Lacrosse: Big decision brings men’s and women’s teams one step closer to the Olympics
Lacrosse: Big decision brings men’s and women’s teams one step closer to the Olympics
The International Olympic Committee has granted Full Recognition to World Lacrosse, a huge step forward for the sport in its quest to join the Olympics.
Colorado Springs, Colorado – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Tuesday it would grant Full Recognition to World Lacrosse, a huge step forward for the sport in its quest to join the Olympics.
World Lacrosse has received Full Recognition by the International Olympic Committee. © Screenshot/Instagram/c_radziewicz
The international federation for lacrosse is on a mission to bring the sport to the Olympics by 2028 in Los Angeles. Though the IOC’s decision doesn’t make that dream a reality yet, it does bring lax fans one step closer to the goal.
According to a press release, the decision came during the 138th IOC session in Tokyo after an IOC executive board approved a recommendation earlier in June.
“This is a momentous day for lacrosse enthusiasts around the world and a reason for our entire World Lacrosse family to celebrate,” the release quoted World Lacrosse President Sue Redfern as saying.
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“We are deeply grateful to the Membership of the International Olympic Committee for today’s vote and the expression of confidence it reflects. With Full Recognition comes greater responsibility, and we are committed to serving as an active and engaged member of the international sport community and supporting our partners across sport,” she continued.
World Lacrosse CEO Jim Scherr said, “The evaluation process for Full Recognition has been intensive, but at every step in the process, the IOC has helped make World Lacrosse a stronger, more effective international federation, and we greatly appreciate the IOC’s ongoing support and encouragement.”
“While today’s decision represents a historic milestone for World Lacrosse, it is not the culmination of our journey. Rather, we will use this new status and the momentum it creates to find new ways to continue expanding opportunities for participation in lacrosse around the globe while supporting even greater growth,” he concluded.
The US Women’s Lacrosse team at the 2017 World Games, where they took first place. © Screenshot/Instagram/taylorcummings_
Lacrosse, not currently an Olympic sport, has appeared at the Games before. The first time it was played at the Olympics was in 1904 in St. Louis. It was a medal sport in 1904 and 1908 and played as a demonstration sport in 1928, 1932, and 1948.
The recent push to make the Olympics gave rise to World Lacrosse Sixes. Reducing the on-field team size to six players, the field size to 36 x 70 meters, and the quarter length to eight minutes each, the new rules aim to increase the tempo of the game. The 30-second shot clock is meant to make the experience even more exciting for spectators.
In addition to making lax more accessible and competitive, World Lacrosse says the new discipline brings the sport “within the 21st Century Olympic framework, where the International Olympic Committee and Host Cities are working to reduce the cost and complexity of staging the Olympic Games.”
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Launched in May 2021, five or six invitational events showcasing World Lacrosse Sixes are already planned for the second half of the year, the federation reported.
It is this version of the game that is likely to be featured should lacrosse make it to the Olympics.
Lacrosse Moving Toward a Spot in 2028 Olympic Program
Lacrosse Moving Toward a Spot in 2028 Olympic Program
8 Apr, 2021
By: Michael Popke
Lacrosse will take the international spotlight when Birmingham, Alabama hosts the 2022 World Games next summer. Women’s lacrosse is on the official program, while men’s lacrosse will be featured for the first time as an invitational sport.
There’s a lot more riding on that competition than naming a World Games champion. Lacrosse was granted provisional status by the International Olympic Committee in 2018 — meaning that the sport now receives funding from the IOC for development and is on the path toward potential inclusion as a showcase sport in the Olympic program at the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles.
Provisional IOC recognition is granted for a period of three years, and IOC officials have repeatedly noted that provisional status does not guarantee inclusion in the Olympic Games — see “competitive cheer.”
As US Lacrosse notes, the Olympic Charter states that a sport must be practiced widely by men in 75 countries on four continents and by women in 40 countries on three continents as key criteria for Olympic eligibility. Public interest and media attention are critical factors, as well.
“This is a process that’s exceptionally difficult,” World Lacrosse Chief Executive Officer Jim Scherr admitted, speaking at the US Lacrosse Convention in March, as reported by US Lacrosse Magazine. “It’s so beneficial for a sport to get on the Olympic Games program, even if it’s for one Games as a host city sport, because you have a platform that not only virtually everyone in your country consumes, but more than four billion people around the world consume your sport in some way.”
Scherr noted that lacrosse “is an incredibly attractive sport for the Olympic games” for several reasons. It has worldwide appeal, he said, it’s driven at the youth level and it’s popularity is increasing in the United States — making it ideal for the L.A. Games. He added that World Lacrosse is testing a new six-on-six version of the game to make it more appealing for the Olympics (which caps the number of athletes participating at 10,500). World Lacrosse approved official playing rules for the format in November.
That is the same version of lacrosse that will be played at the World Games, when lacrosse makes its second appearance as a championship sport in the quadrennial event.
“Lacrosse Sixes has an excellent opportunity, particularly if we can get this game to fit the television window, fit the window of live play during the Olympic Games, decrease the cost and complexity of staging this competition, but also create a product that is very consumable on digital and social media,” Scherr said. “That was our goal with Lacrosse Sixes. We’re on the way. It’s not the full-field game, but we think it offers an incredible amount as a potential Olympic discipline.”
Lacrosse’s Long History
Lacrosse, a sport originated by Native Americans, was designated a medal sport in the 1904 and 1908 Olympics, and it was a demonstration sport in the 1928, 1932 and 1948 Games. If the sport achieves Olympic status for Los Angeles, it would be the first time in 80 years it had any connection with the Games. In 2012, the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) was formally accepted into SportAccord (now known as the Global Association of International Sports Federations), the umbrella organization for all Olympic and non-Olympic international sports federations.
Among the goals of US Lacrosse’s 2019-2023 Strategic Plan is to “collaborate with the FIL to position lacrosse participation as a medal sport in the 2028 Olympics” by increasing the sport’s profile in the Greater Los Angeles and Birmingham, Ala., areas.
“The opportunity goes back to the individual athlete and their dream of being in the Olympic Games,” Scherr said at the US Lacrosse Convention. “We would like to provide that for the athletes of lacrosse. In our polling, virtually 100 percent of the athletes want to have that dream.”
