FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECOLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – The 2018 FIL Men’s World Championship is one of the most unique sports that provides fans an opportunity to see some of the best countries and emerging teams pitted against each other in pool play competition. The Men’s World Championship, set for July 11-21, in Wingate National Sport Institution and Netanya Stadium in Israel, will provide great debate from media, pundits, and fans about the outcomes of key preliminary competition. The 2018 World Champion will be crowned on July 21 after 170 games between 46 countries and 15 pools.
The 2018 FIL Men’s World Championship preliminary competition is set from July 11-16, with pool finals and crossover competition commencing on July 15. After 169 games of competition, the 2018 FIL Men’s World Championship gold medalist will be crowned on July 21 at Netanya Stadium.
The natural assumption is that the United States and Canada will battle for the top prize, as they have squared off in eight of the last 12 gold-medal games. Canada is the reigning World Champion from the 2014 event in Denver, Colorado. The United States has shown its dominance in winning a medal in all 12 World Championships (9 gold and 3 silver medals).
Since 2014, FIL has seen tremendous growth around the globe with nine new countries being admitted to the event in 2018 that features 46 countries – the largest ever. Host country Israel, who finished seventh in 2014, should not be discounted and considered a contender after a strong preparation season. Israel opens the 2018 World Championships against Jamaica on July 12 at 4:30 p.m. (local time) in Netanya Stadium prior to the Opening Ceremonies, set for the same day at 6:30 p.m.
There are at least seven intriguing match-ups that deserve to be considered the best of the opening round of competition:
Hong Kong vs. Luxembourg, July 11
Hong Kongand Luxembourgwill open the 2018 FIL Men’s World Championship on July 11. This is Luxembourg’s first World Championship appearance. Event organizers, Israel Lacrosse Association, deserves kudos for starting the World Championship with two emerging teams to increase awareness of the sport worldwide. Both teams will be competing in the Olive Division.
United States vs. Iroquois Nationals, July 12
This should be titled – Silver vs. Bronze medalists. Starting early in the competition, the Blue division will see longtime powerhouse challenged by the reigning bronze medalists Iroquois Nationals. It will be interesting to see how this pool play game plays into the overall outcome of the 2018 World Championship. At the 2014 World Championship, the Iroquois Nationals earned its first medal in World Championship competition by up-ending Australia, 16-5. In 2014, The United States opened the games by defeating eventual champion Canada, 10-7, with the United States falling in the gold-medal game, 8-5.
Netherlands vs. Norway, July 12
The 2014 World Championship featured these two in what many have starred as one of the best games. Norway needed overtime to beat the Netherlands in 2014, 12-11.
Fast forward to Israel, with both teams have a mixture of new talent should make this a game not to miss. These two European Countries have consistently competed in the top half of finishers with see-saw results. The Netherlands finished 15thin 2014, with Norway placing 25thoverall.
With both teams competing in a three-team pool, the second place finisher in the pool can only place as high as 13thoverall. The winner can make a run. With both countries having similar results in the last several years, the call is yours on who wins.
Scotland vs. Australia, July 13
Australia has failed to medal in two World Championships, and the last time witnessed them rebounding for a silver-medal performance at the 1982 World Championship in Baltimore, Maryland. What will the world see this year is yet determined, however the Blue Division should not overlook the Australian’s promise of returning to a top three country. Australia is deep and rich with talent, being one of the original four countries to play in the 1967 World Championship in Canada.
Scotland is the newcomer to the Blue Division, earning a berth from its sixth-place finish at the 2014 World Championship. The Scots have been close of finding itself in the elite pool play, having finished seventh at the last three Worlds. Scotland advanced to the quarter-finals in 2014, and fell to the Iroquois Nationals, 10-8, but rebounded with a 10-9 overtime victory over Japan to solidify its place in the Blue Division.
Puerto Rico vs. Wales, July 13
The key game of the Bronze Division is between Puerto Rico and Wales. Puerto Rico, recovering from massive hurricane damage from 2017, appears to be strong and destined to finish on top of the pool, but will be tested by Wales.
Wales is making its sixth appearance, with 11th-place finishes in 1998 and 2010. They fell to 17thin 2014, but rebounded at the European Championships with a fourth-place finish. If the Welsh win the pool, look for a potential top six finish.
