Are you already having withdrawal from world competition now that the World Cup is over? (France won… blah blah blah) However, world competition is far from over…
I give to you… The FIL World Lacrosse Championships in Netanya, Israel from July 12-21. Like the World Cup, the FIL Championships are every four years. This year’s championships have 46 countries competing, with the best lacrosse players in the world!
The reigning champions, Canada, beat the USA 8-5 in the championship game in Denver four years ago. Team USA is on a mission to revenge this loss and get back to where they belong… on top!
Wikipedia “Lacrosse is part of the cultural tradition of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) people, inhabiting what is now New York and Pennsylvania. Lacrosse may have been developed as early as 1100 CE among indigenous peoples in North America. By the seventeenth century, it was well-established and was documented by Jesuit missionary priests in the territory of present-day Canada.”
Lacrosse combines so many sports into one. It’s the on field speed and structure of hockey, mixed with basketball type defenses and the intensity of football all wrapped into one. You can see some of the best teamwork in sports that culminates with a 100mph goal (or incredible saves by badass goalies that wear 1/3 of the pads of hockey goalies.)
I started playing lax in 6th grade, continued in high school (NJ State Championship.. NBD) and then through college. I now have the privilege of coaching some of the best 7th and 8th graders in the area. It is amazing seeing how fast this incredible game is growing and gaining popularity all around the world.
If you couldn’t tell, the big powerhouses in the world are Team USA and Canada. Team USA has won nine gold medals and three silvers. Canada has won three gold medals, five silver medals and three bronze medals. No other country has ever won the FIL Championship.
Team USA is STACKED with talent. STACKED with tough, smart, badass players. (Don’t ever think of “soft lax bros” when you think of Team USA… Or any of these teams for that matter.) They are led by the most recognizable name in Lacrosse… Paul Rabil. He wears #99 and hit an absolute ripper of a game winning goal against Canada on Sunday to win 11-10.
Again.. You all know I am 100% Red, White & Blue thru and thru… However, it really has been incredible watching a ton of other countries having success at this year’s Championship tournament. To name a few – The Iroquois Nationals, Israel (who has a couple studs like former Cornell and current MLL player Max Seibald) is 3-0, and Jamaica (who got their first FIL win this week). Some other notable teams are Puerto Rico, Italy, Ireland, Germany and many more!! For the entire list of teams and standing check out:
(How badass are those Jamaican uniforms? Doesn’t Jamaica always dominate the gear game in every sport?)
Whether you are a “lax bro for life” new to the sport or just a competition junky… The FIL Lacrosse World Championships have something for you! The time is now to get involved in one of the fastest growing sports in the world.
So what are you waiting for? There are six days left of the tournament. Go to the FIL website, follow them on Twitter and head to ESPN to catch all the action. With Team USA currently at 3-0, the world is expecting another epic USA vs. Canada Championship rematch!
…Or will one of these awesome underdog counties steal the show? The only way to find out is to tune in!
-Kevin “That Guy”