BIRMINGHAM, Alabama, USA – World Lacrosse Sixes is set for its debut at the global level with 16 men’s and women’s teams taking the field at the 11th edition of The World Games starting Friday at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s PNC Field. Ninety-six of the sport’s top athletes from around the world will help make lacrosse history at the multi-sport event, which is returning to the United States for the first time since its 1981 debut in Santa Clara, California.
The event – which was postponed from 2021 due to the pandemic – will feature approximately 3,600 athletes from more than 100 nations competing in 34 sports and 223 medal events over 10 days (July 7-17).
The men’s and women’s tournaments will feature seven of the same teams – Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Haudenosaunee, Israel, Japan and the United States – with Germany joining the men’s competition and the Czech Republic featuring in the women’s event.
Both tournaments will utilize the World Lacrosse Sixes format, a shorter, faster-paced version of the sport akin to rugby sevens that was launched in 2020. Sixes is played on a 70×36-meter outdoor field and involves 8-minute, running-time quarters.
The men’s and the women’s tournaments will each include 18 games with teams initially split into two groups for round-robin preliminary play. At the end of the preliminary round, the top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals on day four, with medal games to follow on the fifth and final day of competition for each gender.
The men’s preliminary round will commence Friday, July 8 with semifinals on Monday, July 11 and medal games on the evening of July 12. The women’s preliminary round will begin July 12 with semifinals set for Friday, July 15, and medal games on the evening of July 16.
The lacrosse competition will feature some of the most prolific athletes in the world, including 55 women who are currently competing in the 2022 World Lacrosse Women’s Championship in Towson, Maryland, USA; 21 current Premier Lacrosse League players; 13 athletes who played in the 2021/22 National Lacrosse League season; and three athletes set to play in Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse’s upcoming second season.
World Lacrosse has partnered with International Sports Broadcasting and the Olympic Channel to provide comprehensive global live coverage of the preliminary rounds. Drew Carter, who is currently part of the commentary team for the PLL, will handle play-by-play duties, with Courtney Martinez Connor serving as the analyst. Martinez Connor was a five-time NCAA champion with the University of Maryland and is the analyst for Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse. Games will air here on the Olympic Channel.
The semifinals and medal games will be distributed by The World Games via their 24/7 channel at Olympics.com as well as select international broadcast partners. In the U.S., CBS Sports Network will air a daily highlights package.
This will mark the first participation by men in The World Games in the sport of lacrosse, following women’s 10-a-side lacrosse being contested at the last edition in 2017. At that event, the U.S. took gold, while Canada and Australia finished in the silver and bronze positions.
A total of nine medalists return from 2017, including five from the silver-medal winning Canadian squad led by long-time captain Dana Dobbie. Dobbie is currently playing in her fourth World Lacrosse Women’s Championship, having won medals in her previous three appearances and earning a place on the All-World Time each time.
Sarah Mollison is also returning to The World Games after winning bronze with Team Australia in 2017, and will be coming off her fifth world championship appearance. The U.S. team includes four gold medalists from the 2019 World Lacrosse Women’s U19 Championship, including All-World selection Caitlyn Wurzburger who recently won the NCAA championship with the University of North Carolina.
On the men’s side, a number of internationally known standouts will be looking to win the first World Games gold medal ever awarded, including Canada’s Dhane Smith, who just earned his second NLL MVP honors for the 2021/22 season after leading the PLL’s Chaos to the 2021 championship. He will be competing alongside reigning PLL and NLL Rookie of the Year Jeff Teat, among a stacked Canadian roster.
Haudenosaunee sensation Lyle Thompson, a two-time world championship bronze medalist and PLL/NLL star, will also be among athletes to watch, along with two-time PLL Midfielder of the Year Tom Schreiber, who scored the game-winning goal with one second left as the U.S. beat Canada to win the gold medal at the 2018 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship.
Full rosters available for all 16 teams are available here.