Lacrosse in Competition

If you’re interested in lacrosse, there will be competition from the word go. From the National Pop Lacrosse Championships at primary school level, to the more professionally played World Championships, whatever level you are at, there will always be something to work towards. There are local leagues for all levels of play, including a mixed lacrosse league created especially for university players. For more information, contact your local club or the English Lacrosse Association.

The World Lacrosse Championship

Lacrosse has not been an official Olympic sport since the early 20th Century. The main international competition for lacrosse players, is therefore the World Lacrosse Championships which, like many other popular sports, are held every four years. The championships are sanctioned by the International Lacrosse Federation. Currently there are competitions for senior men, senior women, under 19 men and under 19 women.

The World Lacrosse Championship began in 1967 as a four-team tournament (United States, Canada, England and Australia) which coincided with Canada’s centennial lacrosse celebration. Several years later in 1974, Australia celebrated their lacrosse centenary and the USA developed an all-star team to compete in a similar international tournament. From here, the concept of holding a World Championship tournament every four years was conceived. In the ten tournaments since the Championship begun, however, victory has been given to the USA eight times, with the other two being given to Canada. The growing popularity of the game has seen the 2005 Women’s World Championships contested by ten countries, and the 2006 Men’s World Championship was fought out by 21 countries.

The Women’s Lacrosse World Championship

The Women’s Lacrosse World Championship is also held every four years and is sponsored by the International Federation of Women’s Lacrosse Associations (IFWLA). The IFWLA World championships began in 1982, several years after the men’s competition had begun. Although the first women’s tournament was hosted in Nottingham, England have had no joy in winning the competition, which, like the men’s, has been largely dominated by the USA.

The Under-19 World Lacrosse Championships

The Under-19 World Lacrosse Championships consist of two separate tournaments for men and women and are, again, held every four years. This competition gives youngsters their time to shine in the competitive sport. The Men’s Championship was first held in 1988 and the Women’s in 1995. The United States have won the Men’s tournament every year since in began in 1988, and have yet again dominated the Women’s tournament

The European Lacrosse Championships

The European Lacrosse Championship is an equally important quadrennial tournament which has been held since 1995, in order to determine the best national lacrosse team of Europe. Up until 2002, the tournament was held annually, but due to clashes with both the Men’s and Women’s World Championships, the European Lacrosse Federation (ELF) changed the event to every four years. Until recent years, very few nations had ever participated in the European Championships but in 2004 there was a record number of participating countries, with 12 in the men’s tournament and 6 in the women’s. This made the Championship the largest international lacrosse event of 2004. And with the United States out of the picture, England have largely dominated the European Lacrosse Championships.