Saturday, 24 July 2010
After all, the national squads comprise a who’s who of the World’s finest lacrosse players and both have already demonstrated their quality in earlier matches, breezing past their opposition.
The title of world champion has been ruled by the US and Canada for years, the US being victorious eight times and their northern neighbours taking two of the last ten titles contested to date. When the sides met in the group stages of the competition the match went down to the wire, with Canada eventually getting the win by 10 goals to 9.
Today, look out for stars such as Paul Rabil, Ned Crotty, Ryan Powell, Geoff Snider and Zack Greer seeking to dominate the game and battle for every ball.
Both teams have put on such impressive performances so far in the Championships that they have won over new fans and supporters who are bound to be glued to action.
The scene really has been set for a fantastic match and an electric atmosphere in the main stadium as Lacrosse’s elite go head to head. It is a fitting fixture that should hopefully bring what has been an incredible Championships to a special conclusion.
Austria 9 Hong Kong 8 – Hong Kong struck first, but a 5-1 run in the second quarter put the 21/22 place game firmly in Austria’s hands. Hong Kong rallied to make the game competitive and keeper Yu Kwan Tin made 20 stops, but a key insurance goal by Klaus Hauer (3g) in the fourth quarter gave Austria the win.
Korea 12 Denmark 10 – The Danish defense had no answer for Hunyoung Lee who exploded with 7 goals in the 25/26 place game.
Slovakia 12 Bermuda 7 – Team captain Martin Kramar led Slovakia to a in the 17/18 game with 2g and 2a. David Washbo also had a hat trick for the Slovakians.
Italy 13 Latvia 8 – Latvia’s Gatis Zeps put up a cracking 7g, but with a balanced attack led by Tim Fuchs (4g, 2a) gave Italy a win in the 19/20 place game.
New Zealand 23 Spain 4 – Espana just couldn’t stop Andrew Clayton (5g, 4a) in the Kiwis’ romping win in the 15/16 place game.
Czech Republic 21 Poland 3 – Nine players got on the board for the Czechs, led by Brian Hubschman (4g, 3a) and Chet Koneczny (4g, 3a) in the 13/14 place game.
Ireland 15 Sweden 8 – The Swedes rallied late, scoring five in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to catch Ireland in the 9/10 place game.
Wales 10 Finland 5 – Jamie Gallagher led the Welsh with a hat trick in the 11/12 place game.
Convincingly beaten by England the previous evening, Scotland were looking to bounce back with a welcome win, although they were pushed a lot harder than they expected by a resilient Netherlands.
Brendan Healy top-scored for Scotland with four goals, while his brother Ian weighed in with a valuable hat-trick.
David Gill and Dan Heighway both bagged braces for Scotland as they led 4-3 after the first quarter and then 6-5 at half-time.
The Scots extended their advantage to three goals when they edged the penultimate quarter 4-2 to edge within touching distance of a credible seventh place finish.
But the Netherlands had other plans and staged a late rally.
Alex Jones impressed with five goals and Scott Janssen netted a well-taken hat-trick for the Dutch as they looked to spring a surprise.
Graham Bergsma and Kyle van Oostendorp were also on target as the Netherlands won the final quarter 3-1 and clawed back to within one goal of leveling and forcing overtime.
Scotland goalkeeper Ethan Harris starred with ten saves to keep the Dutch at bay, while Teddy van Opstal impressed for the opposition with nine saves in one of the most entertaining matches of this year’s tournament.
And so it’s down to the United States and Canada to battle it out for this year’s gold medal, while Japan and Australia clash for the bronze medal.
England and Germany play each other for the second time in this year’s tournament as they try and retain their fifth place from Ontario four years ago.
Friday, 23 July 2010
It’s the first time that a festival of this sort has ran alongside the World Championships and 48 teams from across the globe, including USA, Canada and Japan have lined up against local teams to compete in the tournament.
Clubs and touring sides have been given the opportunity to play competitive matches within their own divisions including U16’s boys, U19’s boy’s, elite, masters 35+, a grand masters 45+, a super grand masters for 55+ as well as a ladies division.
The fixtures played in the main Championships have provided much inspiration for the festival teams, making the games both competitive and exciting.
For the young teams in particular, to play at the same venue as some of their lacrosse heroes who are competing in the World championships has been a once in a life time opportunity.
For some competitors in the American U16 teams, it is the first time that they have traveled abroad, so the whole experience has been made all the more exciting by visiting Manchester.
It’s been the first opportunity in a long time that squads such as England Lions who play in the Grand Masters division, have been able to play against people of a similar age.
Danny Buckland who plays for England Lions is relishing the chance to play competitive lacrosse again, he said:
“There is a real festival spirit, a love of the game atmosphere. Everyone is so happy to be playing lacrosse, and are making the most of playing teams from all over the World.
“It’s also provided a great opportunity to meet up with people that I haven’t seen in years. It really is an opportunity of a lifetime.’
The festival has also really benefited the sport by spreading the word of Lacrosse.
For the festival Japanese team this is the first time that they have put a team together. Similarly, Lake Oswego, based in Oregon on the West Coast of the USA, is a region where lacrosse is not renowned for being popular, but 120 players turned up for trials and organisers had a hard task of whittling down the numbers.
Some teams are enjoying both the competitive and community atmosphere of the festival. The Wild Rose Brewery team haven’t done so well within their catagory but they have had a fantastic experience and made lots of new friends.