Meanwhile, World Lacrosse is working with the Iroquois Nationals men’s lacrosse team to help it form a National Olympic Committee to seek IOC recognition in 2024 and be allowed to participate in the Olympics should lacrosse make the 2028 program.
“The Olympic Games eligibility standards right now is for an athlete to be entered in the Olympic Games, you have to correspond to a national Olympic committee,” Scherr said. “They’re not recognized universally by the United Nations as a sovereign nation as World Lacrosse has recognized them. They have to overcome both of those challenges.”
“We basically have to sell the IOC on our international experience, our international standing, our sovereignty, and the good things that’ll happen if we’re there playing lacrosse, the game we originated,” Leo Nolan, executive director of the Iroquois Nationals, told CBC.ca.
He’s “very optimistic” about the team’s chances, and thinks “it’d be a great gesture, a great symbolic step for Indigenous communities — not just us, not just American and Alaska natives, or First Nations folks — but for Indigenous communities around the world.”
Not to mention another big move for the sport.
IOC Endorses World Lacrosse Full Recognition
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) endorsed full recognition of World Lacrosse for men’s and women’s lacrosse, an important step forward in the sport’s journey to becoming included in the Olympics.
There is no timeline for when a vote to determine if World Lacrosse will be granted full recognition will happen, though it could come as soon as next month before the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
📣 International Olympic Committee Executive Board
Recommends Granting Full Recognition to World Lacrosse…https://t.co/FAaFT1eOpd
— World Lacrosse (@worldlaxsport) June 10, 2021
If World Lacrosse is provided full recognition, it would guarantee the organization’s status in the Association of IOC Recognized International Sports Federations (ARISF), and it would keep World Lacrosse eligible for monetary aide through the IOC Development Program. World Lacrosse would also have access to IOC meetings, educational seminars, publications and more. It would not immediately make lacrosse an Olympic sport.
“While today’s decision by the IOC Executive Board represents yet another important milestone for World Lacrosse, we will not rest or stand still,” World Lacrosse CEO Jim Scherr said in a statement. “This is a catalyst that will drive and shape our efforts to continue expanding opportunities for participation in lacrosse and improving our capabilities as an international federation.”
In November 2018, the IOC granted World Lacrosse (known as the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) at the time) provisional recognition, then in November 2020, the IOC Sports Department began an in-depth review of the lacrosse governing body.
“I can’t think of a more significant milestone in the sport’s history,” Steve Stenersen, CEO of US Lacrosse and vice president of the FIL, said in 2018 when the IOC offered the FIL provisional recognition. “IOC recognition will strengthen the profile of lacrosse in all FIL member countries and propel the sport to greater expansion throughout the world.”
Lacrosse has been in the Olympics before – it first appeared in 1904 in St. Louis and was a medal sport in 1904 and 1908. It was then played as a demonstration sport in 1928, 1932, and 1948.
This move continues lacrosse down the path to meet the goal set by World Lacrosse: the sport’s inclusion in the 2028 LA Games.
Now for the other lacrosse news for the week of June 8-14, 2021.
Last Week in Lacrosse
Gary Gait was officially introduced as the next men’s lacrosse head coach at Syracuse, moving from the same position for the school’s women’s lacrosse program to replace John Desko, who retired last week.
Chris Hogan made his PLL debut, officially returning to the lacrosse field with Cannons LC in a thrilling 15-14 overtime defeat to Whipsnakes LC on Saturday.
The PLL waiver wire re-opened Tuesday, and Chrome, Cannons, and Waterdogs made some immediate additions: Chrome added undrafted rookie midfielder Kevin Rogers and attackman Tommy Palasek, Cannons brought in attackman Brendan Sunday, and SSDM Matt Whitcher became the newest member of the Waterdogs.
Nick Ossello of the Redwoods announced his retirement from playing professional lacrosse.
Just letting everyone know- made the difficult decision to retire last week. Been the honor of a lifetime to call myself a pro lacrosse player and member of the Woods. I’ll make jokes about it later but wanted to let everyone know. Love you all
— Nick Ossello (@nickossello) June 8, 2021
Cannons released attackman Bryce Wasserman, who was the 2020 MLL MVP and went undrafted in the 2021 PLL Entry Draft.
After taking a crosscheck to the head from Reece Eddy in Waterdogs’ game against Cannons on June 6, Michael Sowers was taken to the hospital and stayed overnight. He did not play last weekend.
Archers joined Whipsnakes as the only other undefeated team in the PLL, improving to 2-0 with a 12-8 triumph over Chaos on Sunday.
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Opinion: Lacrosse Will Be in the 2028 Olympics, Changing the Sport in Huge, Unforeseen Ways
There’s a sea-change coming to the sport of lacrosse, and very, very few of the game’s power-brokers seem to see the cresting wave on the horizon.
I used to think that efforts toward lacrosse’s Olympic inclusion were wasteful for two reasons. The first reason: I didn’t think the Olympic Dream was feasible (My thinking: lacrosse just isn’t popular enough globally, and there’s a wide competition gap in the nations where it is played.). Second, I thought that even if the Olympic Dream were attained, it wouldn’t be so impactful to the sport as to justify the effort to bring such a tall task to life. (A common line of thought reflecting that is, “How impactful can five days of four hours of airtime on Bravo for two weeks in August every four years actually be?”)
I compare my stance on the Olympics to my old stance on early recruiting. Originally, I didn’t have an impassioned opinion on early recruiting because I saw it as an issue that effected relatively few programs and families, and because I thought there was comparatively little harm done to those families and programs that did partake in early recruiting. My thoughts on early recruiting changed when I started to see evidence that seventh- and eighth-graders were prematurely quitting lacrosse because they weren’t on the track to be offered as a ninth-grader. At that point, I saw a widespread threat to the sport, offset by little reason not to change the recruiting rule, and I firmly supported the IWLCA/IMLCA proposal to the NCAA.
That’s a valid comparison because I had a stance (albeit a soft one), then I was exposed to new evidence and a new way of thinking, and I changed my stance.
