By Robert Scheider

For the first time, German lacrosse will be organized into four regional leagues. Two of the leagues, the Norddeutsche Lacrosse Liga (NDLL) and Westdeutsche Lacrosse Liga (WDLL) began operation last year. Two new leagues, the Ostdeutsche Lacrosse Liga (ODLL) and Süddeutsche Lacrosse Liga (SDLL), offer a mix of traditional German lacrosse powerhouses and brand new teams. The top two teams in each league will faceoff in the playoffs of the German Lacrosse Championships in mid-July. The men's semifinals and finals will be held in conjunction with the women's European Championships on August 1 and 2 in Göttingen. There will also be open tournaments in Bonn (April 12-13), Münster (May 10-11), and Berlin (June 27-29), as well as one more to be announced (June 7-9). Based upon team input and polls, here is a preview of the 2003 Deutsche Lacrosse Verein leagues and teams.

NDLL Predicted Finish:
1. HTHC Hamburg Warriors
2. SCG Hannover Dragons
3. Münster Mohawks
4. Grasshoppers Göttingen
5. Kiel Lacrosse
6. Bielefeld Hawks
7. Likkedeeler Bremen

HTHC Hamburg Warriors: Last year, the Warriors finished a close second in the NDLL's first year and fifth overall in Germany. This year, under coach Jeremy Mattoon, they hope to claim the top spot. Coach Mattoon's active roster of players has grown to 42 and he is also developing a strong youth program. Attesting to that is the fact that six of the players on the German U-21 team hail from Hamburg.

Players to watch:
Lars Crabiell (Attack)
Till Schiffler (Attack)
Kristian Kahlbohm (Midfield)
Benjamin Wunderlich (Defense)

No key losses. Key additions include former German National Team players Hermann Hassenstein, Nils Grohmann, and Philipp von Bismarck.

Hamburg's women's team has also grown and is under the new leadership of coach Amy Alvord.

SCG Hannover Dragons: The Dragons held off the surging Warriors to win last year's NDLL title and hope to repeat as champions. Under new head coach Kris Heller's guidance, they also hope to improve on last's year sixth place finish in the German Championship Tournament.

Players to watch:
Björn Lohrenz (Goalie)
Ulli Pester (Attack)
Andreas Rossband (Attack)
Frederik Janzen (Attack)
Hannes Lüttig (Defense)

No key losses or additions.

Münster Mohawks: Münster has worked hard since the end of last season and appears to be one of the most improved teams in Germany.

Players to watch:
Jost Göttker-Schnetmann
Maik Hundt
Ben Becker

Key losses include Luke Patey and key additions include Jan Drosselmeyer and Jon Dang.

The Münster Women's Team

Grasshoppers Göttingen: The Grasshoppers will attempt to improve upon last year's third place finish in the NDLL in the hopes of qualifying for the German Championship Finals, which they will host in August.

Players to watch:
Oliver Christophliemk (Midfield)
Thomas Hirn (Defense)

No key losses or additions.

Kiel Lacrosse: Kiel, one of the oldest teams in Germany, is hoping to return to prominence despite losing several players. On May 1, Khristopher Scott from Toronto, Canada will become the new Kiel head coach.

Players to watch:
Yorck Busch
Stefan Hansen
Christian Blöcker

Key losses include Hermann Hassenstein and Fritz Dyckerhoff, who relocated to Hamburg and Bremen, respectively.

Bielefeld Hawks: The Hawks are still a relatively new team. They look to improve as they enter their second NDLL season.

Player to watch:
Tobias Pierel

No key losses or additions.

The Bielefeld Women's Team

Likkedeeler Bremen: As a brand new team, the main goal of Bremen is to achieve their first win. Except for two players, the entire Bremen team consists of beginners.

Players to watch:
Lars Ackermann (Goalie)
Fritz Dyckerhoff (Midfield)
Nils Wätjen (Attack)

Predicted Finish:
1. BLAX Berlin
2. VfK Berlin
3. Victoria Lacrosse Berlin
4. Weimar Lacrosse
5. Cottbus Lacrosse

BLAX Berlin: BLAX hope to celebrate their ten year anniversary (together with München, they are one of the oldest teams) with the first title of the ODLL and a strong run at the German Championship. Last year, they finished second in Germany after winning the championship in 2001. With a roster full of current and former National Team players, head coach Marten Schnitzler is looking forward to another successful season.

