Lacrosse is coming home. For the first time ever, the FIL (Federation of International Lacrosse) will hold the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships at the home of the game: The Onondaga Nation, capital of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Games will be played September 18-27th at three venues in and around the Syracuse area: Opening Ceremonies and first tournament matches at the War Memorial Arena; Tournament matches as well as Cultural Festivals and Activities at Onondaga Nation Arena; and Closing Ceremonies and Bronze & Gold Medal Games at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University on Sunday, September 27th. Tickets for the event are now on sale and can be purchased by visiting www.wilc2015.com.
“On behalf of The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) and all our members, I would like to extend our best wishes and gratitude to the Haudenosaunne for hosting the FIL 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships,” said FIL President Stan Cockerton. “We are confident that hosting the 2015 WILC in Onondaga Nation and in Syracuse will result in an event that will set a benchmark for future events to aspire to.”
This is a significant milestone – the Haudenosaunee, will step onto the world stage and carry their flag, exercise the sovereignty of indigenous nations, share their culture, field their national team, welcome guest nations and proudly host the game of their ancestors. Thirteen Nations from around the world will journey to Onondaga to compete. The eyes of the world and all of Indian Country will descend on the Onondaga Nation in Upstate New York this September.
“It will be our pleasure and our honor to have the game come home. Lacrosse is coming home in 2015,” said Oren Lyons of the Onondaga Nation.
The FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championship is an international tournament that is held every four years. The 2011 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships were held in Prague, Czech Republic. The defending World Champions are Canada, with the Iroquois Nationals finishing second and the United States finishing third. These nations will compete again in 2015 alongside Australia, Czech Republic, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey.
The start of the 2015 Games will commence at the War Memorial in downtown Syracuse, with a spectacular Opening Ceremony and Game on September 18th. The traditional round‐robin tournament play will continue for a week at the Onondaga Nation Arena. The medal games will take place at the Syracuse University Carrier Dome, with a capacity of 28,000 seats for Lacrosse fans from all over North America and the World.
“Syracuse University has a rich tradition of lacrosse excellence and it is a privilege for us to host these championship games on our campus,” said Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syveryd.“The event will bring tens of thousands of visitors to campus and allow our university to again celebrate and honor the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and the Onondaga Nation, which is the home of the game. We look forward to this world championship taking place in the Carrier Dome in September.”
“Lacrosse is coming home to the City of Syracuse and on behalf of all our residents we could not be more excited,” said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner. “Central New York—home to the Onondaga Nation—is the birthplace of the sport and is the right place to have its world championship. I am happy for the Onondaga Nation and I am looking forward to welcoming visitors from around the world to the City of Syracuse.”
The Haudenosaunee are proud to host the games, with a theme of “peace and friendship” in these difficult times for our world. Coinciding with the Games, the Haudenosaunee peoples will host a Cultural Festival on the Nation. Native dancers, musicians, artisans, and craftsmen from across North America will showcase their Nation’s history, values, traditions and talents. The Onondaga Nation and the Haudenosaunee people will host a Buffalo Roast to commemorate their International visitors prior to the Final Games.
Lacrosse is one of the oldest team sports in North America. The original game was given as a gift from the Creator to the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois). The power of the game is sacred and it demands purity of mind, body and spirit. It is revered by the Haudenosaunee and handed down through generations as a game of discipline and honor. Traditional lacrosse games were sometimes major events that could last several days. As many as 100 to 1,000 men from opposing villages would participate. Lacrosse is not just a sport to the Haudenosaunee, it is believed that when they play their “medicine game,” “there is a parallel game in the sky world…” honoring and protecting their Nations’ values, traditions and way of life.
“We are thrilled to be producing the WILC Games together with the Onondaga Nation,” said Erick Weiss, COO and Executive Producer of the Games and President of Honeysweet Productions. “These games provide an historic opportunity to put the important issues of sovereignty and indigenous people’s human rights in the headlines while celebrating the thrilling game of indoor Lacrosse on a global level. It is a great honor to support the Haudenosaunee as they produce these world games.”
International visitors, dignitaries, lacrosse fans and all of Indian Country will travel to upstate New York to support their teams. The Iroquois Nationals will proudly carry their Nations’ flag, colors and sticks into International competition. Lacrosse…is coming home.
About the FIL
The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) is the international governing body for men’s and women’s lacrosse. The FIL currently has 52 member nations and holds five World Championships (women’s and men’s field, women’s and men’s U19 field and men’s indoor). The FIL is responsible for the governance and integrity of all forms of lacrosse and provides responsive and effective leadership to support the sports’ development throughout the world.