WROCLAW, POLAND – After winning silver at the 2017 FIL Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup in Guildford, England last week, the Canadian senior women’s lacrosse team have made their way to Wroclaw, Poland for the 2017 World Games, where they will look to add another medal to their trophy case.
From July 27-30, the Canadians will compete against five other nations – United States, Australia, Great Britain (a combined England, Scotland and Wales squad), Japan and Poland – for gold at this international multi-sport event, where over 3,250 athletes from 111 countries will compete in 31 sports.
These Games mark the first time that women’s field lacrosse will be a part of the official sports program at an international multi-sport games, which is quite a milestone.
It is also one of the rare times over the past century that lacrosse is part of an event of this magnitude. Men’s field was an Olympic medal event in 1904 and 1908, and a demonstration sport in 1928, 1932 and 1948, while men’s box lacrosse was a demonstration sport both times Canada hosted the Commonwealth Games, 1978 in Edmonton and 1994 in Victoria.
Canada, which looks to be a medal contender, will field a condensed roster of 15 players. World Cup alternates Tessa Chad and Holly Lloyd will get their chance to wear the red and white, while attackers Bianca Chevarie, Alie Jimerson and Crysti Foote, midfielder Danita Stroup, and all-world goalkeeper Katie Donohoe, did not make the trip.
There will be some noticeable rule changes in place during the tournament as well, mainly that each team will only have 10 players on the field at a time instead of the normal 12 players and that mandatory stick checks after every goal have been eliminated.
The ladies will look to add to Canada’s medal count, which currently sits at four, having previously won gold in bowling, silver in water skiing, and bronze in both sports climbing and ultimate.
The International World Games Association (IWGA), an organization formally recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has been organizing this Olympic-style event, hosted on a quadrennial cycle, since 1981.
Their events have been a launching pad of sorts, helping sports such as badminton, beach volleyball, water polo, trampoline, taekwondo, triathlon and rugby sevens, gain Olympic status. A few of the sports on the 2017 World Games program – sport climbing, karate and surfing – will be making the jump to the Olympics in 2020 or 2024.
The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL), lacrosse’s international governing body, is hoping that their sport’s inclusion in the World Game program will be the first step to reaching their Olympic dream.
The Olympic Channel will provide 24-hour coverage of The World Games free of charge, however with so many sports to cover, only select lacrosse games will be shown live. Others will be shown on tape-delay, while some will not be available to watch at all.
The semi-final game between the No. 1 and No. 4 seeds will be broadcast live at 4:00AM EST on July 29, whereas the other semi-final game between the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds, which takes place at 7:00AM EST on July 29, will not be shown until the following morning (July 30) at1:00AM EST.
The championship game, which takes place on July 30 at 8:00AM EST, will be shown on a slight tape-delay, beginning at 9:45AM EST.