Tim Holdsworth from English Lacrosse has been planning the festival for 2 years and is deservingly happy with how the event has unfolded.
“I definitely think the festival has been a success. The teams are really happy to be here and everyone is genuinely having a good time.
“It is a small sport but the turn out has been brilliant. The ELA have some thing in the pipeline for a yearly festival, I think the teams have enjoyed it so they have the capacity to put on another.”FIL World Lacrosse Festival Finals
U16 Boys – Mimico 13–11 Lake Oswego
U19 Boys – Harvard Sports 7 – 8 USA West
Elite Open – USA All Stars 13–10 Gin & Juice
Ladies – Ex Pats 12–10 JNGLA
In yesterday’s newsletter I reported on what a success the Festival had been and the Masters’ finals were no different. Two of the games went down to the wire and one was won in sudden death as each team was eager for the division title.
This was a unique opportunity for many teams to play in a Masters’ division and the players did well to compete in five games in five days.
In the Masters division England Lions narrowly lost to Oakland’s Hospital Select by 5 goals to 6. The game was somewhat of a local derby as the teams are based around Cheadle and contained English players who played together for many years.
The Grand Masters division was won by the FROGS (Florida Real Old Guys) who beat the Onatrio Masters by 9 goals to 5.
The Super Grand Masters division final ended in sudden death as Cloud splitter, originating from the East Coast of the USA beat the England Lions by 9 goals to 8.
Although the festival was played alongside the main FIL World Championships, the teams didn’t hold back. Players were keen to represent their countries and their teams.
Lenny Saia played represented the South Charlotte Old Guys who narrowly missed playing in the final of the Master’s division but has undoubtedly enjoyed the experience.
He said: “I have loved every minute of everything, but probably mostly the people. The English team couldn’t have been friendlier and the festivities outstanding. We even got Indian food last night and it was delicious!”
English Lacrosse does have something in the pipeline for a yearly festival which should be very good news to all the teams that have enjoyed participating in this year’s festival so much.
FIL World Lacrosse Festival Finals - Masters: England Lions 8 Scog 4. Grand Masters: FROGS 9 Ontario Masters 5. Super Grand Masters: England Lions 8 Cloud Splitter 9.
Thursday, 22 July 2010
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
Manchester certainly hasn’t let it’s reputation down…weather wise that is! It’s rained everyday but that hasn’t damped the atmosphere at all. The players and the fans are all enjoying themselves so much that I don’t think that it has effected the mood, perhaps the Mahou bar helps.
I was so impressed with the opening ceremony. Teams were all kitted out in their gear, some in coloured tracksuits, others, like the Bermudan team in shorts and blazers. All carrying their flag and proud to represent their country at the Championships. It was a shame that the Iroquois Nationals failed to make their flight but great that the German team were transferred to the Blue division. A competitive fixture could then take place against England following the ceremony and the fans really got up for the match. We even have vuvuzelas at the Championships!
In my first blog I wrote about how I was so surprised at the brutality and aggression of the sport. While that is no longer a shock to me, I was amazed at how good the teams are. Their throwing is so accurate and their catching so precise, all this whilst running around and taking body bumps and blows. Noticing the set pieces that lead to goals are also a real spectacle to watch.
From the matches I have seen so far and as a lacrosse newbie I have noticed a difference in the quality of play between the teams. Within the blue division itself, USA and Canada are quite easily the best in the tournament and both are predicted to be in the final on Saturday. I have also been impressed with some of the coloured division, Ireland and Scotland have been putting in really good performances and their match this afternoon was really exciting. At first I thought it was going to go down to the wire but Ireland edged ahead in the final quarter of the match.
Yesterday was a VERY exciting day, not only because of the great matches taking place but there were also two celebrities were spotted on site! The first I was particularly excited about, Inspector Jo Mears from The Bill but no one else seemed to be as big fans of the Sun Hill programme as me. The second celebrity everyone was justifiably wound up about, the former Formula 1 team owner Eddie Jordan was here supporting his son who represents the Irish team. Celeb spotters have now been organized to keep their eyes peeled for anymore superstars!
Finally, Lacrosse has gone all modern with technology! A 2010 World Lacrosse Championship iphone app is now available to download…complete with air horn and vuvuzela!
France v Denmark 9am
Switzerland v Hong Kong 9.30am
Norway v Austria 11.30am
Latvia v Bermuda 12.30pm
(loser of scotland v Australia) v England 1.30pm
Italy v Slovakia 2.30pm
Germany v (loser of netherlands v Japan)3pm
Spain v (loser of poland v Finland)3.30pm
(winner of scotland v Australia) v Canada 4.30pm
New Zealand v Czech Republic 5.30pm
Sweden v Wales 6pm
Ireland v (winner of poland v finland) 6.30pm
USA v (winner of netherlands v japan) 7.30pm
Tickets are £30, £19 concessions
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Finland - Spain 21:4 (4:1, 7:0, 3:2, 7:1)
Latvia - New Zealand 3:16 (0:5, 1:3, 1:2, 1:6)
Mexico - France 6:10 (1:4, 1:2, 2:2, 2:2)
Korea - Austria 8:13 (2:2, 1:5, 1:4, 4:2)
Hong Kong - Switzerland 7:11 (2:6, 2:1, 0:4, 3:0)
Japan - USA 5:19 (1:8, 0:5, 2:1, 2:5)
Ireland - Scotland 9:15 (3:2, 3:3, 2:5, 1:5)
Sweden - Czech Republic 15:8 (3:3, 2:0, 6:1, 4:4)
Australia - Germany 22:4 (6:0, 7:1, 5:2, 4:1)
Bermuda - Norway 8:4 (2:0, 0:3, 4:1, 2:0)
Italy - Denmark 10:3 (3:1, 2:0, 3:2, 2:0)
Poland - Slovakia 11:6 (2:2, 3:1, 4:1, 2:2)
Canada - England 17:6 (5:2, 6:1, 2:2, 4:1)
Download it for free at http://bit.ly/laxapp or http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/2010-world-lacrosse-championships/id380289969?mt=8
Tickets for the event are still available including the final day on Saturday 24th but tickets are selling fast so get yours from our ticket office now.
