COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, USA – World Lacrosse yesterday completed the first half of its 2021 General Assembly, the annual gathering of the global lacrosse community. More than 100 delegates and observers participated in the virtual meeting, including the World Lacrosse board of directors, and both National and Continental Federations.
Among the day’s key actions were the approval of an updated Strategic Plan through 2024 and the adoption of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policies.
World Lacrosse CEO Jim Scherr provided an overview of the many accomplishments of the organization since the last General Assembly, including receiving full recognition status from the International Olympic Committee and the successful launch of the World Lacrosse Sixes discipline and brand. Included in the newly approved Strategic Plan are the following priorities:
- Use 2022 and 2023 events to showcase the best of lacrosse and elevate the sport
- Grow the number of member countries to 85 while continuing to strengthen existing National and Continental Federations
- Develop new and diversify existing revenue streams
- Strengthen relationships with the Olympic family
- Continue to improve World Lacrosse effectiveness and governance
Another major step was the adoption of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement – as recommended by the Diversity and Opportunity Commission – that will be included in its entirety in the World Lacrosse Handbook. In addition, a comprehensive protected class list was approved, as was the addition of DEI-based language to the World Lacrosse Constitution’s glossary, and the use of gender-inclusive pronouns in all current and future documentation.
World Lacrosse Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement
World Lacrosse is committed to the belief that our world must be inclusive in its diversity, visionary in its approach to equal opportunities in sports participation for all and pioneering in seeking equitable outcomes for all our stakeholders.
Through our engagement in the sport of lacrosse internationally and regionally,
we must be the voice of diversity, equity and inclusion for our athletes, coaches, staff and volunteers all over the world. We accomplish this by engaging in a robust and broad dialogue with our National Governing Bodies, Continental Federations, committees and key organizations and in acting as a role model for diversity, opportunity and inclusion for our members.
- Recommendations made by the Membership Working Group were approved, including updated member categories and criteria, as well as the process for gaining membership to create a consistent and streamlined experience.
- A new process for handling rule changes was approved, as put forward by the Playing Rules Process Sub Group, whereby rules discussions and amendments will be handled in a standardized manner via a new Rules Assembly every two years.
- The World Lacrosse Athletes’ Commission Policy gained approval. The policy further defines the roles and responsibilities of the WLAC, ensuring that athletes remain not only represented, but active and engaged across all levels of the sport.
- Comprehensive changes to the World Lacrosse Constitution and Bylaws were approved that allow the organization to continue implementing more effective and efficient governance.
Day Two of the 2021 World Lacrosse General Assembly will be Sunday, October 31, also in a virtual format.
World Lacrosse President Sue Redfern said: “Amidst a global pandemic, our sport has continued to meet challenges with historic strides. We have not only continued to mature and develop as a federation while further growing the sport and its inclusivity around the world, but we have also realized two of the most important milestones to-date on our journey to Olympic inclusion by launching World Lacrosse Sixes and gaining full recognition from the International Olympic Committee.
“Our board and member federations play an incredibly integral role in our progression, and we thank them for their tireless and passionate work in helping World Lacrosse achieve our vision and mission.”