The Mann Cup is the trophy awarded to the senior men's lacrosse champions of Canada. The championship is a best-of-seven, East vs West series played between the league champions of Major Series Lacrosse, the East, and Western Lacrosse Association, the West. The original trophy, which is now located in the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame, is one of the most valuable in all of sports; made of solid gold and said to be valued at more than $60,000 CDN.
It was donated in 1910 by Sir Donald Mann; prior to then, the Minto Cup was the senior amateur championship trophy. The Mann Cup was originally a challenge trophy, but in 1925 the champion New Westminster Salmonbellies turned the trophy over to the Canadian Lacrosse Association who instituted a national playoff system. The challenges and championships for the Mann Cup were played by the rules of traditional field lacrosse until 1932, when box lacrosse was adopted by the Canadian Lacrosse Association. The first indoor Mann Cup was played at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto in October 1932.
In 1914, the Vancouver Athletic Club defeated the Calgary Chinooks and Brampton Excelsiors in Mann Cup challenge matches but the Mann Cup Trustees disputed the status of one of the Vancouver players in the series versus Brampton.
Despite the views of British Columbia lacrosse, national lacrosse and amateur athletic organisations that supported Vancouver’s position, the trustees instead awarded the cup to the Calgary Chinooks on September 29, 1914. Vancouver however held on to the gold trophy and refused to turn it over to either the trustees or the Chinooks.
After the Mann Cup was turned over to the control of the Canadian Lacrosse Association in 1926, all references to the Calgary Chinooks title were removed from the records.
In 1922, there were two rival leagues located in British Columbia battling for the Mann Cup: Vancouver Lacrosse Club and Victoria Capitals played in the British Columbia Amateur Lacrosse Association's senior league while the New Westminster Salmonbellies and Vancouver Elks played in the Pacific Coast Amateur Lacrosse Association. Control of the Mann Cup was retained by the BCALA after New Westminster left that league to join the PCALA. Vancouver Lacrosse Club won their schedule and were awarded the Mann Cup, while New Westminster won their series in the PCALA.
About a week later, Vancouver Lacrosse Club and New Westminster met in a three-game, total goals series to determine who would take home the Mann and Kilmarnock Cups. After Vancouver (who were at the time considered the holders of the Mann Cup) were up 7-6 in goals after two games, they then defaulted their third game after a brawl broke out and the team refused to return to the field. The score was 1-1, so New Westminster lined up and they then went through the formal motions of scoring two unopposed goals into the empty net to take the series and the silverware back by 9 goals to 8.
In 1989, the Mann Cup was stolen from the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in New Westminster, British Columbia. Despite fears of the cup being melted down for its gold content, it turned up a few weeks later, with a small chunk cut out of the rim, but otherwise intact.
In 2004, the Peterborough Lakers won the Mann Cup. During a celebratory gathering the replica of the trophy was dropped in a bonfire and was destroyed.