse tournament in 2011. According to Gilliam, the complex provides many benefits.
“The Braly Soccer Complex was chosen based on the receptiveness of the soccer program that plays there. The West Metro Soccer Complex and Paulding County Parks and Recreation were both very supportive of the Georgia Games. They enable us to keep our costs down and the soccer team provides concessions and workers for the weekend of the event,” Gilliam said.
The concessions are used as a fundraiser to benefit the Braly Soccer Complex.
Along with the soccer team, there will also be volunteers from North Paulding Lacrosse helping out over the weekend.
“North Paulding Lacrosse families were asked to help with some volunteer positions of the tournament, if at all possible. We assumed we would have a few kids volunteer here and there, but we are actually seeing families sign up to help out,” said Donna Pellegrino, president of North Paulding Lacrosse.
There will be some familiar faces in the tournament. Coming back to Braly for the second year in a row will be the U11 Thunder from the Thunder Lacrosse club in metro Atlanta, which took home the Games’ U11 championship in 2011.
“We have quite a few returning teams as well as lots of teams that did not attend last year. We have a few returning second place teams as well,” Gilliam said.
Among the competitors for this event will be members of the North Paulding Lacrosse Club.
“Approximately 33 North Paulding Lacrosse Club boys will be participating in the Georgia Games, playing under Crossfire Lacrosse League in the U11, U13 and U15 age brackets,” Pellegrino said.
Pellegrino said the “Crossfire boys” she works with have been in tournaments in Huntsville, N.C. and Charlotte, N.C., and the U13 team won their division while in Huntsville.