Box Lacrosse is Thriving Around the World

Stephen Stamp

Thursday June 18th, 2020

Action at the 2019 Lax in the Box tournament in Dresden, Germany. The 2022 European Box Lacrosse Championship will be held in Germany, in the city of Hannover. (Photo: Marek Stor, ShutterLax)

International box lacrosse is burgeoning and the evidence of the game’s growth was all over a group call held this week.

On Monday of this week, representatives from about two dozen countries, the European Lacrosse Federation, World Lacrosse, the referee community and other interested observers took part in the 2020 International Box Lacrosse Forum via Zoom to discuss the direction of the game around the globe. The forum is usually held as an in-person event but was moved to Zoom because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Some news from the call:

* The second European Box Lacrosse Championship (the first was held in Turku, Finland in 2017) that was scheduled for Hannover, Germany in 2021 will now be held in that city in 2022. Organizers said that while 19 teams had registered for the tournament, they are open to more nations joining for the rescheduled one. Fourteen teams took part in in Turku, so the chance to hit 20 for the next go-round underscores how quickly the box game is growing on the international scene.

* The 2023 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship will also be moved back a year, as are most World Lacrosse competitions. The host for the 2024 tournament has not been selected but Czech Republic did announce their intention to bid for the rights. The Czechs were host to the 2011 worlds, followed by Onondaga in 2015 and Langley, BC in 2019.

* Speaking of the EBLC and the WILC, a discussion was held about whether the nations engaged in box lacrosse should formally present a proposal to World Lacrosse to change the name of the WILC to the World Box Lacrosse Championship. Given that the game is referred to almost exclusively as box lacrosse in every country where it is played, along with the fact that box lacrosse can be played outdoors and field lacrosse can be played indoors, the change would make sense.World Lacrosse CEO Jim Scherr replied that the discussion has been taking place within WL and they will continue to consider the possibility of making the switch to align the language throughout the game.

* At least 11 countries outside of Canada and the United States currently have a men’s box lacrosse domestic league or are close to launching one. At least four countries outside of Canada and the US also host tournaments or are beginning to do so in the coming year.

* Italy is new to box lacrosse but has an advocate working to put together a team for the 2021 EBox tournament in Prague and would like to take part in the ’22 Euros.

* Women’s box lacrosse is growing rapidly. A handful of countries have domestic leagues for women and demand is growing for more.A SHE-Box tournament was planned for women in conjunction with the ’20 EBox but had to be cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament had 12 teams confirmed with women from at least 15 nations scheduled to participate. Plans are proceeding full speed ahead to offer SHE-Box in ’21.

Schedule of upcoming events in 2020/21

2020 Location, Event, Contact27-30 Aug Prague, Czech Republic European U-20 Challenge psemerak@lacrosse.cz3-5 Sep Prague, Czech Republic Frank Menschner Cup aleshrebeskymemorial@gmail.com9-11 Oct Nashville, USA Nashville Invitational ken@bearpawlacrosse.com8-9 Nov Lille, France Boxmania boxmanialille@gmail.com14-15 Nov Rossford, USA Origins Cup ken@bearpawlacrosse.com28-31 Dec Eilat, Israel Brawl in the Mall scott@lacrosse.co.il

2021 Location, Event, Contact22-24 Jan Prague, Czech Republic Winter Lax Cup laxcup@lcjm.cz22-24 Jan Las Vegas, USA Sin City Box Classic npeterson@battlebornboxlacrosse.com16-19 Apr Prague, Czech Republic E-BOX / SHE-BOX bwitm1@gmail.com22-25 Apr Prague, Czech Republic Aleš Hřebeský Memorial aleshrebeskymemorial@gmail.coTBD Jul Dresden, Germany Lax in the Box boxlacrosse@dresden-braves.deTBD Sep Onondaga Nation LAXNAI info@laxnai.com

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