Lacrosse added to LA Olympics; Oshawa’s Williams scores OT winner in Fall Classic


Published October 16, 2023 at 1:59 pm

Dyson Williams

Lacrosse is headed back to the Olympics.

Two days before Monday morning’s announcement that lacrosse, cricket, baseball, softball, squash and flag football would be added to the Los Angeles event in 2028, Oshawa’s Dyson Williams was putting Canada on centre stage by scoring the tying and winning goals as Canada beat arch-rival USA 12-11 in overtime at the annual U.S. Lacrosse Fall Classic in Maryland.

The win takes some of the sting out of the World Lacrosse Championship final from Canada Day when the Americans won the gold medal with a 10-7 triumph in San Diego.

Williams, chosen #1 in the recent NLL draft by Albany, was on the other side in that game in July and could only watch as his Duke University teammate Brennan O’Neill put on an MVP performance to lead his squad to victory.

Canada’s triumph this weekend wasn’t for an international medal, but it was the first time they had beaten the U.S. in a senior men’s field lacrosse final since 2014.

The event quickly took a back seat on the international front when the IOC announced today that lacrosse and five other sports would be added to the Olympics lineup in Los Angeles.

The last time lacrosse was a medal sport was 1908 with Canada winning gold that year. It was a demonstration sport in 1928 (Amsterdam), Los Angeles (1932) and 1948 (London).

This time it will be Sixes, a version of the sport created just five years ago as a fast-paced, compact version of the sport at the intersection of field and box lacrosse. With six-a-side instead of ten, Sixes offers an inclusionary opportunity to all lacrosse athletes and an easier entry point for new players, and is characterized by an accelerated, open style of play with quick transitions and non-stop, high-scoring action.

Sixes has advanced global growth, increased accessibility and approachability, created greater competitive balance, and reduced cost and complexity of participation and event staging and is considered the next generation version of the game.

The approving vote today by the IOC Session – which includes 99 international sport leaders – was the last step of a formal process initiated by the LA28 Organizing Committee last year to add new sports to the Games in Los Angeles.

“Today is a remarkable moment in the history of both lacrosse and the Olympic Games,” said World Lacrosse CEO Jim Scherr. “The inclusion of lacrosse in the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles is a testament to our sport’s enduring legacy, worldwide popularity and unique ability to bring people together. It also signifies the culmination of an extraordinary journey to return North America’s first game to the Olympics, a journey made possible by the unwavering passion of our lacrosse community.”

World Lacrosse President Sue Redfern said the global lacrosse family has been working towards this for more than a decade. “Now is our time to shine and show the world how lacrosse contributes to a better tomorrow.”

Lacrosse was originated by North America’s Indigenous peoples in the 12th century and remains a significant part of Native American culture, highlighted by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy’s participation in World Lacrosse events.

One of the biggest goals between now and 2028 will be the Haudenosaunee’s efforts to gain an invitation to LA 2028 to compete under their own flag.

Over the last two decades, lacrosse has seen unprecedented growth, doubling its membership from 45 to 90 national federations. Lacrosse is now played in all five continental regions, with four continents represented in the world top-10 rankings for both men and women.

The world Super Sixes championships for women was just played last month in Oshawa with Canada earning the gold medal at Civic Fields.


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