New Western Pa. lacrosse league showcases fast-paced, high-scoring version of sport

Saturday, December 16, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Alexander Young wanted to do whatever it took to get the Sixes Prize League off the ground.

The Shady Side Academy graduate has a small team, himself included, that wears many hats. On Dec. 11, the league hosted its first night of lacrosse matches at the All-American Field House Monroeville.

“It’s definitely interesting,” Young said. “I founded the league and do color commentary. I play in it as well.”

Sixes is described by the World Lacrosse website as an “incredibly fast-paced, compact version of lacrosse, combining the most exciting elements of the more traditional disciplines. It is characterized by an accelerated, open style of play with quick transitions and nonstop, high-scoring action.”

Young’s league, which is in its first season, featured six teams and had 58 players sign up to compete for a $3,000 cash prize for the winning team. The money for the purse came from the $130 registration for players.

One of the league’s sponsors has also agreed to provide the league’s MVP with a gift card. Sixes lacrosse will be a test sport at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. Watching a Sixes tournament on television last year gave Young the idea to bring a league to Pittsburgh.

“Sixes is an exciting brand of lacrosse,” Young said “It looks like basketball and hockey with all the back-and-forth speed in transition.”

Young, who is 28 and a Mt. Washington resident, is proud to see Sixes chosen to be an Olympic sport. There are several differences between sixes and traditional lacrosse. Sixes feature the following rules and differences:

• A 30-second shot clock

• Eight-minute quarters that are running time

• 45-minute games

• Faceoffs only to start the quarter

• Played on 70-by-39 field

• No specialist positions, just runners and goalies

• No long poles

“Sixes is the great equalizer,” Young said. “You don’t need to have long poles where defenders are running around with 6-foot sticks.You don’t have to have a specialty person to dominate the draw. The other team gets the ball after a goal and you have to stop them. This helps show who is the best at playing lacrosse. It’s a welcome format that is most digestible.”

Young went to Furman to play lacrosse but didn’t play past his freshman season.

The Sixes Prize League has its matches broadcast on Boxcast. Darren Zaslau has been doing the play-by-play for the matches. Quaishawn Whitlock, Jared Todhunter and Gabrielle Ferguson are all involved in helping with the broadcasts. John Wohlin is the league’s referee.

Many former WPIAL standouts play in the league. There are also many former collegiate players involved in the league.

“The opening night went great,” Young said. “The first game went to overtime. There was a buzzer-beater to tie at the end of the match and a buzzer-beater in overtime to win. There was plenty to entertain viewers. Teams were scoring 30-plus goals, and someone finished with 21 points. I’ve never seen a box score that read 20 points for one player before.”

WPIAL connection

Here’s a look at players from Western Pa. schools on rosters in the Sixes Prize League:

Carter Amorose, Moon

Andrew Casile, Fox Chapel

Sam Crum, Chartiers Valley

Mike Eck, North Allegheny

Nick Eck, Kiski School

Chase Edgar, Kiski School

William Fenimore, Canon-McMillan

Logan Gebhart, Canon-McMillan

Ryan Greer, Seneca Valley

Robert Guldenschuh, Kiski School

David Hall, Seneca Valley

Harry Hall, Mt. Lebanon

Alex Hill, Butler

Nick Hubner, Plum

Bradley LaBovick, Allderdice

Logan Maloni, Peters Township

Ted McClain, Sewickley Academy

Ian Mitchell, North Allegheny

Dante Mollica, Moon

Zech Nachazel, North Allegheny

Dave Offner, Mt. Lebanon

Anthony Peluso, North Allegheny

Zach Romac, Shaler

Kyle Rullan, North Allegheny

Calvin Sargent, Moon

Tim Schreiber, Shaler

Anthony Sivie, Trinity

Dave Spadacene, Bethel Park

Ben Tackett, Kiski School

Matt Trella, Moon

Zack Uhler, North Allegheny

Romano Veneziano, Shady Side Academy

Jake Wodarek, Bethel Park

Alex Young, Shady Side Academy

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