FIL World Championships Preview; Olive Pool

(Photo Credit: David Isabirye / Kawowo Sports)

The 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championships are just a few weeks away and I now everyone in the lacrosse world is very excited. This years FIL World Championships in Netayna, Israel will feature 46 countries that will compete for a Gold medal. This is the first of this series previewing each of the 14 pools and today we start with the Olive pool.


The Olive pool has had a little bit of shifting from when the pools were originally set. This is due to Bulgaria and Haiti having to pull out. The Olive pool originally was made up of Poland, Luxembourg, and Hong Kong. Uganda was later added as the fourth team in the Olive pool.

Uganda

Uganda came onto the world stage during the 2014 World Championships in Denver as they were the first team from Africa to compete at any level in lacrosse. Uganda was a fan favorite in Denver as they really did have a lot of attention on them. Their first International goal came against Ireland in their opening game. 

Uganda is kind of in a tough spot as them and Kenya are the only two African countries with lacrosse at the moment. The Ugandans were able to prepare for these World Games by traveling and playing in the Israel Premiere Lacrosse League. However Uganda did host a tournament in Uganda in which teams traveled down there. 

The growth of lacrosse in Africa has looked to be pretty good. I have heard the number of guys they had tryout for this Uganda National Team and I am very pleased. Seeing the game grow in Uganda is so wonderful and I can't wait to see what is in store next for African lacrosse.

In 2014 in Denver Uganda came in 34th place overall and last in the Yellow Pool as they finished with a record of 2-5. Their wins came against Costa Rica and Belgium. The Ugandans should be a fairy improved team in 2018 and I can't wait to see them on the field. 

Luxembourg

Luxembourg is making their debut in 2018 and I couldn't be more excited. This tiny European country is fairly new to the lacrosse world as they are obviously still in the growing stages. I know this will be a team that many follow just because of the fact that they are new in the game.

Since they are so new they don't have that big of a player pool yet. This also means that they have a roster smaller than most other countries. They will obviously want to have a good showing and grow the game quite a bit in Luxembourg before 2022 when the tournament caps at 30 teams in Coquitlam, BC. Luxembourg will be up against some tough competition with all the other European teams before them. 

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is no stranger to the FIL World Championships as they had their debut in Perth at the 2002 World Championships. Hong Kong has seen a ton of growth over the past couple of years and that is fantastic.

They had a good showing at the 2017 ASPACs in which they played against good competition from around the region. That includes regional powers Japan and China. I really do feel that we will see a much improved Hong Kong team from 2014.

During the 2014 World Championships in Denver Hong Kong finished 21st overall and 2nd in the Red Pool as they had a record of 5-3. Their wins came against teams  Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, and Turkey. Their loses came against teams that were just more talented like Poland and Germany.

Hong Kong should be much improved in 2018 and I can't wait to see what they can do not in pool play but in the placement brackets as well. 

Poland

Poland should be the favorite in this pool as they have had the most success. The Polish team has been successful in the Euros and the World Championships as they can really compete with some big time teams. 

Although they have had some good success they haven't had much big attention like some other European teams. One thing that does make them a little bit more different than other teams is that they are made up of almost exclusively Polish born players which is great. I believe they really only have 2-3 players from either the US or Canada. 

In Denver in 2014 Poland came in 20th overall and 2nd in the Grey Pool as they had a 3-4 record. They were able to get wins against Costa Rica, Turkey, and Hong Kong. They had a similar result in the 2016 European Championships as they came in 16th place.

Poland has definitely had some success in the past but they want to have more here in 2018. I feel they should be a much improved team and I think they should be able to shock some people. 

Olive Group Schedule

Hong Kong vs Luxembourg - Wednesday, July 11th 

Poland vs Uganda - Thursday, July 12th

Uganda vs Luxembourg - Friday, July 13th

Poland vs Hong Kong - Friday, July 13th

Hong Kong vs Uganda - Saturday, July 14th

Luxembourg vs Poland - Saturday, July 14th









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