World Lacrosse yesterday completed the second half of its 2021 General Assembly, highlighted by the approval of a new structure for its world championships, as well as the election of Sabah S. Cambrelen as the board’s first diversity & inclusion director.
The outcomes of the annual gathering of the global lacrosse community were shaped by unprecedented member representation on committees, commissions and working groups throughout the past year, as well as active member engagement in more than two dozen webinars.
A focus of the second day of the General Assembly was the discussion and subsequent approval of proposed changes to the world championship structure. The updated format assures continued integrity and consistency in the execution of WL’s marquee events, and best positions the federation to maximize media, brand and commercial success, while expanding participation, supporting elite athlete development and competition, and increasing the importance of Continental Federation championships.
The new structure creates two divisions for senior men’s and women’s field world championships, a model common in international sport. As a result, 25 percent more national federations will have the opportunity to participate in world championship competition, ultimately an increase from 30 to 40 teams. With additional flexibility in the event format, geographic diversity is expected to increase among world championship host cities. The new format will begin in 2026.
Moving forward, senior men’s and women’s events in field, box and Sixes will be prioritized, and the calendar will be reset in consideration of timing of the Olympic Games and The World Games. The inaugural women’s box world championship will take place in conjunction with the men’s event in 2024.
Finally, a new qualification formula will be implemented, providing all members with an equitable chance to qualify for senior field world championships via their respective Continental Federation championship.
World Lacrosse Vice President Steve Stenersen, who led the working group responsible for proposing the new world championship structure, said: “I’m proud of the efforts of the Blue Skies Working Group and grateful to its members for contributing significant time, wisdom and perspective to ensure these recommendations would meet the expectations of the global lacrosse community and continue to advance our sport. I’m equally grateful to our World Lacrosse members for their faith and vision in approving this exciting evolution of our competition framework.”
Following the adoption of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policies during Day One of the General Assembly earlier this month, World Lacrosse yesterday elected the first diversity & inclusion director to its board. Cambrelen, who is a managing director in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Workforce of the Future practice, will help lead World Lacrosse’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in collaboration with the remainder of the board of directors, as well as WL management and member federations. In addition to serving a four-year term on the board, she will chair the Diversity & Opportunity Commission.
Sabah S. Cambrelen
Cambrelen is a managing director in PwC’s Workforce of the Future practice focused on diversity and inclusion. She specializes in helping clients fully realize the business impact of a diverse, inclusive and engaged workforce as well as harnessing the power of inclusion and embracing a culture of belonging.
Prior to joining PwC, Cambrelen led Point B Inc.’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion teams, guiding the inception of the company’s efforts from the ground up and implementing transformational culture change. She has served on the Women’s Energy Network board and is currently a board member for City Year Denver, an organization that strives to improve high school graduation rates in Denver’s most at-risk schools.
Among further key actions on Day Two of the General Assembly was the formal adoption of the World Lacrosse Handbook that aggregates all updated governance documents for ease of reference and navigation. In addition, it was determined that future
editions of the General Assembly will be held virtually two out of every three years, with an in-person gathering to coincide with a WL championship in the third year, and the proposed 2022-23 budget gained approval.
World Lacrosse CEO Jim Scherr said: “We are very pleased with the level of engagement from our members and support for the important legislation put forward. World Lacrosse continues to make great progress under the leadership of President Sue Redfern and the major changes to our world championship calendar will hasten our development, while the election of our first diversity director reflects the priority and commitment World Lacrosse assigns to opportunity and inclusion.”
The full recording of the 2021 World Lacrosse General Assembly can be accessed on YouTube.