I now think that it’s feasible that lacrosse will be in the Olympics. Actually, not just “feasible,” not just “more than likely” but “a near certainty.” And I think that inclusion will have a greater impact on the sport than any other occurrence in lacrosse’s history.
Since the formalized “merging” of the men’s and women’s international lacrosse federations in 2008, the FIL has taken direct, linear steps toward IOC recognition and Olympic inclusion. A first step was adopting World Anti-Doping Agency policies. A second was joining Sport Accord. A third was acceptance into the International World Games Association and participation in last summer’s competition in Poland. A fourth and the most concrete most likely will come in the first half of 2018, when the FIL is expected to receive IOC recognition.
But perhaps the most substantial step was the hiring of Jim Scherr (and the associated, on-going reorganization within the FIL), a man whose resume seems tailored specifically to point lacrosse toward Olympic inclusion. In IL’s December Issue, he explained how the process of sports being included in the Olympic program has changed and the increased discretion each local host committee has to add competition sports.
“I’d think given the availability venues in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, the popularity of sport, collegiate and youth in L.A. and across young people in the U.S., gives the sport a strong argument in the U.S. market and I think makes it an ideal sport for inclusion in the 2028 program,” Scherr said, adding that he’s familiar and has good relationships with many key members of the L.A. hosting committee.
To reinforce that this is more than one man’s opinion, consider Rutgers coach Brian Brecht’s comment from last June’s #NissanLaxChat hosted by Inside Lacrosse:
Brecht: Longtime Rutgers coach Tom Hayes is on committee & is very close to having it in Olympics. #nissanlaxchat https://t.co/ivRz0p67EP
— Inside Lacrosse (@Inside_Lacrosse) June 6, 2017
On top of why inclusion is more feasible than many realize, Scherr outlined the benefits of the Olympics for the global lacrosse community.
The U.S. and Canada will certainly benefit from [lacrosse’s Olympic inclusion], but for the rest of the world, it’ll be a sea-level change. It turns three spigots on for national federations around the world. The first is from their national Olympic committees, which a lot of times is government funded and sometimes has their own funding sources that augments that. The second is development funds that are for elite athlete support through their national governments, whether it’s a sport ministry or governmental agency — lacrosse athletes would then have increased eligibility for those funds. And then third, whenever you come into the Olympic realm, and you’re looking to put together a team and gather funds — either commercially or through private donations — generally much more traction is gained when there’s an Olympic opportunity at the end of the run.
As evidenced by the men’s world championships unplanned move from England to Israel next summer, international lacrosse is not as healthy as it can be, and the power of Olympic backing is nearly indescribable. On top of that, the way in which the popularity of a sport like Rugby Sevens benefited from inclusion in Rio in 2016 illustrates exactly what lacrosse has to gain.
All of that, though — the preceding 800 words — is just context. This is the real story:
The game of lacrosse that will be played in the Olympics does not currently exist.
Read further into Scherr’s comment, “There’s a strong desire to continue to improve the product on the field of play and make the game more exciting” and think about the relationship between rugby, a sport way more popular globally than lacrosse that struggled for decades to gain Olympic inclusion, and rugby sevens, which debuted to widespread (but not universal) acclaim.
Consider also some elements of a sport that appeal to the Olympics:
- gender equity
- fast pacing
- predictable duration for TV windows
- manageable venue requirements
- limited equipment needs
Here are a few of my predictions (or hunches) for what “Olympic lacrosse” will look like:
- Men and women will play on field with identical lines (smaller than a current field, most likely) and the same number of players (probably fewer than 10; maybe 7 or 8)
- The hybrid game will incorporate elements of box lacrosse, most specifically…
- I wouldn’t be surprised if there were no longsticks
- I wouldn’t be surprised if there were no offsides; every player was allowed to run end to end
- The duration of quarters/halves/games will be uniform (potentially 25-minute running time halves)
- After a goal, play will restart immediately (sorry FOGOs/draw specialists — it’s not personal, it’s about avoiding the lull as play resets when the ball is moved back to the midline)
- Collisions and contact will be considerably reduced in men’s lacrosse (I wouldn’t be surprised if a conversation ensued around whether men should wear helmets. I suspect that, as long as men’s stick continue to contain pockets that allow for 100-plus mile per hour shots, that conversation will resolve with men continuing to wear helmets).
So, men and women playing a nearly identical game — 8 on 8, all shortsticks, 25-minute running halves, no face-offs/draws. Pretty different, right?
Again, these are all predictions or hunches. I recently asked an FIL official how far developed conversations around this topic were and was answered “less than 5 percent.” Which means there are many conversations and decisions forthcoming.
My argument is that many of lacrosse’s most influential stakeholders don’t realize how frequent, how soon or how important these conversations will be, nor how much each stakeholder’s “version” of the sport stands to benefit by having “Olympic lacrosse” look most like his or her game.
In promoting the Scherr piece when it was posted online last week, I tweeted, “Never has a bigger lacrosse story flown this far under the radar.” It didn’t matter — shockingly few people clicked the link. Hopefully I’ve laid out the case why every lacrosse fan should care about the prospect of Olympic lacrosse. If not, then I can’t wait to see the sport’s equivalent reaction to that Friday last April when panicked texts bounced from college coach to club coach to teenager throughout the country.
Except this time, we better have an international data plan.
Jim Scherr will be one of many influencers and leaders speaking next week at the fourth Lacrosse Industry Summit at the Hilton Baltimore. To get your ticket to hear Jim and others, click here.
LaxCon 2021: World Lacrosse and the Olympic Movement
During this year’s US Lacrosse Convention, World Lacrosse CEO Jim Scherr provided an update on the organization and went in-depth on the path to the Olympics.
Scherr is perhaps uniquely qualified to provide this analysis, given his diversified background in the Olympic network. A wrestler who represented the United States in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Scherr went on to serve as the executive director of USA Wrestling and the CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
He joined World Lacrosse in 2017 as the organization’s first full-time employee. The organization has four key platforms set forth in its strategic plan adopted in 2018 — grow, build, lead and influence. All of these will hopefully lead to the organization’s ultimate goal, helping lacrosse reach the Olympic Games.
