The first-ever U-19 world indoor lacrosse event will be held in Six Nations, at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena, on September 11-13, 2015.
Teams representing at least five countries have committed to participate in the U-19 international lacrosse festival, which is being held as a prelude to the FIL 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships (WILC2015).
“As the Iroquois Nationals host an FIL World Championship event for the first time, it is only fitting that the first-ever international U-19 tournament of its kind is also held on the traditional homelands of the Haudenosaunee,” said Gewas Schindler, who was instrumental in bringing WILC2015 to the Iroquois Confederacy. “From the very beginning, the U-19 International Lacrosse Festival has been one of the most exciting components of our bid, and we are pleased to bring a unique competition to Six Nations as we build momentum for the World Games.”
The Canadian Lacrosse League (CLax), a five-team professional circuit which begins its fourth season in January, will be responsible for building a Canadian entry in the tournament.
“CLax is pleased to be a part of the 2015 U-19 World Indoor Lacrosse event,” said Jeff Dowling, CLax Executive Vice-President & Director of Lacrosse Operations. “CLax will be putting together an all-star team from the 2015 Jr. CLax Prospects division to compete as the Canadian entry in this first time event. This tournament will be a fantastic showcase of lacrosse, and will give our Jr. CLax Prospect aged players an exciting opportunity to test their skills against the very best in the world.”
The Czech Lacrosse Union, the national governing body of lacrosse in Czech Republic, will cross the Atlantic to compete in the tournament. The team is expected to tour North America following the event, and will have a presence at WILC2015 in support of the Czech Republic senior team, which surprised England to finish fourth in the 2011 World Indoor Championships.
“We are very proud to be part of this very first international Junior indoor tournament,” said CLU International Coordinator and Assistant Coach Pavel Semerák. “This is a great opportunity for our young players to compete against the best teams of the world, and we believe we will be strong opponents to them. Our participation in this event not only exhibits the progress and growth of box lacrosse in Europe, but is also representative of the strong connection between Europe and North America, especially the Creators of the game. The tour that will follow the tournament, organized by the Iroquois Nation, is another shining example of this unique relationship.”
The Israel Lacrosse Association, the national governing body of lacrosse in Israel, has committed to compete in the U-19 event. The team expects to hold tryouts in June.
“We’re very excited to make our national indoor debut,” said Scott Neiss, Israel Lacrosse’s executive director. “Although most in our player pool have limited box lacrosse experience, our national program is fully committed to the indoor game. We will represent the Jewish state with pride and passion, we’ll be well prepared, and we fully intend to surprise the world.”
US Indoor Lacrosse (USIL), which served as the management group to coordinate all aspects and logistics of the U.S. Men’s National Indoor Lacrosse Team that competed in both the the 2007 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships in Halifax, and the 2011 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships in Prague, has been tabbed to operate a team from the United States.
“It is always an honor to have have the opportunity to represent your country,” said USIL President Graham D’Alvia. “We are grateful to the host organizers in Six Nations for the opportunity to participate in the U-19 event.”
The semifinals and finals will be held at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York.
Teams from several other countries have expressed an interest in participating. Event organizers expect 6-8 countries will be represented in the three-day event. For more information, contact Gewas Schindler at [email protected]