Welcome to the world championships! What brings you down to Manchester on this rainy afternoon?
Well first of all it’s just so nice to see so many people have so much fun, camaraderie and just enjoy the sport. Obviously our son he lives in Ireland, and at University he picked up this crazy sport called lacrosse. We were kind of confused to what the rules were like, and then he suddenly got himself on the Irish team, which was great.
That’s fantastic! How long has your son been on the squad?
Actually his teacher from school has just arrived which completely took me by surprise, and he’s an Aussie who brought the sport to the school. He started playing the sport at university in Dublin, kept at it and he’s still at it and is enjoying his time playing with Ireland.
Do you travel to lacrosse events often, or is this a first for you?
This is my one and only event so far, but there has been all sorts of different things where I have wanted to see him before and it just didn’t happen and I had to do something else. And actually it’s different seeing him so serious, cos you naturally have to be serious about sport, but I’m really quite enjoying myself its great.
I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself, do you think you might make this a regular thing then?
Well we are going to stay tomorrow hopefully, he’ll have a good game, and we’ll have a few pints tonight and he can tell me some stories of what been going on. Obviously I can’t stay much longer which is a pity, as we have the German grand prix this weekend but my kids are all here and they are having fun.
Have you travelled far to get here today?
We played golf this morning we were playing in Sunningdale where my wife is this years coming captain. So we sort of had to be well behaved on the golf course before I could come up here, which was fine, it was an easy drive and everyone was happy.
That’s great! And finally for the golfer out there.. What’s your handicap?
Well I play off 12 and she’s 5 so I have to give her a lot, but we were partners today and we won, which was a result, let’s hope Ireland have the same result today!
Thank you very much Eddie.
Monday, 19 July 2010
Sunday, 18 July 2010
Chris Sanderson renowned goal keeper for World champions Canada is battling terminal cancer whilst playing in the World Lacrosse Championships.
Lacrosse is a demanding sport, not only is it a physically demanding to play at such a high level in the World Lacrosse Championships, but also mentally demanding to deal with the stress and expectations of playing on a world stage.
Chris Sanderson, competing at the very highest level, not only has to deal with these ups and downs, but also has to face his own personal battle with terminal cancer.
Chris Sanderson has had a glittering career in international Lacrosse. He was part of the 1998 Canadian World Lacrosse team which waged an epic battle with the US in the final, overcoming an 11-goal deficit but eventually losing in overtime. Sanderson, however, was selected to the All World Team and voted the Best Goaltender of the Tournament.
Sanderson was selected again in 2002, helping his Canada to earn a silver medal. In 2006, Sanderson led the Canadians to their historic victory over the US, earning the gold medal and ending the Americans’ 28-year winning streak. This 2006 tournament also cemented Sanderson’s place in history as the first goalie to earn All World designation twice.
However, on December 9th, 2008, Sanderson was diagnosed with a grade IV malignant brain tumour called Glioblastoma Multiforme, considered to be the most aggressive form of brain cancer. This type of cancer is almost always terminal, with an average survival duration of 9 to 12 months.
Almost two years ago, playing in the 2010 World Lacrosse Championships was an impossibility for Chris, however he continues to defy the odds and took to the field yesterday to help Canada to record another victory against long time rivals, USA.
Chris remains positive about his long running battle with cancer,
“It’s been a long road, my prognosis initially was 9 to 12 months and we’ve obviously beat that at this point. Only 1% of the people with this disease survive 5 years so I’m hoping to be in the 1% and so far it’s going well.”
“The first thing that went through my head was my family, I have 2 little girls, 2 and 4, they are so young you don’t even know if they will have memories of you so you think of using every minute you have left to make an impression on them.”
Chris confided that Lacrosse has helped him through his struggle, “We just focused on the protocol and once we got it, we focused on getting better and getting stronger and that’s where lacrosse came in, I needed to set some goals for myself and that was to make it back to the national squad, I don’t think about dates or numbers or timelines now, I just go day by day and so far it’s been pretty good.”
On looking to the near future, Chris said, “It’s going to interesting to see what happens after the tournament, I was a able to take a round of chemotherapy off, I should be on chemo right now, but to be at my peak I can’t be on chemo, so we had to take a bit of a risk I’ll be back on it next month.”
“I’ll have to find a new goal as I’ve obviously had these Championships to focus on. It was great to set that date and goal and there was the motivation to get in shape and train and all that helped. Mentally it was a big part of why I have so far done so well. So I’ll have to set another goal after this, it’s definitely played a big role.”
He hopes he can be a role model for other people who are battling cancer.
“The best thing that could come out of this would be that anyone with cancer, any type of cancer, leukaemia, or whatever could look and see this guy that is playing lacrosse at a World level and would say ‘hey I, can beat it too’ and that’s I what I think I can contribute right now.”