“Those four key platforms, grow the game, build the platform and resources, lead the sport – meaning that our governance and structure get better, and influence the IOC are really critical points to achieving that vision,” Scherr said.
The drive to the Olympics was a primary reason the World Lacrosse position appealed to Scherr. Thanks to the support of benefactors that share the vision, the organization has made significant strides in recent years. World Lacrosse now has 68 member nations — adding five new countries from November 2019 through the end of last year — and Uganda became the first full-member nation from continental Africa.
“We’ve built our staff from just myself in 2017 to eight, soon to be 10,” Scherr said. “We’ve built our management capabilities. Our board continues to change from a board that was more operational to now a board that is more strategic. We’ve gotten our countries more involved, our general assembly is more vibrant, but we need to continue to improve our governance structure, both at the World Lacrosse level and at each of our national governing bodies.”
Improving the foundation is key, but World Lacrosse also needs to sell the sport to people that are in many cases unfamiliar with it. There are also logistical challenges to being in the Olympics — the International Olympic Committee (IOC) limit on number of athletes, tight television windows and infrastructure costs among them.
“We need to be viewed positively by the IOC to become an Olympic sport,” Scherr said. “We need to build our influence in a good way. We need the members of the IOC, and particularly those who are in key positions, to know they can trust the leaders of World Lacrosse.”
“The opportunity goes back to the individual athlete and their dream of being in the Olympic Games. We would like to provide that for the athletes of lacrosse. In our polling, virtually 100 percent of the athletes want to have that dream.”
The most likely path to Olympic inclusion would be as a host city sport in the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. There are 28 sports traditionally in the Olympics, but beginning with the Tokyo Games, originally scheduled for last summer, the IOC allowed the host to add “local” sports that they view as important to their city, region or country. Five sports were added for Tokyo and four for Paris in 2024.
With the strength of lacrosse in North America, Scherr feels that the sport has a strong opportunity to be included in Los Angeles in 2028. But it won’t be easy.
“This is a process that’s exceptionally difficult,” Scherr said. “There’s a tremendous amount of competitors because the stakes are so high. It’s so beneficial for a sport to get on the Olympic Games program, even if it’s for one games as a host city sport because you have a platform that not only virtually everyone in your country consumes, but more than four billion people around the world consume your sport in some way.”
But for Scherr, it’s not just about what it means for the sport, but what it means to the players.
“The opportunity goes back to the individual athlete and their dream of being in the Olympic Games,” Scherr said. “We would like to provide that for the athletes of lacrosse. In our polling, virtually 100 percent of the athletes want to have that dream.”
Scherr believes lacrosse has tremendous appeal to the Olympics.
“Lacrosse is an incredibly attractive sport for the Olympic Games and for the Olympic movement for any number of reasons,” Scherr said. “The first thing I would say, it is a great sport. It’s played by a lot of great people around the world. It demonstrates the key values of the Olympic movement – excellence, friendship and lacrosse. When you go to a lacrosse game, you can feel the culture of the sport.
“Additionally, the sport has incredibly growing numbers in North America, which is important to the L.A. Games, but also growing around the world. It is one of the sports that the IOC is looking to match up with in terms of creating relevance for the future. It is sport that is driven by youth. The IOC wants to embrace youth and it’s a great match that way.”
But in order to achieve the dream of the Olympics, the sport has to be nimble enough to fit the parameters Olympic organizers are faced with addressing.
The sheer number of athletes involved in the traditional field game makes it highly unlikely that version of the sport would fit into the Olympic program. So, over the last couple of years, World Lacrosse has been testing a new 6 v. 6 discipline of the sport to help make it more appealing for the Olympics. This is not an effort to replace the traditional field game for World Lacrosse championships, but rather a supplement, specifically designed for the Olympics and other multi-sport international competitions, such as The World Games. Both men’s and women’s lacrosse will be included in The World Games in Birmingham, Ala., in 2022, a showcase opportunity for lacrosse to show its value to the international sporting community.
“If you look at the games and you look at the numbers, the Olympic Games has been capped at 10,500 total athletes,” Scherr said. “The host city sports for Tokyo added 474 total athletes, 234 of those alone from baseball, softball. Paris added four sports, 232 total athletes. We have to keep in mind that we’re not going to become an Olympic sport with our full-field game. However, Lacrosse Sixes has an excellent opportunity, particularly if we can get this game to fit the television window, fit the window of live play during the Olympic Games, decrease the cost and complexity of staging this competition, but also create a product that is very consumable on digital and social media. That was our goal with Lacrosse Sixes. We’re on the way. It’s not the full-field game, but we think it offers an incredible amount as a potential Olympic discipline.”
Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team aims to make Olympic competition under its own flag
Iroquois Nationals lacrosse star Randy Staats was angry at first, but he now says an international snub of his team only fuelled his desire to play on the world stage.
Three years ago, the International Olympic Committee granted the sport of lacrosse provisional status for the 2028 Games, scheduled to take place in Los Angeles.
But to make the Olympics, the Iroquois Nationals, strong competitors in other international venues, will have to prove to the International Olympic Committee that they represent a sovereign nation distinct from Canada or the United States.
Lacrosse players from the six First Nations that make up the Haudenosaunee Confederacy compete not for Canada or the U.S. — the settler states where their nations are nested — but for their confederacy.
As a provisional Olympic sport, lacrosse is now eligible for the World Games — an international competition considered an audition for sports with provisional Olympic status.
Even though the Iroquois Nationals finished in third place at the 2018 World Lacrosse Championships, they were not initially included in the top eight teams selected to compete at the 2022 World Games.
“I thought it was a mistake at first,” Staats recalls. “I was frustrated, I was upset. It actually kind of helped me, in a way, personally, because it allowed me to have confidence to voice my opinion.”
It seems Staats, 28, was destined to be a lacrosse player. “I was born with a stick in my cradle,” he says with a laugh.
As a Mohawk growing up in Six Nations of the Grand River in southern Ontario, the game was passed down to him through the generations by his elders.
Staats’ father, uncles and grandfather all played. ” 1/8It 3/8 just goes to show, in our culture, what it means. You enter this earth with a wooden stick and when you leave this earth you have a wooden stick in your casket.”
