The World Lacrosse Men’s Championship is a quadrennial event featuring the top men’s field lacrosse teams competing for a world championship title.
First conducted in 1967, the men’s championship has been held all over the world and now includes participating nations from each of the five continental regions. The United States leads the world with 10 titles, and Canada follows with three. The most recent men’s championship took place in Israel in 2018, with the quadrennial schedule subsequently delayed one year due to the Covid pandemic.
The World Lacrosse Men’s Championship started as a four-team invitational tournament featuring Australia, Canada, England and the United States, coinciding with Canada’s centennial lacrosse celebration in 1967.
Australia’s lacrosse centennial celebration took place seven years later in 1974, with the same four nations invited to participate, marking the second championship. It was also the same year that the first international governing body for men’s lacrosse was formed – the International Lacrosse Federation.
Since 1974, the men’s championship has taken place every four years around the globe, with 2023 delayed one year.
The United States won gold at four of the first five tournaments, with Canada’s memorable victory in Stockport, England, in 1978 the lone outlier.
The Haudenosaunee made their debut in 1990 and Japan made its debut in 1994, and then the field nearly doubled in size heading into 1998, as Germany, Scotland, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Wales comprised the field of 11 in Baltimore, USA. The ’98 gold medal game is a seminal moment for the sport, as the U.S. beat Canada 15-14 in overtime, widely considered to be one of the greatest games ever played.
The 2002 Men’s Championship saw 16 teams head to Perth, Australia, with Hong Kong, China; Korea; Ireland and New Zealand competing for the first time.
Another pivotal moment in the history of the championship occurred when 21 teams participated in the event in London, Canada, and the host nation claimed gold for the first time in 28 years, topping the Americans 15-10 in 2006.
When the world championship headed to Manchester, England, in 2010, nearly 30 teams participated, and the United States reclaimed gold.
The U.S. vs. Canada rivalry added another chapter in Denver, USA, in 2014 when goalie Dillon Ward earned MVP honors by holding the Americans to just five goals in the gold medal game.
That set the table for another epic event in Netanya, Israel, in 2018. A record 46 nations participated, and the gold medal once again came down to the U.S. vs. Canada, with United States midfielder Tom Schreiber scoring just before time expired to secure a 9-8 victory.
2018 Men’s Championship: A Look Back
USA Scores with One Second Left to Claim 10th FIL Men’s World Championship Gold Medal
Tom Schreiber of the United States bookmarked the game with goals and is credited with the first and winning goals of the game over Canada, 9-8. The last goal left just one click on the clock, and the United States won its 10th FIL Men’s World Championship gold medal.
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