The World Games in Wroclaw, Poland last year featured Lacrosse making its debut as an official sport.
At the Games this ball sport originating from North America was played with new kinds of rules that made the sport faster and more exciting, as the teams were allowed to field just 10 players. Normally in Women's Lacrosse, there are 12 players on the field.
“After the first game, I quickly realised that the change of speed brought a new level of excitement to the sport,” said defender Megan Douty from Team USA, according to the US Lacrosse Magazine. She was nervous to adjust to a position she hadn’t played since high school — plus at a faster pace than any college or international game she had competed in.
The World Games was a place where Lacrosse could be displayed on the world sporting stage. “It’s about the sport now, putting our best foot forward to make sure that when the International Olympic Committee sees what this has to offer, they’re really excited about it and these players become the pioneers in getting Lacrosse into the Olympics,” then-U.S. head coach Ricky Fried said to US Lacrosse Magazine.
The General Assembly of the Federation of International Lacrosse approved the new rules in July, with three major rule changes to the international women’s game — 10 players per team, four 15-minute quarters and self-starts.
The new rules come after several trial runs over the past year at various events, including The World Games 2017, where only women’s Lacrosse was in the programme. Participating players completed a survey after the competition, and 70 per cent of respondents supported the implementation of 10 players per side.
The rules will be used in Birmingham, Alabama in 2021, where both women’s and men’s team will fight for The World Games gold medals.
Source: US Lacrosse Magazine
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 15-25 July 2021. 3,600 athletes from over 30 sports and 100 countries will take part in the Games.