World Lacrosse and Ireland Lacrosse announced today an important development regarding the men’s lacrosse competition at The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama, USA (TWG 2022).
In light of the confirmation recently provided by the International World Games Association (IWGA) that the Iroquois Nationals are eligible for selection to compete in TWG 2022, Ireland Lacrosse has made the decision to voluntarily vacate its position in the eight-team, men’s tournament. In so doing, Ireland Lacrosse is playing a critical role in making it possible for the Iroquois Nationals to compete — and, upholding the highest ideals of international sport.
The decision was shared with World Lacrosse by Michael Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer of Ireland Lacrosse. Kennedy has surveyed the Operational Group of Ireland Lacrosse, which consists of members of the Board of Directors, coaches, athletes and other leaders from across the National Governing Body. He found overwhelming support for Ireland Lacrosse to do what it could to help create an opportunity for the Iroquois Nationals to compete in The World Games 2022.
“It’s simply the right thing to do,” said Kennedy. “We are a proud member of World Lacrosse and we recognize the importance of The World Games to the continued growth of our sport. As much as our players would have been honored to compete, we know the right thing is for the Iroquois Nationals to represent our sport on this international stage.”
World Lacrosse is utilizing the final placement of eligible teams from the 2018 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship to determine the field of men’s teams for TWG 2022 — which is subject to final approval by the IWGA. Ireland finished 12th in the 2018 World Championship, while the Iroquois Nationals finished third.
“Once World Lacrosse received the welcome news from the IWGA that the Iroquois Nationals are eligible for selection, we knew it was time to play our part and voluntarily step aside,” added Kennedy.
“It is through the contributions of leaders such as Michael Kennedy, along with the athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers of Ireland Lacrosse, that this wonderful game will continue to grow,” said World Lacrosse Chief Executive Officer Jim Scherr. “Some of the most inspiring gestures in international sport are when athletes from one team reach across and lend their support to athletes from another. That’s exactly what Michael and the membership of Ireland Lacrosse have done, and we should all be inspired by their example.”
As a next step, World Lacrosse is submitting its selection criteria and the corresponding list of eight eligible teams for the men’s competition for approval by the International World Games Association. That submission will include the Iroquois Nationals.