Despite being in the precarious position of having to plan life one day at a time, Chris tries to keep the team spirit up by being the joker in training.
“I’ve actually tried to take a fairly humorous position, a couple of times I’ve made a joke by saying ‘don’t hit me in the head, I might die on the field’ and they don’t quite know how to take it. But I think as time’s gone on, they have joined in with the humour and for me that’s how I approach it.”
Watch our hero Chris Sanderson as World Champions Canada take on host nation England on Tuesday 20th July at 7.30pm
Less than 2,500 seats now remain available to the public for the World Lacrosse Championships including for the final on 24th July but they’re going fast so get down to the event ticket office at the Armitage Centre today to secure yours.
Photo credit: Tom McCrystal - cville-lax.com
“Its great, you want to get better every game, and I feel like we are progressing. We are starting to have a better comprehension of our systems, and guys are more comfortable playing with each other, and I think tonight is another big step in our journey of what we want to accomplish here.”
Q2. When you were playing against the USA the support you guys got from the crowd was just phenomenal, how does that affect your performance?
“Yeah its great, we find that as apposed to some of the other countries, we go out of our way to say hello to people in the village and we support the other teams and we see that come back to us and that has always been the way with Canada. We only have a small group of hands here but when you add everybody in and you hear the chanting in the different accents its definitely motivating for us.”
Q3. Did you feel the contrast tonight, where the crowd seemed to be very much on Australia's side?
“Yeah, I think the the Australian fans are having a lot of fun out there. We knew coming in to this thing that they travel really well and its a great thing. We always see them in the beer garden after the matches and their fans are very knowledgeable of the game and also very respectful of us. Its great to see that they get that level of support.”
Q4. Well I think that what seems to be so special about this championship. It’s really demonstrating the spirit of the game well.
“Yeah it really does, and i think that is what this is all about. This is a great opportunity for people to come together and celebrate the game, I mean obviously we are competing for the championship but what most people take away from this isn’t about the wins and losses, its about making new friends and growing the game.”
Q5. Looking in to the future... You have Germany tomorrow, England on tuesday. People expect you to win these games, but is there anything in particular to prepare for these types of matches?
“Yeah i mean fortunately as you move on through the tournament you gain more information about the teams. So tonight we will be back in the dorms by 10 o’clock and the coaches will have already prepared a report. We’ll sit down with it and we’ll look at some film of the other teams and we’ll get ready for England and Germany. Then we will also spend some time reviewing what we did today and that will usually go a lot further than scanning other team because if we can fix and control what we are doing then i think we will be in pretty good shape.”
Q6. Now, a few of the England lads are racking up some good points. Gosney and Benett both with seven goals each. How do you fancy your chances of shutting them out on Tuesday?
“Like i say we will do some game planning the night before we play, and we have some pretty good defenseman and hopefully we can match up with them. Like you said, those guy’s are having a pretty good tournament so we don’t expect to shut them out but you just hope you can limit the damage that they can do.”
Q7. Any final thing you want to say to the readers?
“Yeah! Cheer for Canada!!”
There are other significant differences between the shared game. The USA players have played through an outstanding national, collegiate athletics programs, where as the English players will have played club lacrosse.
The styles of lacrosse played by the two nations are very different. The US players have a more fast paced approach to the game, as in the professional league they play against a shot clock.
This game will be a great demonstration of how strong Lacrosse can become when given the opportunity. You can encourage this development with continued support for all the nations here at the world championships.
England have never beaten the USA in a world championship match. With grit in between their teeth after there recent over time loss to the Aussies can they restore national pride and hold their own?
Never before has the championship seen so many close matches in one day.
England were unfortunate to come out of the back end of Saturday’s spectacle, losing out to Australia in a 10 - 8 thriller. The game saw England fall behind 6-2 in the first 35 minutes. Something special must have been said at half time as England clawed their way back to 8 - 8 draw at full time. In to 8 minutes over time and Australia proved their 4th world ranking scoring two with no reply.
USA Vs Canada was expected to be the prelude to the final. Sure enough this game did not disappoint. Canada scoring first with the USA answering back immediately over and over until the final quarter. The tension was interrupted with just over a minute to go when two streakers took to the pitch. Eventually Canada’s strength was to prevail, but not without a last second shot from the US which skimmed the outside of the post, sealing Canada’s 10 - 9 victory.
The atmosphere was electric with people from all nations showing their pride for their countries players and expressing their passion for the sport generally. This Championship has been a spectacular showcase of the spirit of the game.
Japan fought back, but couldn’t do enough to reach level position by the end of the first quarter. A thrilling first quarter and a hat trick form Germany’s No 2 gave germany them advantage fishing the first 20 minutes at 6 -3.
in the second quarter Japan’s fighting sprite shined through, a few scrambles in front of the cage allowed them to claw their way back to 6 -5.
The showmanship shined through late in the second, with an air gait from German attack man Hendrik du Bois-Reymond.
Germany showed discipline working the ball around the cage, then with a quick change of place and quick release meant germany kept the lead going in to the 3rd.
Japan came level to 8-8 by the end of the half and were looking strong on the right side of the field breaking from defense several times.
An exciting, high tempo match, up and down the pitch put both sides through their paces, eventually ended by Lazarus Gregory with a fantastic riser in to the top right corner.
Their lead was not held for long. Japans Ikegawa Ken scored the equalizer with 10 seconds left in the 3rd quarter.
