News / Utah / 

Game of Chumash Catches on in Utah

Posted - Oct. 22, 2003 at 7:49 a.m.



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Lacrosse is growing by leaps and bounds in Utah, and the sport's about to get bigger.

Not only has the number of high school lacrosse clubs doubled in the past three years -- among both boys and girls -- but little programs are exploding too.

In fact, kids as young as five years old are now signing up for an adapted game called chumash (shoe-mash).

It's like half court basketball, with hockey sticks.

Carson Dutkanych, Park City Chumash Player: "WHOEVER GETS IT CLEARS IT FROM ONE OF THESE AND GOES IN AND SHOOTS."

A single goal stands in the middle of the field, and there are no sides. The object is simply to get the ball into this narrow net -- which in the beginning isn't as simple as it seems.

Zane Dekoff, Park City Chumash Player: "IT WAS A LITTLE FRUSTRATING, BUT IT WAS FUN."

Ben Hammond, Alta Chumash Player: "IS IT KINDOF HARD TO CATCH? YEAH. HOW COME? CAUSE MOSTLY PEOPLE THROW IT OVER THERE OR OVER THERE, BUT NOT AT YOUR STICK."

Even so...it's catching on in Utah. The little league of lacrosse...Chumash is geared for k through 2nd graders.

Coaches like Kendall Simmons say it's is a valuable training ground...teaching kids hand-eye coordination early in development.

"YOU GO...THROWS IT...AND THAT'S HOW YOU DO IT? YEAH"

Kendall Simmons, Park City Chumash Coach: "SCOOPING UP THE BALL, CRADDLING THE BALL, CATCHING THE BALL AND PASSING THE BALL, AND IF THEY CAN DO THAT THEY'RE GOING TO BE GREAT AT THE BIGGER LEAGUE."

Sammy Linebaugh:"CHUMASH IS KIND OF LIKE LEARNING TO CRAWL BEFORE YOU WALK. COACHES SAY IT ALLOWS KIDS TO LEARN THE BASICS OF LACROSSE WITHOUT GETTING BOGGED DOWN WITH POSITIONS AND STRATEGY."

It also gets them used to the bumps -- and gear -- that come with contact sports.

Zane Dekoff:"GLOVES, SHOULDER PADS, ELBOW PADS, CHEST PADS, GLOVES AND HELMET."

Andrew Dickerson, Alta Chumash Player: "LAST WEEK WHEN I HAD THE BALL THEY'D JUST KNOCK ME DOWN. WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN THAT HAPPENS? JUST RUN AWAY FROM THEM. MAKE SURE THEY DON'T HIT ME AGAIN."

"GET IT GET GET IT..SHOOT CARSON SHOOT....GOAL..YEAH!!"

By running right for the goal.

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