A message from the Federation of International Lacrosse President, Sue Redfern
Welcome to the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) website.
The FIL was formed in 2008 as a result of a merger of the International Federation of Women’s Lacrosse Associations (IFWLA) and the International Lacrosse Federation (ILF – men). FIL is now the unified governing body for international lacrosse.
It is an exciting time to be involved with international lacrosse. We have grown from five member nations in 1972 to 60 nations in 2018 and continue to grow. 46 men’s nations were represented in Netanya, Israel at the 2018 Men’s World Championship. 25 women’s nations were represented at the Women’s World Cup in Guildford, England in July 2017, and six women’s teams then participated in the multi sport World Games in Wroclaw, Poland in July 2017. FIL will be participating in the next World Games in 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama, USA with 8 women’s teams in the core event and 8 men’s teams in the invitational event. We have a vision to return to the Olympic Games as our ultimate aim.
The growth in member countries has been astonishing by any measure and one of our main challenges now is to ensure that our existing member countries are supported to grow even stronger in areas appropriate to each nation, whilst continuing to develop lacrosse in new countries, particularly in Africa and South America.
As we move forward a key focus is working with the existing regional lacrosse organisations, Asia Pacific Lacrosse Union (APLU) and the European Lacrosse Federation (ELF), in new ways. In 2018 we also initiated the setting up of two new continental federations, the Association of African Lacrosse (AAL) and the Pan American Lacrosse Association (PALA).
With the continued growth of the game and as more countries become members, there is a greater need for more officials and FIL is moving forward on this with the appointment of our first Technical Director on the Board of Directors who will work to develop both men’s and women’s officials and officiating in harmonisation where practical. 2018 also saw the appointment of FIL’s first Chief Medical Officer (CMO).
The Board of Directors also now has a new Competitions Director who will look not only at synergies and best practice in both men’s and women’s competitions, but also looking at how we can drive competition forward in new ways.
The General Assembly in 2018 also approved the appointment of two new Independent Board members to provide additional skills to the Board in its next phase.
FIL appointed its first paid CEO and is now about to embark on a number of other specialist posts to help achieve our strategic plan. This is a really exciting step forward for the organisation and will provide new resources for the board, the national federations and the sport to draw on as we move to review our strategic and operational plans and fulfil our ambitions.
Finally, I want to say that lacrosse is still a largely volunteer sport and that we are immensely indebted to each and every one of you, whether coaches, officials, players, administrators or volunteers, who make up the FIL membership worldwide. Your combined efforts and enthusiasm and your passion for developing lacrosse has been the foundation of our current success and unparalleled growth. By continuing to work together we will bring lacrosse to even greater heights in the future. Thank you for all you do to promote and develop our great game internationally.
Please contact me, or any of our FIL Board of Directors or committee members, if you have any questions or suggestions on improving the administration, events or programs of FIL.