Entering the final period Japan took the lead for the first time, from this point the Japanese excellent fitness and experience in the blue division from past championships became obvious taking the game in to their control, beating the German side 15 - 9.
A gripping spectators match!!
Saturday, 17 July 2010
This includes all Blue division and Final Games, on stream and on demand up to and including August 10th 2010. The remaining 24 participating nations will also be available online to view within 24-hours from the last whistle.
Friday, 16 July 2010
Since becoming the Official Mascot of the World Lacrosse Championships I have been to loads of events, meet lots of fans and even other mascots. One of the reasons I wanted to become the Official Mascot was to represent the World Championships and encourage people to watch the games and see players from all over the world! That and having lots of people saying hello and waving at me :)
Here’s a little run down of what I’ve been up to so far.
Yesterday I was at the opening ceremony of the Championships, the atmosphere was amazing despite the rain! There was a great turnout from the crowd who all enjoyed watching the players marching out and enjoying their special moment. It was the first time I had seen all the teams together and they all looked really smart in their matching uniforms with their flags waving. I even did a bit of crowd surfing as the Australian team picked me up in the excitement. Check out the photo below, maybe after this I could become a Rock Star, what do you think?
The England v Germany game then followed. I was disappointed that the Iroquois Nationals couldn’t make it to Manchester but once the first whistle of the championships was sounded we were suddenly blown away in excitement! The crowd were cheering and the players were really up for it, I even got a little emotional during the national anthems. It was great that Germany stepped up to the Blue division but England played really well and won 12-3 in the end.
In March I went along to the Sport Relief Mile in Manchester. This was one of my first trips out and it was brilliant. I helped warm up all of the runners, met loads of people and even did some jogging myself. Unfortunately, it was too hot for a bulldog to do the whole race but I enjoyed myself all the same. I enjoyed cheering on all the runners as they were doing such a good job raising money for charity.
The next event I went to was the North West POP lacrosse final, my first sports day out with lacrosse. Boy was I excited! Everyone there really happy to see me and I really enjoyed meeting them. I had my picture taken with all of the young lacrosse players and by the end I had actually had quite enough of the camera, which isn’t like me!
Over the Easter weekend I was very busy, which I didn’t mind at all. I love meeting people and giving high 5’s. I went along to Bellevue race track to the opening race of the season, I’ve never seen Speedway before but it was exhilarating. I met all the riders who I thought were very brave and joined in with the fans who were all really excited about the upcoming season. Bellevue are associated with lacrosse so I was more than happy to meet people who liked other sports as well my favourite sport lacrosse! The next day I went to the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester. Wow! It was such a fun day and really interesting, I was mobbed by fans. I love my lacrosse but it’s good to visit museums and learn about other things too. I went on a train ride, walked around the aviation centre and had a go at all of the tasks that were available to play with. Since there were so many Chester and lacrosse fans there I played a competition with the followers to win some lacrosse balls so they can practice themselves at home.
In April I went along the City of Manchester Stadium to soak up in the atmosphere of the Manchester Football Derby. I was very scared outside the stadium as there were lots of people, I’m not used to being around so many rowdy football fans. I made me appreciate all of my lacrosse fans. But I was happy when Manchester United won :)
I love getting other people involved in lacrosse so I went along to the European Badminton Championships at Sportcity. I demonstrated how to throw and catch the ball and even signed some autographs. All of these events are making me famous!
To play lacrosse you also have to be a good runner so when I competed at the Mascot Gold Cup at Wetherby Racecourse I was sure I would put in a good performance. Unfortunately I didn’t do very well, probably because of the long journey there, I travelled the furthest of all of the mascots. But I did get to meet lots of other mascots, including my cousin the bulldog Toby Tyke who is the mascot for Barnsley FC.
In May I went to the British Lacrosse Championships to see some competitive lacrosse action. I was really impressed by how good the teams were and it got me really excited for the World championships - only 2 more months to go!
You may have seen the Great City Games on the television, there were some really famous athletes competing including Jessica Ennis and Tyson Gay who came all the way from America. I ran in the Junior Run and was really I came second! I was racing against Manchester City’s Moonchester, a kangaroo, Chrissy the bear from the charity Christies and the Spyke the British Athletics mascot. I was really pleased to beat him because he’s a runner! It shows just how fit us lacrosse players are.
I went along to another run, the BUPA Manchester 10km. I didn’t run this time but wished all the runners good luck and cheered them on from the sidelines. When you are running so far everyone really appreciates the support, plus it was good practice for cheering at the World Championships.
I made an appearance at a CADS, Children’s Able and Disabled Sport event. I taught the kids how to play lacrosse, they were so eager which made it a lot more enjoyable for me too. I love spreading the word about lacrosse.
In June I travelled to Rio…I wish! But the atmosphere at the Manchester Day Parade was just how I would imagine a festival in Brazil to be like. I have never seen so many people, they were all dancing and singing and having a really good time. I hope the atmosphere at the World Championships will be similar.
I have been so many runs in Manchester over the past few months, the Manchester 10km at the City of Manchester Stadium was my last one though. I met the Key 103 Cash for Kids mascot, as well as loads of children who took part in the toddler trot. I also did some lacrosse demos with a stick and ball and did more cheering. I hope I’ll have a voice left over for the Championships! Later on I went to the Hard Rock café and had a photo shoot with the England team! How Rock and Roll? The team were as eager for the Championships to start as me.
