The Value of Sixes
The International Olympic Committee is scheduled to vote on October 17, 2023 on whether to add Sixes Lacrosse to the program for the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles. The IOC Executive Board has already endorsed the recommendation by the LA28 organizing committee to include Sixes Lacrosse. This is a crucial step in the process to bring Lacrosse back to the Olympics.
The last time Lacrosse was played in the Olympic Games was in 1908, and it has been a demonstration sport at three other Games. However, it has never been a medal sport in the Summer Games.
In 1904, three teams competed in the games in St. Louis, Missouri: the Winnipeg Shamrocks from Canada, the Mohawk people of the Iroquois and one team from the United States, the St. Louis Amateur Athletic Association. The Winnipeg Shamrocks captured the gold medal.
In 1908, only two teams competed in the games in London, England: one from Canada and one from Great Britain. The Canadians again won the gold medal in a single championship match by a score of 14–10.
Lacrosse was also held as a demonstration event at the 1928, 1932, and 1948 Summer Olympics. In 1928 and 1932, the United States was represented by the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays men's lacrosse team, and in 1948 by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (R.P.I.). Canada sent an all-star team in 1928 and 1932; Great Britain sent an all-star team in 1928 and 1948.
Including Sixes Lacrosse in the 2028 Olympics would be a major shift for the sport, which has been growing rapidly for the past 20 years. Lacrosse is now played in over 80 countries around the world, and it is the fastest-growing collegiate sport in the United States.
The LA28 organizing committee has said that Sixes Lacrosse is a good fit for the 2028 Olympics because it is a fast-paced and exciting sport that is popular with both male and female athletes. The committee has also said that lacrosse is a relatively affordable sport to produce, which is important for the IOC as it tries to keep the costs of the Games down.
If the IOC votes to add Lacrosse to the 2028 Olympics, it is expected that the men's and women's tournaments will each feature eight teams. The tournaments are likely to be held at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California. Lacrosse at the Rose Bowl… SO AWESOME!
The inclusion of lacrosse in the Olympics would be a major milestone for the sport, and it would help to raise its profile around the world. It would also be a great opportunity for lacrosse players to compete at the highest level and to represent their countries on the Olympic stage.
The inclusion of Sixes Lacrosse in the Olympics would have several positive impacts on the sport.
1. It would increase the visibility of lacrosse around the world. The Olympics are one of the most watched sporting events in the world, and millions of people would be exposed to lacrosse for the first time.
2. The Olympics would provide a platform for lacrosse players to compete at the highest level. The best lacrosse players in the world would have the opportunity to represent their countries on the Olympic stage and to win medals.
3. The Olympics would help to grow the sport of lacrosse. The increased visibility and exposure would lead to more people playing lacrosse, and it would also attract more sponsors and investment in the sport.
The Sixes discipline will support the growth of the game at the grassroots level in several ways as well.
1. The display of this discipline of the sport will provide a way for communities to grow the game at a faster pace because less players and space are needed to play the game.
2. The rules of the game are simpler than those of the 10v10 field discipline making the game easier to learn.
3. Players in Sixes must play both sides of the ball much like a transition player in Box Lacrosse. This will develop the Lacrosse IQ of players more quickly.
The future I see for the Sixes discipline is filled with up-side. This game is action-packed, end-to-end. Each player uses the same size stick and is expected to understand and execute on the Offensive and Defensive sides. College and Professional coaches already recruit from the Canadian box lacrosse leagues, and I don’t see coaches looking away from players with Sixes experience as they will have a similar skill set, fantastic stamina to run up and down the field, and extremely high lacrosse IQ.
Overall, the inclusion of lacrosse in the Olympics would be a major positive development for the sport. It would help to raise the profile of lacrosse around the world, provide a platform for lacrosse players to compete at the highest level, and help to grow the sport.