Record Setting 9th Annual Tournament attracts 18,000+ to Valley

Synapse Sports has announced the ninth annual Sand Storm Lacrosse Festival, being held Jan. 16-17, 2016 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Cal., has been expanded to include competition on 51 fields. A record 330 boys’ and girls’ teams – comprised of middle and high school players – are slated to compete in the 2016 event co-sponsored by Under Armour and Gatorade. “We knew when we started Sand Storm in 2008 that it had tremendous potential. A warm weather location, state-of-the-art facility, top-notch competition and detailed organization are the ingredients for success,” said Cathy Samaras, found and CEO of Synapse Sports. “Sand Storm lived up to its potential and exceeded expectations since the beginning. Now it has become a destination event for club teams throughout the country as the premier winter tournament on the West Coast.”

Sand Storm began as a girls’ club tournament geared primarily towards clubs from Western States. It has since expanded its reach and now includes a significant number of teams from the Midwest, East Coast and even Canada. The number of Division I, II and III collegiate coaches scouting talent at Sand Storm has also increased significantly in recent years as the talent pool expanded. Sand Storm added a boys’ component in 2011 and it has grown exponentially under the guidance of Boys Director Michael Watson, US Lacrosse Hall of Fame recipient and former UVA 4-time All American. “It’s a testament to the overall quality of the event. Every team that participates each year has a great experience and it has spread by word of mouth that Sand Storm is a top-notch tournament in terms of a spectacular venue, precise management and strong competition,” Watson said. “A weekend in Palm Springs is very appealing to the out-of-town teams. I couldn’t be more thrilled with how the boys program has progressed.”

Each year at Sand Storm a cut-a-thon is held in support of Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to children suffering from long term medical hair loss. Stylists from local salon partner D&G Hair Stories in Palm Desert will be onsite on Saturday January 16th from 11 AM – 3 PM conducting cuts in the Main Hacienda Registration & Vending Tent. Anyone can come donate hair or check out a game – free admission and parking!

Sand Storm enjoys tremendous local support from the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau and local business community. Host hotels to the event include resort properties La Quinta Resort and Club, Renaissance – Indian Wells and Palm Springs, Hyatt – Indian Wells and Palm Springs, JW Marriott, Miramonte Resort & Spa, Desert Princess Resort, Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa, as well as Embassy Suites – La Quinta & Palm Desert, Homewood Suites Palm Desert, Marriott Courtyard – Palm Desert and Palm Springs, Palm Desert’s Residence Inn & Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn Rancho Mirage, Palm Spring’s Ace Hotel, Saguaro, Comfort Inn, Palm Mountain Resort, Palm Canyon Resort and Marquis Villas, and Indio’s Quality Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Royal Plaza Inn. Local sponsors of the event include the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Indio and La Quinta Resort & Club as well as the following restaurants: Kaiser Restaurant Group’s Jackalope Ranch, Las Casuelas La Quinta, The La Quinta Beer Hunter Pub & Grill, Stuft Pizza Bar & Grill, Pacifica Seafood Restaurant, La Quinta Cliffhouse and the Tack Room Tavern.


For more information about the 2016 Sand Storm Lacrosse Festival visit the event website:

SYNAPSE SPORTS – Synapse Sports is the premier provider of lacrosse playing opportunities and recruiting events in the U.S. Founder and CEO Cathy Samaras has been a trailblazer in the sport of lacrosse, working tirelessly for over 25 years to promote the growth and development of the game – from grassroots to global. To learn more about the exciting events organized by the company visit or call 410-573-1414.