Hamilton Announced as 2019 WJLC Host

Photo Courtesy of WJLC

The 2019 World Junior Lacrosse Championship will be held in Hamilton, Ontario at FirstOntario Centre. The tournament will run from August 6th to 11th. International Indoor Junior Lacrosse (IIJL), in partnership with the Canadian Lacrosse League (CLL) made the announcement yesterday, October 29th.

The host venue, FirstOntario Centre, is the home to the Ontario Hockey League's (OHL) Hamilton Bulldogs. Formerly, it was the home to the NLL's Toronto Rock when they were the Ontario Raiders. 

2019 will be the fourth installment of the WJLC tournament. Last year's tournament was held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and saw Canada take home gold. The Iroquois took home silver and the USA came in last place, third, in last years tournament. 

The WJLC has seen growth and success since it's debut in 2015 as the U-19 World Lacrosse Challenge. This was basically created out of a need for a U-19 Box championships since the FIL's only box event is the Wold Indoor Lacrosse Championships and for National Teams only, not U-19 teams. 

In 2016 the vote was made by organization members to increase the age of participation to 20 years old, since it's not a FIL sanctioned event. This means that the WJLC is truly a "juniors" tournament. This tournament is the only world box lacrosse event for players 20 years and younger. 

In it's inaugural year the tournament had twelve teams that were a mix of national teams, club teams, and heritage teams from eight different countries. In 2016 the tournament started going into the direction of a one team per nation tournament, but we still saw eight teams from five nations. 

2018 was the first year that it was a truly one team per nation tournament as Canada, Iroquois, and USA competed. Last year' schedule involved a series of round robin games and then the top two teams playing in the championship game for a gold medal. 

Teams are currently in the early stages of the tryout process for next year's tournament. Canada and the USA have both announced tryout dates.