A few days after the 2013 women’s World Championships in Canada ended with the US team taking home gold, the FIL (Federation of International Lacrosse) announced great news for lacrosse in Europe. The 2018 FIL World Championships of men’s field lacrosse will be hosted by England in Manchester.
Most of us remember the 2010 FIL men’s WC that took place in Manchester as well and at first glance we are cheerful to bring the world of lacrosse back to Europe. Our Friends from Lacrosse All Stars covered some features and questions about the FIL’s decision.
1) Iroquois Controversy from 2010.
2) Manchester’s Lacrosse Community.
3) It’s in Europe.
4) What about the rest of Europe?
5) What About The Iroquois?
We feel that there are some more questions to be asked when it comes to an event of this size and impact:
What will the WC 2018 look like?
One thing I am concerned about when it comes to the WC 2018 is the modus and amount of teams that will participate. From 2010 we know that the facilities in Manchester can deal with quite a large amount of teams and players (29 nations competing + 64 elite international touring teams at the Festival), BUT the WC 2014 in Denver with a total amount of 40 national teams expected and on top of that a huge festival featuring an unknown number of club and travel teams with a total of 25 lacrosse fields top that by far. If lacrosse grows the way it does right now world-wide how many teams can we expect in 2018 in Manchester? How will the amount of participating teams limit the ability of other nations to host the WC? First rumors around the FIL indicate a change in the tournament modus. Maybe Qualification Games previous to the actual event (similar to soccer)? We are excited what the future of world-wide lacrosse will bring us after 2014.
How affordable will the WC 2018 be?
A big issue, especially for rather small lacrosse programs is and always will be money. One of the biggest negatives of the 2012 European Championships in Amsterdam was the huge amount of money teams and in this way mostly players had to invest to participate in the tournament. The WC 2014 in the US offers rather cheap application fees which should enable a lot of teams to participate. How will the ELA (English Lacrosse Association) handle the cash? Usually a bigger event results in lower costs for the individual team and player. But how big is big enough and how does the festival be involved in the budget. The ELA recently got a huge subvention by Sport England with 3.5 million pound they share with cycling, athletics, netball and canoeing. Some bit of that cake will hopefuly be put into the greatest WC Europe and maybe the World will see for a long time.
Is England close enough to continental Europe?
Connor Wilson already mentioned that he would like to see the WC go outside England but somewhere in continental Europe. I would love to see that too, BUT I also see England as the supreme lacrosse nation in Europe and great potential with the associated nations Ireland, Scotland and Wales in Great Briton. Is anyone else in Europe besides England really able to host an event of that size? In my opinion NO, at least not in 2018. As soon as I know the exact dates I will book my flight and take vacation for two great weeks of lacrosse. And to answer the question above: I do think that it’s close enough to continental Europe. Get there and bring a friend to make the WC 2018 in Manchester the biggest lacrosse party Europe will see for a long time.
How can the WC 2018 Grow The Game European wide?
An event like the WC is a great way of promoting the sport of lacrosse and get more people’s attention and Grow The Game. But does this effect only have an impact on the hosting nation? At least the rest of Great Briton should profit from the event in terms of promoting the sport and spreading the game. How about everyone else off the island? If a good media and ticketing concept is installed the coverage of the WC should even reach the smallest town somewhere in one of the newest FIL members, Turkey. And a flight to Manchester is actually not that expensive. Our tip: Find a mate, get a flight, bring your stick and have a great lacrosse time in England.
FIL Women’s WC 2017 in England !
A fact that almost gets/got lost is the fact that England will also host the 2017 FIL WC for women’s field lacrosse in Guildford, Surrey. This will be the 10th WC and it will be hosted in England for the third time. Combined with the 2018 men’s WC there will be two great years for lacrosse in England and Europe. After the great performance of all the European teams at this year’s WC in Canada we can expect great games and an awesome event.
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