Players to watch:
Alexander Daskalow (Attack)
Leopold von Bismarck (Attack)
Marten Schnitzler (Midfield)
Christopher Frank (Midfield)
Kejwan Groß (Midfield)
Rolf Sewczyk (Defense)
Philip Bensel (Defense)
Darius Groß (Defense)
Henrik Naims (Goalie)

Key losses include longtime defenseman Conrad von Rössing and additions include von Bismarck.

VfK Berlin: Another traditional powerhouse from Berlin, VfK hopes to return to prominence after rebuilding last season. Coach Ingo Hess, also head coach of the German U-21 team, has built a strong team from the core of players left after the founding of Berlin's third team - Victoria.

Players to watch:
Fab Seibt (Midfield #24)
Robert Hauffe (Midfield #11)
Joe Trapp (Longstick Midfield #22)
Jan Kügler (Defense #25)

Key losses include Flo Kälberer and Richard Schulze. Key additions include Robert Hauffe, Lukas Böckelmann, and Moritz Jacob.

Victoria Lacrosse Berlin: Victoria has several experienced players, but faces an uphill battle against BLAX and VfK in the ODLL.

Weimar Lacrosse: Another new team, Weimar will be searching for its first win.

Cottbus Lacrosse: Yet another new ODLL team hoping to make an impact in its first complete season.

Predicted Finish
1. Frankfurt Cosmos
2. Maastricht Lamas
3. Cologne Indians (Köln)
4. Aachen Eagles
5. Rheinland Lancers
6. Wuppertal Bergisch Knights

Frankfurt Cosmos: Last year's WDLL and German Champions have many new faces, but hope to repeat their championships. Coach Bob Scheider's team boasts the most players with US college and high school experience, but will face tough competition in the strong WDLL. Chris MacAulay led Germany's division in scoring at the 2002 World Championships and Sebastian Dettmer was voted MVP of the 2002 German Championships.

Players to watch:
Chris McAuley (Attack)
Nick Fischer (Attack)
Billy Wright (Attack)
Sebastian Dettmer (Midfield)
Andrew Driscoll (Midfield)
Sascha Bokhari (Midfield)
Mike Tierney (Midfield/Goalie)
Matt Meredith (Longstick Midfield)
Wolf Greb (Longstick Midfield)
Chris Ehlgen (Longstick Midfield/Defense)
Wolf Droh (Defense)
Kevin Smith (Defense)
Till Sauer (Goalie)

Key losses include Rich Oh, Tyler Whitworth, and Apostolos Hatziaganidis. Key additions include former college players Wright, Driscoll, and Tierney, and Andreas Fischer.

Maastricht Lamas: As a Dutch team, the Lamas play as guests in the DLAXV and WDLL. They also have a strong German influence, including several former German National Team players, including coach Nik Kukat.

Players to watch: Nik Kukat (Attack/Midfield) Edouard Dopper (Midfield) Freddie Hoeck (Defense) Sascha Kleuser (Defense)

Key losses include Michael Hoeck. Key additions include Kukat and Kleuser.

Cologne Indians: The Indians consist mostly of players who have been together since their founding in 1997 and they continue to be one of the top teams in Germany. After a second place WDLL finish in 2002, they lost a play-in game against Hamburg and did not qualify for the German Championships. This year, they hope to challenge for the championships once again.

Players to watch:
Madjid Salimi (Attack/Midfield #5)
Robert Kremers (Attack #42)
Tobias Filmer (Midfield #78)
Achim Massow (Midfield #7)
Jan Ascher (Midfield #69)
Nikolas Ganss (Defense #23)

The Cologne Women's Team

No key losses. Key additions include Dominik Reinhold and Johannes Neuschulz.

Aachen Eagles: Despite the young ages of most of the Aachen players, it appears as if they are ready to make a run for one of the top spots in the WDLL and a potential berth in the German Championships.

