More than 100 participants took part in the 2023 World Lacrosse General Assembly virtually on Saturday, November 11. The annual official gathering of the global lacrosse community was also attended by the World Lacrosse board of directors and staff, along with National and Continental Federation delegates and observers, and members of the Athletes’ Commission.
Bookending the assembly’s key actions was the election for an open position on the board of directors. Don Blacklock, who served on the board from 2019 to 2023, was elected to a four-year term until 2027. The election marked the first since the board voted to shift to a strategic model. Blacklock formerly held the board title of technical director, while the new role is a general strategic position. Before Blacklock’s first term on the board, he served as Men’s Officiating Subcommittee chair for 11 years.
Legislative changes and updates to the assembly comprised the day’s affairs, led by opening remarks from WL President Sue Redfern.
“It is an incredibly exciting time to gather as community as we embark on a transformative journey toward the Olympic stage in 2028,” said Redfern. “This assembly, marked by legislative advancements such as our event sanctioning policy and overall strategic discussions, reinforces our commitment to working together with our members as a global community to better our sport. The future of lacrosse is bright, and our shared dedication and attentive work now will ensure we remain on our upward trajectory on the world stage.”
World Lacrosse CEO Jim Scherr delivered an update on the organization’s strategic plan through 2024, focusing on how the organization will continue to evolve to meet the challenge of now officially being included as an Olympic sport in the LA28 Games.
Key priorities of the plan include progressing development of the sixes discipline, successful execution of world championships, strengthening current members while also expanding the community as a whole and overall, continuing to position lacrosse as a sport worthy of Olympic inclusion.
The most significant piece of legislation approved by the assembly was the World Lacrosse Event Sanctioning Policy, in addition to minor changes to the WL Constitution and Bylaws. The Event Sanctioning Policy creates a framework for which at international events are officially sanctioned by World Lacrosse and provides clarity on the sanctioning process from approval to supervision. The policy defines how relationships between World Lacrosse and its member federations function regarding the international competition calendar and is designed to provide a cohesive international calendar for the first time.
The General Assembly also approved the budget for World Lacrosse for 2024-25 and reviewed the execution of the 2023 budget.
Both organizing committees that are staging World Lacrosse championships in 2024 also gave presentations to the assembly. The Hong Kong, China Lacrosse Association presented on the women’s U20 championship set for late August 2024, which is the first ever world championship held in Hong Kong, China, while the Utica 2024 Organizing Committee presented on the box championships set for September that will feature the first ever women’s box championship and the largest men’s box championships.