What can you expect while playing lacrosse for the Redbirds?
The Illinois State Lacrosse team follows a pattern every year that is indicative of its culture and strengthens the comraderie of the team. Although lacrosse is a spring sport and the season that counts is in the spring, there is much more that goes on behind the scenes. The "Fall Ball" season is where the team really comes together as one and the spring is when the magic happens.
The "Fall Ball" season starts with the first open greeting to new/interested players during the Illinois State University's Recreation Department (ISU Rec) Sports Club Expo or during Festival ISU. Afterwords, in the following week there will be an informational meeting to discuss the team, semester practice, and events schedule. Usually practice is 3-4 times a week in the afternoon (4 or 5pm start time). We might have a couple games in the fall but the majority of the schedule is team building activities. When it starts getting colder out, the Birds move indoors to a turf facility off campus. The team usually hosts a dinner for the Thursday before Thanksgiving as well as an Alumni Weekend earlier in the semester. The main purpose of the Fall season is team building and preparing for the upcoming Spring season!
The spring season officially starts the week classes start back up in January. Because Illinois winterweather is coldest in January, the Redbirds always begin the season indoors until the fields unthaw. Our first game is typically in early February, with the season stretching out until the end of April. The Redbirds are part of the UMLC (Upper Midwest Lacrosse Conference) Eastern division. Our division includes: Purdue University, Indiana University, Oakland University, and the University of Illinois and we alternate traveling to these school everyother year. The Western division of our confernce includes University of Missouri, Iowa State, MSU Mankato, St. Cloud State, Nebraska, and Kansas. We try and play at least several of these teams each season. In addition to our conference schedule we also schedule several non conference games from around the country, past years road trips include Nashville, TN (Vanderbilt U), Clemson, SC (Clemson U); Minneapolis, MN (U of Minnesota); Kalamazoo, MI (Western Michigan U), and many others. Depending on the trip and the destination, the Redbirds travel most away games by coach bus or 12 person passenger van.