Lacrosse, An International Game



The game of lacrosse has grown a lot since the days of Native Americans playing various forms of "stickball" from modern day upstate New York and southern Ontario all the way to Minnesota and as far south as Oklahoma. The modern game we know was adopted from the Iroquois game in which they played for the creator and claimed has medicine like powers which we all still feel today.

Lacrosse was then named "lacrosse" by the French and thus adopted taken by Europeans and adapted. This is the modern game that we now all know and love. Lacrosse is the national sport of Canada and has a heavy following in the United States. Unlike the past, lacrosse is being played across the globe on every single continent, except Antarctica. The game of lacrosse is played far and wide and it is a beautiful thing to see. But what countries exactly have some form of organized lacrosse? 

I wish the answer to that question was everywhere but that just isn't true, yet. Although lacrosse is played on every continent, except Antarctica, there are certain countries that still need to be developed and introduced to the game. But back to that question, what countries have some for of organized lacrosse? Well, we have the answer for you. 

Note: Israel is a member of the European Lacrosse Federation and Qatar is a member of the Asia Pacific Lacrosse Union even though many would say they are in the same region.

Africa

The growth of lacrosse in Africa has been one of the greatest stories over the past decade. From the Fields of Growth project in Uganda to competing on the international level in two countries is fantastic. Right now, 2018, there are two countries that are members of the FIL, Uganda and Kenya, and there are numerous growth projects in other countries as well. The focus of the growth has been in East Africa due to the agreements that those countries have the makes it easy to cross those borders among other things. While the majority of growth has been in Uganda and Kenya there is also growth going on in Rwanda, Swaziland, South Africa, and South Sudan. The game of lacrosse continues to grow across the continent of Africa and we should see even more growth in the coming years. 

Australia 

Lacrosse in Australia is pretty well established and has been for quite some time. Australia, the country, and New Zealand both have well established national teams and grass roots programs in place.  Over the past few years lacrosse has seemed to plateau a little bit in Australia but the growth seems to be coming back a decent amount, especially in the box game in Australia, the country. Lacrosse in New Zealand has been growing and is getting better each year. Next step, in my mind, is to get lacrosse into some of those surrounding countries like Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. That would really help the overall growth of lacrosse in Australia. 

Asia 

This is one of the continents that has seen the most growth over the past ten to five years. With Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and China being the most prominent in terms of talent in Asia lacrosse has grown fairly well on the the largest continent in the world. The success of growth that we have seen in Thailand, the Philippines, Taiwan, and others is fantastic to see. Qatar, Malaysia and Singapore have also come onto the scene as of recent. There is also growth efforts being made in Nepal, Mongolia, India, and Cambodia. The United Arab Emirates also has a foundation that continues to build. Lacrosse is exploding in Asia and I expect that trend to continue. 

Europe

Outside of North America Europe has sustained the most continuous growth and has the most developed system. I attribute this much to the closeness of the countries among other things. European lacrosse has long been dominated by England and we are staring to see Germany, Ireland, Israel, and others get up to that level now. The Czech's have been dominate in box lacrosse and have one of the best rinks in the world in LCC Radotin. Finland is getting on the box lacrosse hype as the box game continues to sweep the continent. A few newer countries like Turkey, Greece, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, and Ukraine have popped up over the past few years as well. The game's health in Europe is great as there are many tournaments and leagues that have helped sustain an infrastructure and growth. Now we just need to dip into countries like Moldova and Iceland, among others.

North America

When many of you think of lacrosse in North America you instantly think the Haudenosaunee, Canada, and United States as they are the so called 'Big Three" of international lacrosse. All three of these nations have been developing and playing lacrosse for a very long time. The Haudenosaunee have been playing for thousands of years and it really is in their blood. Canada and the United States have been playing lacrosse the second longest of any countries in the world. All three produce the most premiere players in the world. But, that isn't all North America is as the Caribbean and other parts of the continent have been growing very steadily as well. Puerto Rico and Jamaica have had some great recent success as newer lacrosse countries. The growth there is just phenomenal. Mexico, Bermuda, Costa Rica, Haiti, and others have also seen some great growth as well. Lacrosse has also been introduced in Honduras, El Salvador, Cuba, Dominican Republic and others. It's safe to say the game is growing on all fronts in North America.

South America 

Lacrosse in South America has been slower than other parts of the world, but things are starting to catch up in multiple countries. Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, and Peru are the only current FIL members. In those countries the game of lacrosse has seem some pretty steady growth over the past couple of years. You could see that growth and development of the South American countries on display in Israel this past summer. That growth and development is crucial to the game in South America as they are emerging as a growing lacrosse region. As lacrosse gets into more countries in South America we should see the game take off like it has in other areas of the world. There have been many camps and clinics put on to introduce lacrosse in different countries in South America and that will ultimately help spurt the growth in the region. 

How Many Countries Play Lacrosse?

There are 62 FIL member nations and numerous other countries that have started playing lacrosse and have grassroots growth programs in place. Many of these countries were mentioned above. But what exactly are those lacrosse countries? 

Africa

Kenya - FIL Member 
Rwanda - Introduced
Swaziland - Introduced
Uganda - FIL Member
South Africa - Introduced

Australia 

Australia - FIL Member
New Zealand - FIL Member

Asia

Cambodia - Introduced
China - FIL Member
Hong Kong - FIL Member
India - Introduced
Japan - FIL Member
Malaysia - FIL Member
Mongolia - Introduced
Nepal - Introduced
Philippines - FIL Member
Qatar - FIL Member
Singapore - FIL Member
South Korea - FIL Member
Taiwan - FIL Member
Thailand - FIL Member
UAE - Introduced

Europe

Austria - FIL Member
Belgium - FIL Member
Bulgaria - FIL Member
Croatia - FIL Member
Czech Republic - FIL Member
Denmark - FIL Member
England - FIL Member 
Estonia - FIL Member
Finland - FIL Member
France - FIL member
Germany - FIL Member
Greece - FIL Member
Hungary - FIL Member
Ireland - FIL Member
Israel - FIL Member
Italy - FIL Member
Latvia - FIL Member
Luxembourg - FIL Member
Netherlands - FIL Member
Norway - FIL Member
Poland - FIL Member
Portugal - FIL Member
Romania - Introduced
Russia - FIL Member
Scotland - FIL Member
Serbia - FIL Member
Slovakia - FIL Member
Slovenia - FIL Member
Spain - FIL Member
Sweden - FIL Member
Switzerland - FIL Member
Turkey - FIL Member
Ukraine - FIL Member
Wales - FIL Member

North America

Bermuda - FIL Member
Canada - FIL Member
Costa Rica - FIL Member
Cuba - Introduced 
Dominican Republic - Introduced
El Salvador -Introduced
Guatemala - FIL Member
Haiti - FIL Member
Haudenosaunee - FIL Member
Honduras - Introduced 
Jamaica - FIL Member
Mexico - FIL Member
Nicaragua - Introduced
Panama - Introduced
Puerto Rico - FIL Member
United States - FIL Member

South America

Argentina - FIL Member
Chile - FIL Member
Colombia - FIL Member
Ecuador - FIL Member
Peru - FIL Member


If I missed any country please feel free to mention it down in the comment section or reach out to us via social media @LacrosseBucket or email.



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