(Photo: World Lacrosse)

The Organizing Committee for the 2022 World Lacrosse Men’s World Championship has announced it is withdrawing its bid to host the event in Coquitlam in July of 2022. An official letter providing the notice of withdrawal as host of the event has been sent to World Lacrosse, the international federation for men’s and women’s lacrosse, and the Canadian Lacrosse Association, which oversees lacrosse in Canada.


The announcement is being made jointly today by the Coquitlam Organizing Committee for the 2022 World Lacrosse Men’s World Championship, the Canadian Lacrosse Association and World Lacrosse.


“With mixed emotions, I wrote to the Canadian Lacrosse Association and World Lacrosse this week on behalf of our organizing committee to inform them of this decision,” said outgoing Tournament Chair Cliff Pascas. “Our driving impetus for this decision is the opportunity to allow for the game to receive maximum exposure in a major market as lacrosse looks to return to the Olympic Games.”


The organizing committee has learned that another organization with additional capacity and the ability to stage the event in a major media market has expressed interest in hosting the tournament. More details will be provided by World Lacrosse in the near future.


“Our committee believes we would have done a first-class job hosting this tournament, but with the opportunity ahead and a company with a full-time staff capacity and access to a major population center, we feel it is in the best interest of the sport to allow it to stand on the biggest stage,” Pascas added. “We all love the sport of lacrosse, and we recognize the tremendous opportunity that exists to have a World Championship played in a major television market at this time in the history of the sport; this is a potential watershed moment.”


“We are proud of our previous efforts to host two successful Under-19 men’s lacrosse championships in 2008 and 2016 in Coquitlam, and we have every confidence we would have done well in hosting the senior men’s tournament in the summer of 2022,” Pascas said. “We are happy to support in transition to ensure success in 2022 in a new market and we wish the very best to the next host and to all participants in the event.”


“Canada is one of the founding nations in the Creator’s Game, and the Canadian Lacrosse Association has always supported its members in their efforts to host the lacrosse World Championships,” said Joey Harris, President of the Canadian Lacrosse Association. “The Coquitlam Organizing Committee is by far one of the top groups in Canada and they have had much success in bringing the lacrosse World Championships to our country in past years. We believe that would have again been the case in 2022. With that said, we fully support the decision made by Cliff Pascas and his organizing committee for all the reasons he has stated. It is a great opportunity to reach more people around the world and showcase this great game the Indigenous people gave not only Canada—Canada’s National Summer Sport—but now the world.”


“There is absolutely no doubt the organizing committee in Coquitlam, led by Cliff Pascas, would have delivered an outstanding World Championship in 2022, as was the case in 2008 and 2016,” said World Lacrosse President Sue Redfern. “As our sport continues to grow worldwide, and as we pursue the ambition of one day securing a return for lacrosse to the Olympic Games, we must be responsive to unique opportunities that will allow us to showcase our great game and bring it to new and larger audiences — whilst never losing sight of our history and the partners who have elevated our game to unprecedented heights. In the leadership of the Coquitlam Organizing Committee, and the Canadian Lacrosse Association, we have partners who will continue to be at the forefront of our efforts to grow the sport of lacrosse globally and reinforce the lasting values of this great game. We thank both organizations for enabling our sport to take advantage of this unique opportunity.”