For 38 of Bill Malizia’s years, he has been involved in lacrosse as a player, coach and official.
Passionate and dedicated to the sport, Bill is a Philadelphia authority on box lacrosse, an indoor. He applies his knowledge of both the Canadian and Iroquois styles as he teaches the children of Philadelphia to cradle and handle the stick. His broad experience trumps the traditional methods known locally.
During the Philadelphia Flyers’ 1974 Stanley Cup playoff hockey games, Bill watched a TV commercial for the Philadelphia Wings. The uniqueness of the stick, the speed of play, and the physicality
of the competition fascinated him. Box lacrosse resembled a combination of hockey and basketball.
“I went to my first Wings game that spring,” he says, “and I was hooked. Watching the players shoot, pass, fake, and move the ball with their sticks, I was amazed. I saw beauty and skill in how each player used his stick. I purchased a stick ($10 stick giveaway night)
. I have been involved with the sport ever since.”
A year later, volunteering for a Wings youth program, he learned how to play from the pro team, most of whom came from Peterborough, Ontario. “I still talk with these guys.”
Bill co-captained and was the leading scorer for the Philadelphia Junior Wings. He played 8 years of semi-pro club lacrosse with the Philadelphia Commonwealth Lacrosse Club and the Druids Lacrosse Club. For 8 years, he took box lacrosse teams from Philadelphia to competitions in Canada and the Onondaga Nation, located in Nedrow, N.Y., a suburb of Syracuse. His connections with the Onondaga Nation have led to his consulting on strategies, coaching techniques and the history of the sport.
Invited to the Philadelphia Wings training camp, Bill almost made the professional team: He was the last player cut from the roster.
He has trained with the Ontario Lacrosse Association. Bill served as head lacrosse coach at Roman Catholic High School for 3 years. He founded and directed the Philadelphia Box Lacrosse Association and founded the Philadelphia Lacrosse Foundation.
Bill has close contact with lacrosse programs in Peterborough, a town he calls “One of the best lacrosse towns in the world,” for more than 25 years.
In addition to teaching and coaching lacrosse, Bill considers himself a lifelong student of the game.