I always enjoy watching my friends offspring play softball and little league every spring.
And, I have seen my nieces Kelly and Lindsay Hedgecock play soccer and swim, but yesterday Diane and I journeyed to Walnut Creek where Lindsay and her mates at Los Lomas High School in Walnut Creek did lacrosse battle with Dublin High School and I witnessed my first match.
As with any new sport it takes a little getting used to in understanding the ebb and flow of the game.
In some ways seeing a new sport (to me) always takes me back first to the roller derby, which I did not really follow, but occasionally would catch a few minutes while flipping through the channels. Roller Derby is oddly hypnotic in a strange professional wrestling kind of way, but one of the things I could never figure out was exactly what the rules were. Skaters would be "jamming" one another, but how the points were tallied is as elusive to me today as ever.
Many years later, when I first got cable, ESPN was new and I spent more than a few evenings watching Australian Rules Football. I never could quite get the hang of how points or winners or losers were amassed in that environ either, although the circular field and scampering all over made it tough to change the channel.
In the same way, it was like watching Iron Chef, when that show was new. Originally, I saw it on Saturday nights on San Francisco's Japanese local television network and it was on in Japanese without subtitles. Somehow, I was never sure what the chefs were cooking, or what they were saying, but I could still get the gist and as with Australian Rules Football and Roller Derby, part of the fun of viewing ws indeed being in the dark about half of what was going on.
Such it was as I saw Lindsay and her friends Tate and Anne and their teammates and opponents running back and forth and back and forth over a football field plus (the layout is 110 yards by 60 yards) over two 25 minute halves that proved a pretty impressive as a testimony to their cardio vascular skills.
The young women not only had a lot of stamina with all that galloping around, but were pretty adept at passing and catching with their lacrosse sticks, setting up plays and scores, defending, and even checking one another displaying more than impressive athleticism and endurance (most of the participants--ten per team--played the entire game).
And, well, at least the scoring was pretty self-explanatory: shoot the ball past the goalie, and score a point, and on this particular Friday evening, Lindsay--who scored one goal, as did her friend Tate, while Anne bagged a pair--Los Lomas beat Dublin by a nice football score of 16-7.
I have to say that Diane and I both thought the game looked like a lot of fun to play, and though again we were not so clear on the rules. However Lindsay surely was for a couple of times she was in a dialogue with the referee (her mom, Jill told us Lindsay not only plays, but she umpires games for younger girls teams). So, Linds, as I call her, not only represented the physical at the contest, but the intellectual as well, representing the family well on all accounts.
In the end the game was sort of baseball and sort of soccer and sort of hockey and sort of football and yet not really any of these. Kind of like Roller Derby and Australian Rules Football and Iron Chef, for even though I was not totally clear what was going on, it was captivating.