This is a joke. What is the reasoning for us not to be included!? This is embarrassing <a href=”https://twitter.com/TWG2022?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@TWG2022</a> … we have to work towards changing this! <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/creatorsgame?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#creatorsgame</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/workahead?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#workahead</a> <a href=”https://t.co/o4eQQExUJD”>https://t.co/o4eQQExUJD</a>
A tweet from Staats about the World Games sparked attention, leading to an outcry, says teammate Brendan Bomberry, also a Mohawk from Six Nations.
“We really saw the power of social media and the power of our voices that, if we speak up, we can make a difference and that was really awesome to see.”
The resulting uproar and the voluntary withdrawal by Ireland Lacrosse’s Senior National Team from the international competition caused World Lacrosse and the International World Games Association to reverse their decision and include the Iroquois Nationals in the coming 2022 World Games.
It was a recognition of the central place the Iroquois team holds in the lacrosse sphere.
The Irish lacrosse association saw that it was important for the Iroquois team to be there as the originators of the game and they stepped back, says Leo Nolan, executive director of the Iroquois Nationals. “It was a magnanimous gesture on their part to do that.”
The Haudenosaunee Confederacy views lacrosse as a gift from the Creator.
“We have a modern version now, but the medicine game was originally given to us by the Creator to help us heal spiritually, physically, mentally,” says Nolan, a Mohawk who grew up on the Onondaga Nation.
“It’s an integral part of our culture, of our lifestyle, of our way of dealing with adverse things that happen sometimes in our lives, so it’s a good way of helping us deal with everyday life struggles and stresses. The game, of course, has changed dramatically from those times, but we continue to hold that very close to us.”
While the Haudenosaunee are considered the originators and stewards of the game, many First Nations played a version of lacrosse.
Many cite the early ball games known as baggataway and tewaarathon as forerunners of the modern version. In those times, hundreds of Indigenous players might compete on a field stretching kilometres, with games lasting days.
This Sept. 18, 2015 photo shows Jeff Shattler, of the Iroquois Nationals during the 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships on the Onondaga Nation Reservation just south of Syracuse, New York. (File/The Associated Press)
The ball was originally made of wood and later deerskin filled with fur. Deer sinew was used for stick netting.
The name “crosse” or “la crosse” was coined by French Jesuit missionary Jean de Brebeuf in 1637 based on his observations of a game.
In the 1860s, standardized lacrosse rules were developed by Montreal dentist William George Beers, an avid promoter of the game who also exchanged the traditional deerskin ball for a hard rubber one.
In 1867, the National Lacrosse Association was formed and Beers later published a guide and rulebook titled “Lacrosse: The National Game of Canada.” Among the rules: “No Indian must play in a match for a white club, unless previously agreed upon.”
The National Lacrosse Association became an amateur organization in 1880, with Indigenous players barred from championship competition.
Don Morrow, a professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University who studies the history of sport in Canada, has written that implicit in this practice was the assumption that Indians had an unfair advantage because of their skill and, very likely, “the perception of them as racially inferior.”
“Thus, the group that was leaned on when [the modern game] was in its infancy, was summarily dismissed — except for exhibition matches and the showcase tours — once the institution of lacrosse was able to stand by itself.”
As a result, Indigenous teams played one another but were not allowed to compete for a Canadian title, says historian Allan Downey, author of “The Creator’s Game” and a professor in the history department and Indigenous studies program at McMaster University in Hamilton.
“It had the effect of limiting, if not almost eliminating, the right of the Haudenosaunee to represent themselves as a sovereign nation, as a team in, not only Canadian championship classifications, but also in international competitions.”
Downey sees the developments as an appropriation of the Indigenous game to shape a distinctly Canadian identity.
Two teams — the Mohawk Indians and the Winnipeg Shamrocks — competed for Canada at the 1904 Summer Olympic Games in St. Louis, with Winnipeg winning the gold medal. Lacrosse was also featured at the 1908 Games, but it was relegated to demonstration status at a handful of future Olympics.
Marking a path toward change
The birth of the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team, initially as a one-time venture in the 1980s, marked a path toward change. The team strived to become part of the International Lacrosse Federation, a forerunner of the World Lacrosse Championship.
The federation didn’t know the team or the confederacy’s history, Downey says. “So the question becomes immediately: what do you mean you’re a sovereign nation? How can you prove that you’re a sovereign nation?”
For the Iroquois Nationals, the path back to the Olympics involves being competitive enough to qualify, forming a national Olympic committee and applying for recognition by the International Olympic Committee.
The IOC is built upon the recognition of nation-states, and Indigenous sovereignty challenges the autonomy of those states, Downey says. The Iroquois Nationals will have to convince the IOC that they represent a sovereign nation that can compete on that basis, he said.
“So, there needs to be a reworking of the political process for their recognition and I’m hopeful that that will take place but it’s not going to be without a long difficult struggle.”
The only other option would be to compete under the IOC flag, rather than the Haudenosaunee flag, which defeats the purpose, Downey says.
The decision on the Iroquois’ National Olympic Committee application for the 2028 Games is scheduled to be made in 2024.
“We basically have to sell the IOC on our international experience, our international standing, our sovereignty, and the good things that’ll happen if we’re there playing lacrosse, the game we originated,” Nolan said.
The team is “very optimistic” about the prospect, he added.
“We think it’d be a great gesture, a great symbolic step for Indigenous communities — not just us, not just American and Alaska natives, or First Nations folks — but for Indigenous communities around the world.”
When RPI Lacrosse Went To The Olympics
While athletes are competing in dozens of different sports at the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, one that’s not in the mix is lacrosse. But back in 1948 the United States was represented at the London Games by the team from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.
Lacrosse was first displayed at the 1904 Summer Olympic Games in St. Louis with three teams competing: Two Canadian squads, including one of Mohawk Nation players, and an American team. In 1908, Canada beat Great Britain in a single game to take home the gold. In subsequent Olympic Games in 1928, 1932 and 1948, lacrosse was featured as a demonstration event. And in that final year, the cherry and white of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute represented the red, white and blue.
