If you’ve ever visited Ocean City, Maryland, you’ve probably seen the landmark Carousel Hotel on 118th street. One of the oldest hotels and one of the first high-rise buildings in Ocean City, the Carousel boasts one of the most unique amenities in the country: an indoor ice-skating rink. Because of its irregular shape and size (less than a half-sheet of NHL regulation ice), the Carousel ice rink was historically used by hotel guests and visitors purely for recreation. But after USA Hockey announced its American Development Model in 2013, a plan that aims to improve youth player skills, a light bulb went off in Tom LaTona’s head.
If you haven’t had the chance to attend or play in a lacrosse or field hockey tournament hosted by Aloha Tournaments, then you are missing out. Aloha Tournaments has been providing the State of Maryland with elite youth lacrosse tournaments since 1999. Over the past 16 years the organization has carried out numerous lacrosse and field hockey tournaments across the nation, and continues to provide exceptional experiences for all players, coaches and families involved. Not only have I played in the lacrosse tournaments growing up, but I had the opportunity last summer to work for Aloha during one of their busiest seasons to date.
Aloha Tournaments was created and founded, believe it or not, in a garage. The first annual Warrior Lax Splash Lacrosse Tournament was played in the spring of 1999 and the organization has only continued to expanded countrywide, hosting tournaments in Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, and even Colorado. Since the first Lax Splash was hosted in Maryland, the company has gone from hosting 144 teams in one tournament, to now taking care of 40,00 players and 60,000 fans each year. Chris Hutchins, a top affiliated partner associated with Aloha Tournaments, discussed how the culture of the organization has changed over the years. “Initially when it started, it was just for the youth and rec leagues, [but] as we continued to grow we were asked to host tournaments in different counties and in other seasons.” Between the months of May and November, Aloha Tournaments hosts 26+ events nationwide, nine of which are held in Maryland. Last summer while working for them, I got the chance to help host a lacrosse tournament all the way in Sacramento, California. Although the scenery was very different from Maryland, the level of competition was just as high.
It is that time of year again: March Madness spreads south from Baltimore and the Men’s CAA Basketball Tournament to bring the CAA Women’s Championship Tournament back to Prince George’s County. “This March marks the fifth year the CAA will call The Show Place Arena home to the Championship and throughout the years it has proven to be a great venue and event for women’s basketball,” said Samantha Barany, CAA Assistant Commissioner for Championships. At the Show Place Arena, the CAA has crowned Champions which have gone on to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament and hosted teams who have won the WNIT tournament. Show Place Arena has also provided a championship site for athletes who have later been drafted and played in the WNBA. This year’s tournament, which is set to take place from the 12th through the 15th, promises to be filled with remarkable sights, memorable moments and fun times guaranteed. Continue reading
This year the CAA Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament is coming to Baltimore March 6-9 at the Royal Farms Arena. 2014 marked the first year the CAA Men’s Basketball Championship was hosted in Baltimore after 24 years in Richmond, Virginia. The move to Baltimore was due in part to its central location within the Colonial Athletic Association. Seven of the CAA’s 10 member schools are located within 250 miles of the city. The move to Baltimore does not only benefit the players and their traveling time. In addition to the centrality of Baltimore within the conference the city also offers an abundance of restaurant and meal options, hotels, and attractions. Continue reading