The weekend before the World Lacrosse Championships were due to start I went to the Lacrosse Community Games held at the Armitage Centre. It was the perfect curtain-raiser for the Championships and I was pleased to see so many teams out in force enjoying lacrosse. Brooklands Hulmeians won the Community Festival and they fully deserved it. They didn’t concede a goal the whole competition and were victorious in 6 games, I was very impressed!
The Championships are well under way and I can’t wait to watch more games and meet more fans. If you can make it you should definitely come down to watch some matches, you’d be crazy to miss out. And if you do see me around, don’t be shy and say ‘Hi Chester’ because I’m always happy to meet some fans! :)
Don’t forget to add me on your facebook, search for Chester Lacrosse.
Thursday, 15 July 2010
Netherlands Vs Wales, FO 11.30am
Both of these teams are developing nations in terms of lacrosse and gunning to make serious names for themselves. A mixture of young talent and experience in both teams, make this a one to watch.
Finland Vs Denmark, FO 6.30pm
Everyone loves a Derby match be sure sure to check this one out!! We all know the Scandi' play hard so expect some big hits!
Brian Dougherty: The ‘Doc’ is the USA’s number one GK. A larger than life character and the oldest member of the squad. In 1995 he gave the performance of a lifetime in the NCAA final four against Johns Hopkins, winning 16-8 in the semi-final. This will be Brians 3rd World Championship and he is yet to be challenged as the USA’s first choice, expect to see some HUGE saves.
Ryan McClay: First Team all american for Cornell in 2002, seven strong years in the MLL, and a gold medal at the 2003 World Champs only underlines what a truly great defenseman ryan is. Rarely putting a foot wrong and a strong determination to prove his worth after being cut from the 2006 World Champs, he is truly one for budding international defenseman to keep an eye on.
Ned Crotty: On Memorial Day this year, Crotty led Duke as captain to the NCAA Division I national championship. He won the 2010 Tewaaraton Trophy, awarded to the best player in all of NCAA lacrosse, recording 23 goals and 63 assists for the season. He was also 1st in the MLL draft by the Chicago Machine. He will definitely be making waves in this year Tournament.
Tom Williamson: As one of the co-Captains for this years England team, he bring a cocktail of strength, positional play and technical ability to table. Also captain for his club side, he led the team to the double, dominating the Premier League and Flags Finals.
Sam Russell: A young player, the second youngest on the squad, has spent the past two years at Whittier College, a Division III school in California. As a sophomore he started 15 of 15 Games, scored 31 Goals, made 25 Assists, 56 Points in total, with 33 Groundballs. These impressive stats left the England youngster in the top 5 nationally for Division III midfielders. Not only one to watch during this years games, but one for the future also.
Nick Watson: Don’t let his size fool you! With ankle breaking change of direction and breakneck speed, Watson has been running circles around english defense-men for years. Still young; some might say; in his prime, Nick has been training with the England Squad since 2007. He played in finland as part of the team who won the Europeans. He went to the Flags Finals this year with Rochdale, and was a key player in their most successful season in years.
Broadie Merrill: This 6’ 4” 205lb Long stick midfielder played at Gorgetown University, now playing in both the MLL and NLL, he seems to only get better and better. His first year in the pro’s, winning Rookie of the year in both leagues. A fantastic athlete, who plays skill full and intelligent lacrosse. Look out for him on offensive transitions.
Geoff Snider: The MVP at the last World Championships after winning 143 of 195 face-offs. This was the first time a face-off specialist has won. The numbers them selves are exceptional, however it is the way that snider dominated the possession which make him so special. His ability to win quick possession from the face-off and creating fast breaks is what gives him the edge over the competition.
John Grant Junior: Generally accepted as the best stick handler in the world, JGJ was top goal scorer in the World Championships 2006. His credentials in college and professional lacrosse would require day’s of your time, so lets just say, expect tremendous lacrosse with fantastic showmanship.
Sid Smith: Extraordinary pace and Sheer size are two things that this man possesses. However, his huge success comes from his ability to read the game and inspiring defensive play. Sid a two time NJCAA champion, Minto cup winner, NCAA Division I Champion, and MLL league winner , this guy is obviously doing something right! With what could be seen as a sixth sense on the field, this guy always seems to be in the right place at the right time.
Jeremy Thompson: An all round midfielder, solid in all aspects of the game. Whether he is making a dodge, a cut, or even playing man down defense, Thompsons always embedding deep tracks everywhere he plays, I’m sure the 2010 WC’s wont be any different.
Wednesday, 14 July 2010
More to follow...
> The Blog dynamic has changed. There will no longer be full match reports at the blog site as they will now be written by Neil Goulding (Telegraph) and can be found at www.2010worldlacrosse.com
The blog will now cover:
>Quick fire interviews...
>Match discussion, focusing on key parts of selected games...
>The diaries of a Lacrosse Dummie...
>Other any other interesting banter we find throughout the champs
Let the games begin!!!!
The first game of the tournament has been scheduled for over a year, to take place on Thursday 15th July 2010 between England and the Iroquois Nationals. But yesterday the team, their coaches and their families and supporters were refused entry onto their flight from NYC airport after they were denied British entry visa clearance by the U.S. Department of State. The U.S. government then offered the group U.S. passports for travel, which they refused. To accept the U.S passports would have been a blow to their pride, their tradition of travelling as the Iroquois People on their Iroquois passports and their beliefs.
