FIL Admits Ecuador as a Member Nation, Game Growing in South America

Courtesy of Ecuador Lacrosse

The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) is now at 62 member nations after Ecuador was admitted last week as a member nation. Ukraine was admitted as well. It is amazing to see how far lacrosse has come in Ecuador up to this point where they have been admitted as a member nation of the FIL.

Lacrosse in Ecuador started when the Association Ecuatorian de Lacrosse (A.E.L) was founded in 2014 by Juan Marquez de la Plata who had also helped with Mexico Lacrosse previously. The game of lacrosse was introduced to Ecuador through two trips organized with Encore lacrosse that brought high school players from the United States down to Ecuador to showcase the game and give clinics. The first trip was in 2015 to Quito, Ecuador and the second was in 2017 to Guayaquil, Ecuador in 2017.

The growth of lacrosse in Ecuador has been primarily through the educational system as lacrosse has been introduced to a few schools as physical education programs. The first physical education lacrosse program started in 2015 at a school in Guayaquil. The sport has since been introduced to a few other schools as physical education programs and it's still developing. The next step is to create a lacrosse league that will serve as a model to grow the game through the educational system.

According to Juan Marquez de la Plata the process of getting admitted to the FIL was quite easy. He also said that Bob Demarco, head of development at the FIL, was very helpful and great to work with as the went through the process. With Ecuador now being a member nation of the FIL they are eligible to compete in FIL events. Their goal is to grow the game as much as they can through the educational system and set club teams and establish a national team that can compete in the World Championship Qualifiers in 2020 and the 2022 FIL World Lacrosse Championships in Coquitlam, British Columbia.

The future goal for lacrosse in Ecuador is to establish a lacrosse league in the Galapagos Islands where the game has been introduced. One of the biggest ways that you can support lacrosse in Ecuador is by donating gear, especially sticks. You can contact Juan Marquez de la Plata for more information on how to donate.