Players to watch:
Freddy du Bois-Reymond (Attack)
Hendrick du Bois-Reymond (Attack)
Alexander Franck (Midfield)
Hans von Trotha (Defense)
Tim Pohlmann (Goalie)

No key losses or additions.

Rheinland Lancers: The Lancers are a combined team of the Bonn Löwen and Langenfeld Lancers. However, they have lost a number of players to the newly-founded team in Wuppertal, as well as many more who are studying in different cities, including all their National Team players. They promise to continue to be competitive, despite these losses.

Players to watch:
Jochen Hallmann (Attack)
Hamid Taherian (Midfield)
Thomas Walther (Midfield)
Lucas von Fürstenberg (Midfield)
Johannes Schmitz (Defense)
Felix Butscheid (Defense)

Key losses include National Team players Nik Kukat, Leopold von Bismarck, and Sascha Kleuser and U-21 National Team players Michael Meyer and Christian Theis. No key additions.

Wuppertal Bergisch Knights: As a brand new team, the Bergisch Knights will have an uphill battle in the strong WDLL. Most players are under the age of 18, but they are highly motivated and improving every game. They look forward to competing in the WDLL.

Players to watch:
Tanju Calik (Attack #15)
Florian Meinen (Attack #2)
Dominique Nebreklijevic (Midfield #23)
Hendrik Reinhold (Defense #81)

Key losses include Sascha Kleuser, Alexander Drees, Sebastian Stroh, and Bernhard Minke. All additions are brand new players.

Predicted Finish
1. Passau
2. München
3. Heidelberg-Freiburg/Stuttgart-Karlsruhe
4. Bamberg

Passau: Passau continues to grow and improve each year. In 2002, they qualified for the semi-finals of the German Championships and look forward to competing for the first SDLL title.

Players to watch: Jürgen Eckel (Attack) Philipp Mehdorn (Attack) Florian Kriependorf (Midfield) Florian Klaus (Defense) Sascha Bruss (Midfield/Goalie)

No key losses or additions.

München: Along with BLAX Berlin, München is celebrating their tenth anniversary. München was a semifinalist in 2002. After winning the German title from 1994 to 1998, München dreams of returning to the finals. In additional news, Martin Gruner has also formed the first military lacrosse team in Germany at the University of the Federal German Armed Forces (players include midfielders Christian Friedrich and Jan Biermann and defenseman Martin Gruner). For at least this season, they will play together with Lacrosse Club München.

Players to watch: Florian Kornprobst (Attack/Defense) Joerg Rohaus (Attack) Ben Fey (Attack) Jan Müller (Midfield) Richard Stevenson (Midfield) Martin Gruner (Defense) Chris Scheitz (Defense)

a cartoon from the Women's site

Key losses include Tait Keller and Ben Stoddard.

Heidelberg-Freiburg: In their second season, Heidelberg will be more experienced than most teams in the new SDLL and will combine with Freiburg and play in the SDLL together with Stuttgart-Karlsruhe. The combined teams of Stuttgart and Karlsruhe will start their first SDLL season this year. Stuttgart-Karlsruhe will be young and inexperienced, but are eager to learn from SDLL powerhouses Passau and München and increase the popularity of lacrosse in southern Germany.

Players to watch:
Martin Ruck
Jonas Botzke
Bernhard Minke

No key losses or additions.

Bamberg: Another new team, Bamberg has only a pair of experienced players, including American high school player Danny Spindler. Frankfurt Cosmos player Felix Dettmer will coach Bamberg.

All Images are from the German team websites. Cick on each of the team names above or use our links section and check out all the German team sites!

Three teams from Germany will
be participating in the
E-Lacrosse Amsterdam Tournament
this summer. They are Team Backbert,
Team Steurbert and the Franfurt Cosmos!

Italian Report - Spring 2003

German Report - Winter 2002/2003

Latvian Report and Germany Report - Fall 2002

Germany Report and World Indoor Championships - Late Summer 2002

International Report - Summer 2002

Czech Lax Report - April 2002

Dutch Lax Report - Summer 2002