So as it stands, the Iroquois Nationals are stuck in New York and England have no one to play in the opening game. If the Iroquois team fail to make it over I will without doubt be disappointed. I have already done some research into the Iroquois team and their history of lacrosse and was genuinely looking forward to seeing the original inventors of the game play in a competitive match. It must be so hard for the team and players themselves, months of training, anticipation and excitement to come to this.
So what happens if the U.S Department of State refuse to offer clearance and the Iroquois team decide not to travel on a U.S passport? Since the playing schedule was released more than a year ago the organisers would not be able to draft another team in to play England and the game would have to be forfeited by the Iroquois Nationals.
Along with England and the Iroquois Nationals, Japan, Australia, Canada and USA make up the remainder of the blue or premier division. They are in this top pool based on the seedings from the 2006 Championships and the draw undertaken the ILF meeting in Lahti, Finland.
As well as the blue division there are six other groups containing teams from 24 nations, such as Bermuda, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand as well as the home nations of Ireland, Wales and Scotland. These teams all have a chance of contesting for the title of World Champions.
Once each nation has played each team within their pool they are ranked from first 1st to 4th and then divided into 3 tiers:
Top Division – 1st place finishers + top four 2nd place finishers
Middle Division – Remaining 2nd place finishers and the top four 3rd place finishers
Lower Division – remaining 3rd place finishers and the 4th place teams
The winners of each match will then go through to a Semi Finals Day and eventually a Finals Day on Saturday 24th July.
The contesting teams, bar the Iroquois Nationals are all now in Manchester, have set up their camps and are eager for the competition to start. It would be a real shame for the Championships to start without an opening game, and without the Iroquois team but I am sure the 29 other teams competing will want to put on as much of a spectacle as possible and showcase their sport of lacrosse.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/more-sport/2010/07/14/england-get-new-world-cup-chance-with-laEngland get another world cup chance - in The Mirror today
Monday, 12 July 2010
The most interesting if controversial news which has caught my eye recently is the debatable decision which has ground the Iroquois Nations world championship campaign to a halt. The Iroquois nationals, who are scheduled to play the opening game in world championships have been rejected from entering the UK, as the british consulate refused to acknowledge the team’s Haudenosaunee passports without assurance from the U.S. State Department that the group will be allowed back into the United States.
There are many issues which I feel are flagged up within this affair. The british government are so uptight on being politically correct, so why do they not recognize the Iroquois nation as it’s own nation? This issue has cost the iroquois nationals over $23,000, who will be reimbursing them? this is an amateur sport after all, and just as most of the countries that participate in the World Championships, Iroquois are self funded. Was it unethical of the British Government to hold them back despite allowing them in to the country for the same tournament just years back? These people are doing something really positive and they’re doing it at the highest levels, they are the inventors of our sport and are entitle to use the documentation which supports their heritage and allows them to represent there nation at the games. It’s a shame that in this day and age, when we are taught to be proud of who we are, where we come from, and how to accept other peoples cultures within our own societies; and especially where sport is considered to a platform that brings people together as one; that bureaucratic idiocy is allowed to tarnish everything that the world championships stand for...
Thursday, 8 July 2010
Wednesday, 7 July 2010
Sam Russell has spent the past two years at Whittier College, a Division III school in California. As a sophomore he started 15 of 15 Games, scored 31 Goals, made 25 Assists, 56 Points in total, with 33 Groundballs. As far as I’m aware, these impressive stats left the England youngster in the top 5 nationally for Division III midfielders.
Although Sam played Lacrosse from a young age, the success story started at Cheadle & Marple 6th Form College, where he represented the growing lacrosse academy. Head coach at the academy, Alistair Hodgson, also assistant coach for this years England Team, saw Sam’s amazing potential as a top international player, and promptly recommended him to a close friend of his, Henry “Skip” Flannagan.
“Skip”, a Head Master at the very prestigious ‘Western Reserve Academy’ in Ohio, welcomed this student athlete with open arms. Here Sam joined the Academy as a Senior, and had an impressive season, attracting attention from an eclectic mix of colleges, earning him self the honor to represent and captain his country at the U19’s World Championships in Canada. Here he scored 19 goals as a midfielder, securing 7th top goal scorer in the championships, beating many world class attacker to the honor of top 10 statistics.
That Autumn, after much deliberation, Sam found himself at Whittier college, and why not after all, only 40 minutes from LA, a swift hour to the Beach, and only a few more from the mountains! Some might say, “you’d be stupid not to!” The developing Lacrosse program here meant that the England Skipper played 11 games in his freshman year whilst striking 16 goals and 5 assists, enough to place him 4th on the squad.
Two years at Whittier have clearly served him well, as now just a week from the World Championships he is training with the senior England squad as the second youngest player, and looking stronger than ever. However, the squad’s youngest player, Jak Wawrzyniak has an equally impressive success story...
After representing the England U19’s in Canada, Jak moved to Avon Old Farms High School where he has just finished his senior year. Here, the varsity lacrosse team enjoyed a tremendous season – one of the school’s best lacrosse teams in the past decade. The program achieved a 15-3 overall record, finishing #1 in the Founder’s League (7-0) and #3 in Western New England (13-2). Some season statistics included a winning streak of 13 games, an impressive 200 goals for, and 134 goals against. The team’s average margin of victory was 4.67 goals per game, and average margin of losing a mere 1.33 goals per game.
Jak performed so well this year at Avon, after being scouted by many top teams he has now committed to Stoney Brook University, New York, who narrowly missed out on a NCAA Division I semi-final place, losing 10-9 to Virginia.
