Rhode Island: Home of the Bulldog Brawl
It’s not easy to start and run a lacrosse event, especially in the Northeast where there’s a ton of competition on the ground. We attended the Bulldog Brawl in Rhode Island along with several other events run by PrimeTime Lacrosse in 2018, and each time we were blown away.
The team at PrimeTime Lacrosse is led by co-founders Tyler Low and Jason Wellemeyer, both former Babson College players now in their thirties with over a decade of experience under their belts. The company hosts seven lacrosse tournaments in total and several player-only events in the Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Lacrosse All Stars sat down with Tyler Low, co-founder and CSO, to get the lowdown on how PrimeTime Lacrosse works to set its events apart in such a crowded market. Our focus for this interview was the Bulldog Brawl, now entering its third year of existence. The Bulldog Brawl, which fields youth and high school divisions, and several other events are a product of great a partnership between PrimeTime and Bryant University.
Lacrosse All Stars: Dare we ask… what’s so special about hosting a lacrosse event in Rhode Island?
Tyler Low: Aside from its central location to so many top club programs and NCAA lacrosse recruiters, there is no better place to spend a summer weekend than Rhode Island. We schedule our events as efficiently as possible to allow families to take advantage of all that the “Ocean State” has to offer.
Many teams will play in the morning on Saturday and then be at the beach within a half hour of the games ending. Or they can be in Newport within an hour and then be back at their hotel in Providence for a family style Italian meal in the Federal Hill neighborhood afterword. They can even spend the day exploring Boston, which is less than an hour from the tournament venue.
LAS: Why is it called the Bulldog Brawl, exactly?
TL: With Bryant University’s mascot being prevalent all over campus, we knew we had to incorporate the Bulldog into the event name and logo as much as possible. For us the “Brawl” was the perfect word to capture the tough on field competition with local and national clubs.
LAS: Who is the event for and why did you design it that way?
TL: The tournament is for boys lacrosse teams, grades 2 through 12. High School and Youth teams compete at the same venues on the same days at all of our summer events. This allows clubs to truly cultivate a family environment with their players and coaches and not split up their teams and families in different states on the same weekend. We provide an exceptional experience for all of a club’s teams, allowing most clubs to bring their entire program to our events on any given weekend.
Feedback from club coaches also tells us that their youth players love seeing the college recruiters on the sidelines of the high school team’s games and walking around the venue – really allowing the younger guys to see what is possible as a part of the club they play for with hard work and commitment.
The opportunity we provide for a club’s oldest players to spend time with a club’s youngest players around the fields, at the tailgate, and supporting each other on the sideline makes the format a home run for club directors.
LAS: How would you describe the general atmosphere at the Bulldog Brawl?
TL: High energy! Great competition from across North America coming to Rhode Island makes for exciting, high level lacrosse at all ages.
To their credit, the lacrosse clubs we work with at our events are are extremely passionate, competitive club lacrosse programs on the field but also those who understand how important it is for their players and families to have a positive experience with the game of lacrosse.
Our game officials and staff do a great job making sure that the competition on the field doesn’t take away from what should always be a positive experience for our participants.
LAS: What activities can families partake in on Rhode Island while attending?
TL: There is no shortage of fun, off field activities for players and families attending the Bulldog Brawl. Families traveling into Rhode Island from far away often choose to use the weekend and it’s proximity to hundreds of New England colleges within close proximity to Bryant as a chance to see schools they may not otherwise have the time or opportunity to see.
Notable attractions that families have enjoyed while attending the Bulldog Brawl include the Roger Williams Zoo, the many beaches nearby, or seeing Providence or Newport by the several boat tours that depart nearby.
If the timing works out for 2019, be sure to check out WaterFire in Providence, a one of a kind night time art installation featuring over 80 floating bonfires right on the river in downtown Providence.
LAS: Which teams came out on top in 2018, and what were a few highlights from the event?
TL: Champions from 2018 included the New Hampshire Tomahawks, Rhode Island Bulldogs, Cape Cod Kings, Penguins Select Lacrosse, Coyotes, Gorilla, and 4Leaf Lacrosse.
The number of college coaches in attendance was a huge highlight of the 2018 event! Those in attendance included Bryant, UMass-Amherst, Quinnipiac, Fairfield, Hobart, Bates, Western New England, Clarkson, and Springfield among dozens of others Division I, II, and III programs.
Editor’s note: Check out highlights from the 2018 Bulldog Brawl below.
LAS: What are you looking forward to most about the 2019 Bulldog Brawl?
TL: We’ve already added several new programs to the mix this Summer from across North America, and the completions of several renovation projects at Bryant will further enhance the player and family experience.
A brand new video board at the Football stadium will allow us to play event highlights and recognize players and teams throughout the weekend.
Now that we are entering our third year, word has gotten out about the type of talent this event is attracting, and as a result even more college coaches have reached out about how they can come to Rhode Island to recruit at the Bulldog Brawl!
LAS: Where is the best place to stay in Rhode Island while visiting for the tournament?
TL: Smithfield is home to several hotels at all price points, including several well known national chains such as Courtyard Marriott and Hampton Inn. Many visiting teams choose to stay right in downtown Providence – a favorite of visiting teams has been the Omni Providence hotel located right in the heart of the city and not far from the Federal Hill neighborhood featuring some of the best dining in the city.
LAS: Where is the best place to eat in Smithfield, Rhode Island?
TL: J’s Deli, right around the corner from campus is an AWESOME sandwich spot for families. It’s a place we know the college recruiters attending our event look forward to every time!
Most of the teams traveling in for the event are sure to eat at least one meal in Providence, Rhode Island, which is less than a half hour from campus. Providence is home to some of the country’s best Italian food especially in the historic Federal Hill neighborhood.
Registration is now open for the 2019 Bulldog Brawl. Learn more about PrimeTime Lacrosse now at PrimeTimeLacrosse.com! Special thanks to Tyler Low for taking the time to speak with Lacrosse All Stars.