“In ’48, coming off of a very good season the year before, in ‘47 for RPI, they went 11 and 1 in 1947,” said Perry Laskaris, the communications specialist in the athletics department at RPI. “They went 13 and 0 in 1948. So in the midst of that season, maybe even before that a little bit, there was an inkling that they would be invited. And sure enough, they had even better season in ’48 under Ned Harkness, and they were invited to play in the Olympics. So it was a big deal at the time. All the clippings we can find from then showing it was a big, big deal for not only the school, but the city of Troy and the Capital Region, I’m sure.”
Laskaris and I sat down with scrapbooks compiled by two players on that 1948 team –Marty Davis and Ronnie Ball – to discuss the squad’s Olympic journey.
Credit Photo of scrapbook material taken by Jim Levulis
“One of the co-captains who we have is his book here, Marty Davis,” Laskaris detailed. “He was nicknamed ‘getaway man’ for his knack at winning faceoffs. And you see it today in lacrosse, winning a faceoff and going and scoring immediately. He was a Navy pilot during World War II, came back to school. I mean that kind of brings you a little bit different perspective on what these kids were and maybe we don’t call Marty Davis a kid even when he’s in college, with that kind of experience.”
But before the players could leave for London, the team and RPI needed to raise the money to get there – a concept that’s hard to fathom in today’s sports landscape driven by sponsorships and television deals.
“So they wanted to raise $20,000,” Laskaris said. “It turned out to be a little over $17,000. You’re talking about March through basically May when they stopped, fundraising, but the way they brought in money in was, I think at least in this day and age, to be very interesting. $2 buttons to Troy community members. They ended up raising $2,296 from the buttons, which is a decent amount of money. By May 26, they had 10-grand. So finished off in June, they organized a parade ahead of their game against Virginia, which was their second to last home game of the year to try and drum up some interest. It had cadets from Lasalle, RPI’s Army and Navy ROTC were in this parade saying ‘come on out to watch RPI take on Virginia.’ The students who usually got in for free, voluntarily pay full price for this game. With over 6,000 fans coming to the Virginia game. The Virginia game in ticket sales raises $5,184. So almost a third of this trip is from this one game alone. They beat Virginia 12 to 8, part of their 13-0 run. Other funny things I found…The professors at RPI held a pie eating contest where you tie your hands behind your back, and I’m sure that raised the plenty of money from that. You had the Troy Record newspaper fund, $1,300. The Sophomore Soiree donated all of their earnings to the trip. Freshmen class donating $300, which, you know, thank you freshmen. The student carnival raised $1,400. I talked about the souvenir programs, which we have one of here, for 35 cents apiece.
Credit Photo of scrapbook material taken by Jim Levulis
Those raised $659. Civic committee donations $314. Student store rebates $474. And then the RPI trustees, I’m sure helping along the cause there, $3,500 from the trustees. And one final note on donations, Union College collected donations. This is a road game for RPI in Schenectady. Even though RPI beat the Dutchman 13 to 1 on the day, they raised $40. Just went took a collection I guess out into the crowd and said ‘RPI is trying to go to England’ and Union fans donated $40 to the trip.”
When it was time for the team to leave, members had been sent a letter from RPI President Livingston Houston offering his “whole-hearted support” and reminding the players that they represent the college. An itinerary detailed that there was to be no laundry service aboard the ship they would take and therefore the players should prepare accordingly and bring plenty of clothing, including a Sunday suit. Also of note, cigarettes could be purchased aboard the ship from $1 per carton, and everyone was encouraged to buy one before leaving the ship.
RPI players aboard the Marine Flasher
“They started practicing on June 25. So it was not during a school year,” Laskaris said. “So they had to bring everybody back together. They took the bus down from Troy to New York City, and they boarded, the name of the boat was the Marine Flasher, for a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. They slept in bunks that were six bunks high. And they took 900 pounds of canned goods over. I think, because they didn’t know what to expect. And they did daily workouts on the ship leaving July 2. And they arrived in Southampton on July 11.”
In addition to a series of games – which overwhelmingly went in favor of RPI – team members wrote that they were treated like royalty, dining and having tea with dignitaries.
Credit Photo of scrapbook material taken by Jim Levulis
Photos of Wembley Stadium
“They went, you can call it 8-0-1 or 7-0-1, with one of the games counting, to be disputed,” Laskaris explained. “But the one tie was actually the most exciting and really the reason for going over there if you could put one exclamation point on the trip. It was a game versus the all England team at Wembley Stadium in London in front of between 35,000 and 60,000 fans depending on who you ask. August 5, 1948. RPI wearing its red shirt with the RPI and the USA on the front, with England wearing all white including white hats. RPI led 4 to 2 after the first quarter. And this is a story one of the players tells but King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II arrive after the first quarter and England scores three straight goals to take a 5-4 lead. So RPI is down and this lasts for quite some time. Before Alan Myers tied the game for RPI with 55 seconds left. According to notes, on a shot from his knees that tied the game at 5 and they didn’t have any plans for overtime. So it was a 5-5 draw. That was the only tie RPI had. The Engineers then finished their trip beating the London Iroquois 19-nothing on August 7 at the London Athletic Ground, and the team made it back to the United States once again on the Marine Flasher on August 21. So build in a couple of days there and they didn’t leave too long after the last game, it looks like they had some time to maybe explore and take some photos and be a real tourist of Great Britain.”
Laskaris, an RPI grad himself, says the 1948 group should be commended for what they did and the foundation they laid for the school’s lacrosse program.
“It really it really spurred on the RPI, not only men’s lacrosse program, but I think athletics as well,” he said. “Because if you look at Ned Harkness, who started coaching the team as an assistant in 1941, had to go fly for the Canadian Royal Air Force during World War II comes back in 1945. From ’45 to’48, that’s not a lot of time to build a program, but he was able to do so almost immediately. And he went on to coach the team up through 1958, picking up the RPI hockey program in 1949, coaching them to a national championship in ‘54. Mind you, the men’s lacrosse program won their first and only national championship in 1952. So this is a short period of time for Harkness to build you know what’s renowned in this Capital Region as you know some of the best athletic achievements you know ever.”
Lacrosse backers are hoping the sport will be included in the 2028 Summer Olympics Games in Los Angeles – 80 years after the boys from Troy represented the U.S.
