When Reid Bowering was given a choice between two sports he could play, his decision was what some might describe as impulsive.
But to be fair, he was only five years old.
“My parents signed me up at the town hall,” explains the now 23-year-old Coquitlam native. “They asked me if I wanted to play lacrosse or baseball. I said ‘Lacrosse’ – not even knowing what it was!”
Clearly, though, he was destined to play the game. While he dabbled in other sports (“I wasn’t very good at basketball; soccer was fun for a while, but I liked the contact sports a lot more”), lacrosse never lost its grip. “I felt like it was something I could be really good at,” he says.
And he was right. Today, Bowering is among the newest members of the Vancouver Warriors, one of five Canadian teams (in addition to nine from the U.S.) that make up the National Lacrosse League (NLL), North America’s league for professional men’s box lacrosse and the sport’s highest level.
Bowering was a first-round pick, second overall, in the 2020 NLL Entry Draft, following five seasons with the Coquitlam Adanacs of the BC Junior A Lacrosse League. He’s now considered a strong candidate for the NLL’s Rookie of the Year Award.
A historic Canadian game
If you aren’t familiar with lacrosse, it might surprise you to learn that it’s the oldest organized sport in North America, originating among Canada’s Indigenous communities as long ago as the 17th century.
Eventually, European colonists adopted and modified the game, and it’s now played internationally for millions of enthusiastic fans. To this day, lacrosse is Canada’s official national summer sport, and the NLL ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA.
(Of additional significance, especially given the game’s Canadian roots, World Lacrosse is the only international sport organization to recognize First Nations bands and Native American tribes as sovereign nations.)
Box – or indoor – lacrosse also originated in Canada, in the 1930s. It’s typically played on a hockey rink from which the ice has been removed or covered; the playing area is referred to as the “box,” distinguishing it from outdoor lacrosse played on a field.
“There’s just so much action!”
Box lacrosse games offer all of the fun, excitement and non-stop action of hockey (“The fastest game on two feet!” proclaims the Warriors), making them a perfect choice for all types of sports lovers – especially hockey fans outside of the NHL season. And the game itself is bolstered with first-class entertainment, including Warriors Dance Team performances, theme nights and more.
Better still, Vancouver Warriors games at Rogers Arena are an affordable night out for friends and family. Single-game tickets start at only $20 (and beers are only $5 each!).
As a long-time fan as well as a player, Bowering says Warriors games are also great for their high-energy atmosphere, with fans of all ages getting swept up in the spirit of play and camaraderie coming from the box.
“There’s just so much action and there are so many goals!” he exclaims. “I know that people love to see goals in hockey, but there aren’t nearly as many as there are in lacrosse. In basketball, there are almost too many people scoring points, so I feel like lacrosse has a great balance of action plus the physicality. I know fans love that.
“At Warriors games, we try to make it like a party for younger fans, so it’s really just an all-around great time for friends and family to enjoy.”