N etanya, Israel, May 23, 2017 - Israel was today officially announced as the host nation for the 2018 FIL Men’s World Lacrosse Championships. In a special press conference Netanya Mayor, Miriam Feirberg-Ikar and Chairman of the Israel Lacrosse Association (ILA), Scott Neiss, unveiled that Israel’s city of Netanya will host the sport’s pinnacle competition that will include 50 participating countries and more than 5,000 fans from all over the world between July 12-21, next summer.
Israel’s opportunity to host the World Lacrosse Championship comes in light of the country’s recent success in the international arena, in which Israel won second place in the 2016 European championship and seventh place in the most recent World Championship in 2014. Israel has become the fastest growing nation in the sport, with eight competing cities and hundreds of players up and down the country, which placed Israel as one of the leading candidates for the World Championship in 2018. Israeli teams have competed in every Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) and European Lacrosse Federation (ELF) event since their debut in 2012.
This is the very first time since the competition’s inception in 1967 that a country outside of the US, Canada, England and Australia has hosted the Championship and signifies a major expansion of the sport, both in Israel and globally. The 2018 FIL Men’s World Lacrosse Championships is also set to be the largest event of its kind to ever take place, with a proposed 50 countries trumping the 2014 total of 38 in Denver, Colorado.
Netanya was chosen to host the event due to the city’s achievements in sport and its success in hosting a variety of international competitions, including the European Swimming Championships, World Surfing Championships, international tennis tournaments and European Football Championships (under 21).
"Israel who became a member in 2011 has very quickly marched up the leaderboard, not only at our world events, where they ranked 7th in Denver in 2014, but they have also created a model domestic development plan, which is something that all of our new members can aspire to," said Stan Cockerton, President of the Federation of International Lacrosse. "We are all confident that the 2018 World Championships in Israel will be an event that players, coaches, fans and all our members around the world can be proud of."
About the Israel Lacrosse Association (ILA):
he Israel Lacrosse Association is a nonprofit organization that represents Israel in the international and European federations. It aims to promote lacrosse in Israel by allocating resources, promoting programs and supporting local athletes from all over the country. The organization’s vision is based on the belief that lacrosse has an important and significant role in strengthening the ties of Diaspora Jewry to Israel.