In the Fall of 1997 Coach Mickey-Miles Felton of the University of Arizona and then Coach Jason Lamb of Brigham Young University created “The Best of the West” tournament with the vision of having the top eight teams west of the Mississippi invited to play in a tournament that would help elevate the level of play not only for their respective teams, but the Western United States region as a whole.
“We felt it would be an important step to help nurture and expand the growth of the game in the West by gathering and competing against programs in the Fall, programs other than the teams from our conferences that we play during the regular season,” Felton remarks.
They chose centrally located Las Vegas as the best venue for the tournament. As the years have passed and the level of play throughout the West has improved, more teams are participating in this year’s event than ever before. From the modest beginnings of two teams, the Best of the West has now expanded to sixteen. Participating teams include multiple MCLA National Champions.
In 2010 The Best of the West combined forces with two other Las Vegas based lacrosse tournaments to create the Las Vegas Lacrosse Showcase, a tournament to showcase the best talent not only at the collegiate level, but at every age. Today, the Las Vegas Lacrosse Showcase is in its 3rd year in this expanded format and we are proud to say that LVLS is one of the premiere lacrosse tournaments in the Western United States boasting nine different divisions.
“It is an exciting time to run this tournament,” says Tournament Director, Josh Rottman. “I’ve attended the last six years as a player and I understand its potential better than anyone. I took on this project because I know how off-season tournaments can invigorate a player’s love for this game. I’ve experienced it at this tournament myself. If we can foster that type of emotional connection to lacrosse here at LVLS, we’ve done our job. Everything you’ll see is just a means to that end.”