Sambo received full recognition by the IOC :: Tokyo Olympics :: RBC Sport
Also recognized are the International Cheerleading Union, the International Amateur Thai Boxing Federation, the International Icestock Federation, the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations and the World Lacrosse Federation.
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Photo: Michael Steele / Getty Images for BEGOC
The International Sambo Federation received full recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).This decision was made on Tuesday at the IOC session in Tokyo.
“Today a real holiday has come to our large sambo family. Three years ago, FIAS received temporary recognition from the IOC, and during this time we had to prove to the whole world and to ourselves that we deserve more. This period coincided with a difficult situation in the world – the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected all spheres of life, including the organization and conduct of sports events. But we have learned to work in crisis conditions, to adapt to numerous restrictions, to conduct international tournaments in extraordinary conditions.At first, the mission seemed impracticable, nevertheless, we managed to cope with our joint efforts ”, – quotes the head of FIAS Vasily Shestakov, the official website of the federation.
The IOC made a decision on the temporary recognition of SAMBO
“More and more countries are opening their doors to our sport, SAMBO competitions are broadcast by TV companies from 68 countries of the world, including the flagship of sports broadcasting – the Eurosport TV channel, and the names of prominent SAMBO representatives are known throughout the world.We are grateful to the International Olympic Committee for the appreciation of our work and for the attention it pays to our sport. Today we have taken another big step towards our cherished dream – the inclusion of SAMBO in the program of the Olympic Games. I congratulate sambists all over the world on this historic event! ” – Shestakov added.
The official date of birth of sambo (short for self-defense without weapons) is considered to be November 16, 1938, when the USSR Sports Committee included sambo in the number of sports cultivated in the country.In 2003, Goskomsport officially recognized sambo as a national and priority sport in Russia. In 2009, SAMBO representatives announced their intention to enter the program of the Olympic Games for the first time.
Together with FIAS, the International Cheerleading Union (ICU), the International Federation of Amateur Thai Boxing (IFMA), the International Icestock Federation (IFI), the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) and the World Federation of Lacrosse (WL) have received full recognition.
Recognition by the IOC may allow these sports to enter the Olympic Games program.Also the federation in the future will receive annual funding from the IOC.
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90,000 New Olympic Sports Challenge Classics
Battle for Recognition: New Olympic Sports Challenge Classics
14 September 2021 18:45
prospects for long-term registration at the Games.Skateboarding, surfing, rock climbing, which debuted in Japan, have already migrated to the Paris 2024 program. The 2023 European Games in Krakow also received an interesting dynamic, where disciplines little familiar to Azerbaijani fans are gaining more and more representation. Azerisport.com understands the issue.
Sports are rapidly getting younger and all new types are proving their right to life. This fully applies to the Olympic program, where not a single sport in the current realities can be sure of its long-term prospects in the Olympic program.Moreover, the International Olympic Committee now and then has serious questions about boxing, now about weightlifting, and even about wrestling. For example, Greco-Roman wrestling is at risk.
In a word, the competition for a place at the Games is just crazy, so many species, before the start of a new Olympic cycle, start to change the rules every now and then so that their appearance is even more understandable to the audience. For example, this applies to judo, where at first they removed some of the grips, and a couple of years ago they completely reduced the main time of fights from five minutes to four.
At the same time, the average age of Olympic champions is also decreasing, which also plays into the hands of the IOC. If in Beijing the whole world applauded Elnur Mammadli, who won gold on the day of his twentieth birthday, in Tokyo, 13-year-old Japanese Momiji Nishiya took the first place in the skateboarding competition. And it is possible that such records will subsequently be updated more than once, especially since skateboarding itself is a young sport.
Moreover, taking into account the fact that at the recent IOC Session, in addition to sambo, cheerleading, lacrosse, Thai boxing and kickboxing received temporary Olympic recognition, in the future the program of the Games may change beyond recognition.It is possible that already by Los Angeles.
It is clear that sports that need to popularize and attract new fans need venues in the form of any multisport forums. And one of them is the European Games. If the first start in Baku in 2015 was of a classical nature with competitions in Olympic sports, and four years later it was held in the same format in Minsk, then the III European Games-2023 in Krakow will have a completely different program poster.
Muay Thai, kickboxing, and even break dance will be present here, not to mention such not-so-famous disciplines as padel and teqball.The first is a mixture of tennis, ping pong and squash, while teqball resembles table tennis, where the ball can be hit with any part of the body except for the hands.
It is clear that the program will continue to expand: at the moment 23 types have entered the European Games, including fencing, boxing, and karate and other disciplines. And yet, a large percentage of the multisport forum will be for species that have not been spoiled in such an event. What is the inclusion of ski jumping in its summer version …
Mocking goal against the Russian national team: ours lost their chances for World Cup gold after the most difficult trick from Granlund – October 1, 2021
Tournaments about which the fans of the Russian national team do not like to remember too much, enough.The glaring failures of our national team in the international arena include the Olympics in 2010 and 2014 (relegation in the quarterfinals from Canadians and Finns), defeat by the Americans at the 2013 World Cup and a series of shameful world championships in the 2000s. The same list includes the world championship held 10 years ago in Slovakia. In addition to the fact that at that tournament the national team led by Bykov and Zakharkin lost in the match for the bronze to the Czech national team, our guys managed to make history. More precisely, to get into a mess.In the semifinals, Barulin and company conceded one of the most beautiful goals of the entire world championship – we are, of course, talking about the puck performed by Mikael Granlund.
The Finland forward is not an innovator. Lacrosse goals were scored before him: back in 1996, Canadian Mike Legg scored using this technique, which immediately began to be called “Michigan” in honor of the university where Legg studied. Sidney Crosby also used this trick while playing QMJHL.But it was after Granlund’s goal that the trick with raising the puck on the hook and sending the projectile into the goal gained worldwide popularity – every boy in the yard tried to repeat it. And from that day on, lacrosse goals have been associated not with Legg or Crosby, but with Granlund.
