Lacrosse in England

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Lacrosse in England
Sport Lacrosse
Affiliation Federation of International Lacrosse
Official website

Lacrosse in England is an amateur sport played mainly by community based clubs and university teams. Lacrosse began in England in 1876 when a visiting group of Canadians captained by Dr. W. G. Beers of Montreal played exhibition matches up and down the country.[1] By 1883, when a second tour group captained by Beers visited England there were 60 clubs playing regular fixtures in Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Lancashire, Middlesex and Yorkshire.

In 1892, the English Lacrosse Union (ELU) was formed. In 1996, under the guidance of Sport England, the ELU and All England Women's Lacrosse Association joined together to form one national governing body, the English Lacrosse Association (ELA) . The constitution of the ELA came into effect in 1997.

Men's Lacrosse[edit]

Men's club lacrosse in Britain is divided into Northern and Southern Leagues, each with so-called Flags competitions at the end of each Winter season. In addition to the regular 10-a-side season there are other tournaments, such as those at Stockport and Bath, which use a 6-a-side or 8-a-side format and shorter games.

Men's North is governed by NEMLA (North of England Men's Lacrosse Association) and was formed in 1897 when 10 clubs began playing regular fixtures. NEMLA now comprises a Premiership and four further Senior Divisions. There is also a Men's South which is governed by SEMLA (South of England Men's Lacrosse Association) and comprises a Premier Division, two West Divisions (including South Wales) and three East Divisions. For 2 seasons (2005/06, 2006/07), a Midlands division was run. However, the Midlands league consisted solely of University teams and with the introductions of a BUCS men's league, the Midlands league was removed.

The main focus of men's lacrosse popularity in Britain is the North-West of England, around the Manchester area.[2] This is reflected by its selection to host the men's world championships in 1978 and 1994, and again for the 2010 and 2018 world championships.[3] A second centre is in the South of England, especially around the London area.

Women's lacrosse is big in the south of England with the majority of the England national team coming from there.

Men's lacrosse is a common minority sport in Universities, which along with club-based youth programs, provide the majority of newcomers with their first experiences of the sport. In 2008, a men's BUCS league was introduced, providing greater support and recognition to the men's university teams.

Whilst traditionally lacrosse was played at many schools in the North of England, and a small number of schools in the South of England, there are now almost no schools that offer men's lacrosse.

Women's Lacrosse[edit]

Women's lacrosse is divided into Women's North, Women's South East Premier, Women's South East 1st Division and Women's South West.[4] [5][6]


England, Scotland and Wales compete as separate teams in international competitions. In the men's 2006 World Lacrosse Championship England finished in 5th place and in the Women's Lacrosse World Cup in 2005, England finished 3rd.

In the men's 2007 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship England finished in 4th place.

In the 2008, 2012 and 2016 European Lacrosse Championships England successfully defended their title in the Men's competition, and came second in the Women's competition

The 2010 World Lacrosse Championships were held in Manchester, England from 16–24 July at the Manchester University Sports Ground, The Armitage Centre.[7][8] The England team finished the tournament in 5th place.


  1. ^ "Death of Noted Lacrosse Player" (PDF). New York Times. January 6, 1901. Retrieved 2008-12-30. 
  2. ^ "BBC - How Manchester took sport of lacrosse to its heart". Retrieved 9 December 2016. 
  3. ^ Sun, Baltimore. "1994: U.S. 21, Australia 7". Retrieved 9 December 2016. 
  4. ^ Fisher, Donald M. (14 March 2002). "Lacrosse: A History of the Game". JHU Press. Retrieved 9 December 2016 – via Google Books. 
  5. ^ Schmidt, Henning (8 December 2014). "London Calling: Growing English Lacrosse - Lacrosse All Stars". Retrieved 9 December 2016. 
  6. ^ "#SOSLacrosse: Women fighting for 78 lacrosse coaches to be allowed into UK". Retrieved 9 December 2016. 
  7. ^ "Why the tribe who invented lacrosse can't play it here". 14 July 2010. Retrieved 9 December 2016. 
  8. ^ "The 'other' World Cup comes to Manchester - The University of Manchester". Retrieved 9 December 2016. 

External links[edit]