SACKETS HARBOR, N.Y. (WWNY) - It’s one of the biggest lacrosse tournaments in the Northeast and it’s set to kick off its two-week run beginning next weekend in Sackets Harbor.
It's been a summer fixture for over a quarter century in Sackets Harbor and for the 26th year, the 1812 Shootout will set up shop at Madison Barracks for two straight weekends.
The opening weekend features the boys -- with boys' 5th and 6th, 7th and 8th, and varsity competing July 6 and the boys' 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and JVs taking the field on July 7.
"We saw an increase with our boys' varsity and JV levels that we haven't seen in awhile," tournament organizer Tim O'Brien said. "I don't know if the weekend is a better one for other teams' schedules, but we're getting a lot of good western New York high school teams and, obviously, the teams around here and a few Syracuse and Albany teams, so the level for our varsity and JVs for this year -- it's going to be pretty competitive."
One of the major changes to the tournament this year is moving all of the girls' levels to one day -- Saturday, July 13 -- to showcase all of the girls from 3rd and 4th grade to the varsity level.
"We used to have the varsity girls and the varsity boys on the last day of the tournament on the second weekend," O'Brien said. "We decided to move the varsity boys up and week and they play on Saturday with our lower levels and that has improved our numbers in those divisions and then we moved the girls' varsity to Saturday with all the other girls' teams."
O'Brien says he wants to make it "one really busy festival atmosphere type of day" for the girls.
All teams at each and every level are guaranteed four games in an event that grows in popularity and size each and every year.