Puerto Rico has only been recognized by FIL for 14 months, and could be the surprise of the tournament. The team is made up of a mixture of young college stars who are making waves on the college scene. It will be interesting to see how they match up with senior level play at the World Championship.
Canada vs. England, July 13
Two longtime stalwarts of the FIL World Championship since 1967 will toil on the third day of competition. The reigning champions, Canada, have recovered from some differences and appear to be poised to return to the podium in 2018 in Israel. Canada has won three World Championships, and earned a silver medal in six events. Two of the last three World Championships have been won by Canada, and if this trend continues, there could be speculation of the country’s sport of choice becoming lacrosse and not ice hockey.
England, probably the most successful country outside of North America, is one team that should not be overlooked for its consistency of being a top contender in the elite Blue Division. England has progressed and grown its youth programming that should provide dividends at this year’s World Championship. They have been successful in bringing newcomers onto the senior team, while allowing the upperclassmen to groom the new class of athletes. England has hosted the World Championship three times, and has only won one medal in the 1974 version.
USA vs. Canada, July 15
This is a match-up not to pass up. The two perennial powers have a long history. Canada has claimed two of the three last gold medals, while the United States has earned seven of the last nine titles, winning six consecutive from 1982-2002.
In 2014, the United States edged its northern neighbor in the opening round 10-7, however Canada returned strong in the gold medal game with an early 5-0 lead at half, and controlled the ball for the remainder of the game and holding off a late attack for an 8-5 victory and World title.
Both squads have similar teams from 2014, and the two favorites will have to play mistake free lacrosse to gain the nod. Both rosters feature players who know each other’s games perfectly from playing at all levels together in other leagues. The world awaits for this clash of the titans.
The 12thFIL Men’s World Championship is divided into 15 pools, with the Blue Division featuring the top six placing teams from the 2014 World Championship, and the remaining 14 pools include three teams each. The Blue Division will have five pool play games, with the top four teams advancing to the championship round, with the top two receiving byes to the semifinals.
It should be noted that the winner of the Blue Division pool has finished with a silver medal at the last three World Championships.
Teams will compete in a total of six to eight games each during the 10-day event, with all teams playing to a final placement. A total of 170 games will be played before crowing the next World Champion. 2018 FIL Men’s World Championship schedule.
The event’s Opening Ceremonies, slated for July 12 at 6:30 p.m. (local time) will feature performances from Israeli artists and a procession of all 46 teams and nearly 2,000 athletes in the Netanya Stadium. Tickets for the opening ceremonies and games can be purchased at www.worldlacrosse2018.com/tickets.
The majority of the World Championship will be held at Wingate National Sport Institution’s six competition fields. With the limited capacity, the venue will provide an electric atmosphere for the World Championship, with sell-out crowds anticipated.
ESPN and ESPN+ will broadcast the games in the United States from start to finish with 10 days of play on ESPN2 and ESPNU for 14 games, and more than 160 games available on the ESPN+, the first-ever multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service. The FIL Men’s World Championship will also be available in Canada on CSN and locally in Israel on Sport 5. Fans will be able to watch the games in 46 countries.
The FIL Men’s World Championship started in 1967 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where the United States defeated Australia for its first of nine World Championship gold medals. In 1974, the second World Championship was held in Melbourne, Australia, with the United States claiming the title. Since then, the event has been held every four years.
2018 FIL Men’s World Championship
Netanya, Israel, July 11-21
Wingate National Sport Institute and Netanya Stadium
FIL Men’s World Championship History
Year – Teams (gold def. silver), Score, Location
2014 – Canada def. USA, 8-5, Denver, Colorado, USA
2010 – USA def. Canada, 12-10, Manchester, England
2006 – Canada def. USA, 15-10, London, Ontario, Canada
2002 – USA def. Canada, 18-15, Perth, Australia
1998 – USA def. Canada, 15-14 (OT), Baltimore, Maryland, USA
1994 – USA def. Australia, 21-7, Manchester, England
1990 – USA def. Canada, 19-15, Perth, Australia
1986 – USA def. Canada, 18-9, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1982 – USA def. Australia, 22-14, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
1978 – Canada def. USA, 17-16 (OT), Stockport, England
1974 – USA, Three-way tie for 2nd, Melbourne, Australia
1967 – USA def. Australia, 25-11, Toronto, Ontario, Canada