What makes that puck special is the fact under what circumstances it was abandoned. Mikael dared to carry out this trick not in a pre-season meeting or a meaningless match, but in the semifinals of the World Cup against the Russian national team.It is noteworthy that that goal of the 19-year-old Finnish prodigy was victorious and led his team to the World Cup final, where Suomi left the Swedish national team out of work and won gold medals. And for Granlund himself, who by that time had not yet played a single match in the NHL, the tournament in Slovakia was simply gorgeous: in 9 matches Minnesota Avenue scored 9 (2 + 7) points and became the second top scorer of his team.
“Such tricks took place in me both in the junior leagues and in the elite division of the Finnish championship.But even among them, the goal against Russia is special. And not only because he became victorious in the semifinals of the world championship. It’s just that earlier this trick – with lifting the puck on the hook and “putting” it under the crossbar of someone else’s goal – I usually performed while standing still. And here for the first time I managed to score at speed – and it was very decent, ” – said the Finnish hero.
Many accused Granlund of foolishness, but the head coach of the Finnish national team, Jukka Jalonen, strongly disagreed.
“Game situation. Mikael did not plan to do something like this in advance. Granlund has just a magical understanding of the game, he senses the situation with his spinal cord, that’s why he played it. Before the start of the tournament, I did not fully imagine what he was capable of. But now, seeing him in action closer, I can firmly say that he will not amaze me with anything, because this guy is able to do anything on the ice, ”, – said Jalonen.
It is worth noting that at the gates of the Russian national team in that meeting was Konstantin Barulin, who replaced Yevgeny Nabokov, who had failed that championship.The Atlanta keeper helped our team leave the Canadians out of business in the quarterfinals, but he couldn’t do anything about Granlund’s trick.
“There is no specific solution to this problem and here’s why. If we reconsider the goal performed by Granlund, we will notice that he was not in a static position outside the goal, but was moving at a decent speed. The fact is that he did not need to lift the puck, because, by chance, she herself successfully lay on the hook of his club. As a result, he performed everything brilliantly, and the action itself in his performance took no more than two seconds.In this situation, I really had no chance of salvation. At the same time, if we consider similar washers performed by the same Andrei Svechnikov, then he is just at first located outside the goal, lifts the puck and only then brings it into the goal. With such actions of the striker, the goalkeeper, in theory, has a chance of salvation. Moreover, each goalkeeper uses his own experience to solve this problem. After that tournament, people in Europe are constantly approaching me and handing out photographs for an autograph, which show exactly the episode with Granlund’s goal at my gate.But I never sign these cards. This is my principled position, “ – Barulin told me years later.
It is interesting that the puck of the Finnish striker amazed even the head coach of the Russian team Vyacheslav Bykov.
“Excellent goal! I am simply surprised that with such skill, which is more than enough in our team, no one tries to make feints, create interesting moments … It all came down to running around, ” – said the coach.
And if the forward of the Russian national team Vladimir Tarasenko called Granlund’s puck the best in the history of the world championships, then in the hero’s homeland they did not limit themselves to words.2 weeks after the end of the world championship in Finland, postage stamps were issued with the image of Granlund and Barulin.
Interestingly, immediately after the release of these stamps, Konstantin received a call from his abuser and offered to sue the manufacturers for using images of hockey players without their consent. But when Barulin and Granlund began to dig deeper, they learned that before every tournament organized by the IIHF, all hockey players sign a consent to use a video and photo of their participation.And since the manufacturer received permission to release those stamps from the International Ice Hockey Federation, everything was legal and there was nothing to dig into. More, according to Konstantin, he and Granlund never crossed paths and did not communicate.
90,000 32nd Summer Olympics Opens in Tokyo after Yearly Postponement – Xinhua English.news.cn
Tokyo, July 23 / Xinhua / – The 32nd Summer Olympics, which were postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, finally reopened behind closed doors today at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.
About 950 people, including officials and reporters, were admitted to the 68,000-seat arena to be directly present at the opening ceremony.
On September 7, 2013, Tokyo was selected to host the 2020 Olympic Games.
However, on March 24, 2020, Japan and the International Olympic Committee / IOC / agreed to postpone the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo for one year. Thus, it has been nearly eight years since the Japanese celebrated the return of the Tokyo Olympics after the 1964 Olympics.
“Today is a moment of hope,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in his speech, calling on the Olympic community for solidarity.
“The Olympians are sending a strong signal of hope to our fragile world. The opening ceremony underscores the importance of this Olympic call for resilience, solidarity and unification of all humanity to overcome the pandemic. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are the light at the end of this dark tunnel,” he added.
“This is a vision for the future that embodies” Unity in Diversity “, world peace and respect for each other.It is the power of sport and the expression of the fundamental values of the Olympic Movement, “commented Seiko Hashimoto, head of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee.
Bangladeshi social entrepreneur and banker Muhammad Yunus was awarded the Olympic Order at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games, becoming the second recipient of this award, which was introduced in 2016 to reward people who “have made significant achievements in education, culture, development and peace through sport. “.
Olympic Games in Tokyo, in which 11 thousand athletes from 205 delegations and the Olympic refugee team take part, will last until August 8.
China sent a 777-member delegation to Tokyo, making it the largest Olympic delegation it has ever sent overseas. 431 Chinese athletes, including 24 Olympic champions, will compete in 30 of the 33 sports at the Tokyo Games.
After lengthy negotiations, the Guinean athletes eventually went to the Olympics with 5 people, including three women representing the country in Tokyo.
In today’s rowing competition, most of the favorites have advanced to the next round.In the men’s doubles competition, athletes from France reached the finish line first in 6 minutes 10.45 seconds, showing the best result in the history of the Olympic Games. At the same time, athletes from the Netherlands improved this result to 6 minutes 8.38 seconds in another race.
The Republic of Korea, in turn, excelled in archery, placing first five out of six in the individual ranking events for women and men.
In the women’s category, An San scored 680 points out of 720 possible, breaking the Olympic record of 25 years ago, which in 1996 in Atlanta was set by Lina Gerasimenko from Ukraine, gaining 673 points.The South Korean side scored a total of 2,032 points, breaking its previous record of 2004 points set at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
The upcoming first day of the Tokyo 2020 Finals will feature 11 gold medals in sports such as shooting, cycling, weightlifting, archery, judo, fencing and taekwondo.