I asked Jak: “How he was feeling about the up coming Championships in Manchester?” He replied, “I don’t really get too nervous about games or tournaments. I start getting myself ready for a big game a few days before then the nerves kick in the night before and pre-game but nerves definitely make me play better.”
He continued, “Ultimately I’m going against the best players in the world in July which is going to be a load of fun and can really only make me a better player….as crazy as the thought is of lining up against some of those guys: I’m excited to get after it!”
Both these young players have performed to the critics, proving their worth when it truly matters, and have accomplished one of the greatest honors a player can receive; representing their country at the highest level. But what makes it extra special is that they get to do it in their home town. A truly special achievement for them both. I wish them, and all those all competing the best of luck, this tournament is looking to be one of the most exciting yet.
Written by James Mearns
Information in this article has been source from Whittier College athletics, and Avon Old Farm Athletic websites.
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Tuesday, 6 July 2010
The first time I saw a lacrosse game it was whilst watching a friend in a women’s 2nd XI team match at Loughborough University. I remember being gobsmacked that my normally blasé and laid back friend had suddenly channelled a fierce and competitive side of herself that I had never seen before. I was surprised by how fast the game was played; it was ferocious and shockingly aggressive. There were elbows and body bumps flying all over the place but no sign of the referees whistle. Basically, it was very very exciting.
But when I went along to an men’s England lacrosse team training session I immediately noticed differences in the game. What instantly stood out between the men’s and women’s games was the outfit. The men have a lot more equipment, helmets shielding their whole heads and faces, down to the chin making them instantly unrecognisable. They also have arm and chest pads. Without seeing any of the play it was obvious the game was going to be a lot more brutal. Lacrosse is typecast by some as a women’s game but the hard-hitting and physical nature of the men’s sport is anything but girly.
It was incredible how accurately and far the players could throw the ball, the size of a slightly smaller hockey ball but just as hard. The receiving player would catch the ball whilst on the move and was already looking for his next pass. This was all taking place while other players were trying to distract the pass by shouting and running in different directions. They also had very high fitness levels.
If this was just a training session I can’t wait to watch a competitive match, especially in the World Championships. Its only 13 days until the FIL World Lacrosse Championships for men begin and teams from all over the world descend on Manchester. I knew Lacrosse was played in England obviously, as well as America and Australia but there are a lot of unexpected nations who play competitively and who will be taking part in the tournament in July. Argentina, Japan, Latvia, New Zealand, Bermuda, Spain, Poland and 23 other nations will be showcasing the sport and hopefully attracting new fans.
Whilst researching the sport a team that have really caught my imagination is the Iroquois Nationals, a collection of indigenous people from the USA who are also known as the Six Nations. They are the original creators of the sport who played for healing medicinal reasons or even to settle conflicts within the tribe. The Iroquois Nationals is the only Native American team sanctioned to compete in any sport internationally. If the inventors of the game are going to be playing in Manchester, these Championships are going to be a big deal.
Even though I don’t have a great knowledge of lacrosse I am genuinely excited to learn more and for the event to start. These Championships will be the largest major sporting event to be held in Manchester since the Commonwealth Games back in 2002. This will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase the area and of course there will be the buzz of excitement around the City that only sport can produce. I hope that other people who have a genuine love for sport, like me, will make the most of this opportunity to discover a new game and watch world class lacrosse teams play this exciting sport at the highest level.
By Holly Teague
Lacrosse has many similarities to both basketball and hockey. Simply put, the lacrosse team that ends the game with the most goals wins. A game clock dictates the length of the game, and scoring goals is the sole determiner of who wins and who loses. The following list offers a few of the technical essentials that you need to know to better understand the game.
• Four quarters equals a game: The length of a box or field lacrosse game is 60 minutes, which 4 quarters lasting 15 minutes each. Unless . . .
• Two halves do make a whole (game): Depending on the age and/or gender of the teams playing, variations on the length of a lacrosse game do exist. Women's lacrosse matches are divided into halves instead of quarters, and can range in length from 50 to 60 minutes. Minor league lacrosse games offer a wide variety of lengths and divisions, from 8-or 12-minute quarters to three 20-minute periods, much like a hockey contest. High-school field games have 12-minute quarters.
• Whatever the length of the game, remember that any individual contest will include at least one intermission. There's a lot of running and bumping and hitting and missing to recuperate from.
• Facing down the opposition: A faceoff at the center circle starts each game and each quarter, and it begins play after every goal scored.
• A faceoff is one of the many areas where lacrosse resembles both hockey (the only other with faceoffs) and basketball (with its jump-ball set-up at the beginning of games). In a box lacrosse faceoff, the teams surround one of the lined circles on the floor, with two players in the center of the circle awaiting the referee's whistle to being play and go for the ball. Essentially, a faceoff is an organized, if sometimes frenetic, way to initiate play at the beginning of a game, or to restart play that has been stopped for some reason (opening a new playing period, after a scored goal, in a dead-ball situation, and so on). Any game can present many faceoff opportunities, so you better be pretty good at it to have a chance of controlling the ball and therefore giving your team more scoring opportunities.
• Faceoffs in field lacrosse come at the start of each quarter and after each goal. They consist of two players at the center X and two players from each team perched on the wing area lines (20 yards from the middle of the field and 20 yards long, parallel with the sideline). Once possession is gained by one of these eight players, the rest of the players can cross the restraining lines that are perpendicular to the sideline and 20 yards from the midline.
Information sourced from www.Dummies.com