Fresh off a phenomenal weekend of PLL lacrosse, everyone now shifts their attention to the 2023 World Lacrosse Championships in sunny San Diego, California. This event is poised to be one of the best in history. The growth of lacrosse has boomed across the globe and brings together one of the most competitive fields this tournament has ever seen. This growth has brought tremendous attention to the game and this is evident with ESPN covering the entire tournament.
The 2023 World Lacrosse Championship will be the 14th edition of the international men’s field lacrosse tournament for national teams. Initially scheduled for 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the move to 2023. Unlike previous tournaments this rendition brings the 30 best teams together for the first time through regional qualifying tournaments.
2023 World Lacrosse Championship Preview
The United States will host the event for the fourth time after previously hosting in 1982, 1998 and 2014. The hosts will be looking for their second consecutive title and avenge the 2014 loss in the gold medal game on home soil in Denver to rivals Canada. These two have been alternating as World Champions since 2002 and the US is looking for their first repeat victory since the 2002 games in Perth. The two teams put on an epic battle in 2018 in Israel, when the United States scored scored the gold-medal-winning goal with one second remaining.
Six pools of five teams will begin the World Championship, with the five top ranked teams all in Pool A.
Joining the USA and Canada in Pool A are Australia, England, and the Haudenosaunee. Be on the lookout for the Haudenosaunee as they are poised for a breakout tournament. Their offense is as lethal as ever, and the big question surrounding them is will they be able to defend the elite offensive talent of both the US and Canada.
The top two Pool A sides will reach the quarter-finals, with the other three joining nine teams from Pools B to F for playoff matches.
A group of six winners from these games will then also book a quarter-final spot.
Pool B consists of Denmark, France, Japan, Uganda and Wales. While Denmark poses a threat, the clear favorite in this group has to be Japan. As this tournament has grown, so has their ability to grow the game and compete with some of the better teams. Their athleticism and conditioning are typically off the charts and this 2023 team will be no different.
Pool C will see the Czech Republic, Israel, Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Sweden fighting it out for a playoff berth. Israel and Puerto Rico will be a game to mark on your calendar as both are chock full of former and current NCAA college players.
Pool D will feature Germany, Jamaica, New Zealand, Poland, and Switzerland. This group is a toss-up but look to see a great tournament from the Jamaican team.
Austria, Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, and Scotland will square off in Pool E. Another toss up group, but expect to see Italy right there on the final day fighting for the Quarter Final spot.
Ireland, Latvia, Netherlands, Peru, and South Korea will fight it out for the Pool F berth. Expect to Ireland take a big leap in this world games. They have been fun to watch for years, and this year’s team looks to go further than they ever have.
2023 World Lacrosse Championship Preview
San Diego State’s newly constructed 32,000-seat Snapdragon Stadium will be the site of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. The opening game, semifinals, and medal games will also be played in the state of the art facility. USD’s Torero Stadium will host most tournament games with a capacity of 6,000 spectators.
All remaining games will take place on SDSU’s campus among four adjacent fields, anchored by SDSU Sports Deck, the 1,500-seat home of the university’s soccer programs.
The full 107 game schedule will be broadcast on the ESPN Platform with most being through the ESPN+ App. The USA Canada Opening Game will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Wednesday June 21st at 10pm EST.
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