(ATR) World Lacrosse unveils a new 6 v 6 discipline aimed at continuing to grow the sport while offering another option for players around the world.
Formally known as World Lacrosse Sixes, the new discipline will be referred to colloquially as Sixes.
Besides the name, the international federation on May 18 also introduced brand identity and the first phase of technical resources for Sixes.
"This is the beginning of an exciting, new era for World Lacrosse and lacrosse players around the globe," said World Lacrosse President Sue Redfern. "As the newest offering from our international federation, World Lacrosse Sixes is an ideal complement to our existing field and box disciplines. Sixes blends many of the most popular aspects of the field and box games, and introduces new elements that appeal to the next generation of sport participants and fans."
World Lacrosse says Sixes has been developed to support and accelerate the continued growth of lacrosse worldwide.
The international federation also made clear that the newest lacrosse discipline is not designed or intended to compete with, or replace, either the field or box disciplines of the game.
The traditional 10-a-side field lacrosse is played almost exclusively outdoors on a full-size football or soccer field while the six-a-side box discipline is almost always played indoors, often on ice hockey rinks with the ice removed or on indoor soccer fields.
Sixes is played on a field that is 70 meters by 36 meters, about two-thirds the size of a traditional one.
The development of Sixes began in 2018 as part of the strategic plan approved by the World Lacrosse General Assembly. There were five objectives that the new discipline needed to achieve:
• Support and encourage the continued growth of lacrosse worldwide
• Provide greater access to lacrosse by eliminating barriers to entry (eg: cost, team size, field size)
• Appeal to the next generation of sport participants and fans with a discipline that features tempo, speed, scoring and less specialization
• Over time, create greater competitive balance internationally by bringing more nations within reach of the podium at major international events
• And, fit within the 21st Century Olympic framework, where the International Olympic Committee and Host Cities are working to reduce the cost and complexity of staging the Olympic Games
"Throughout the development of this new discipline, the voice and perspective of athletes has helped shape every major decision that was made," said World Lacrosse Chief Executive Officer Jim Scherr.
"Today’s introduction is just the beginning. We will continue to modify and refine this discipline, leaning heavily on input from those for whom it was designed while expanding the technical resources available to players, coaches, officials and league administrators. We will also introduce an international calendar of events, culminating with a World Championship, through which players from around the world will be able to showcase their skills in Sixes."
Among the technical resources introduced on Wednesday were the official playing rules, in-person coaching clinics delivered alongside Sixes events, an introductory e-learning course for officials, and an introductory e-learning course for players and coaches. The World Lacrosse Sixes webpage features materials designed for players who are new to the game as well as those who have played the other versions of lacrosse.
Fourteen World Lacrosse members couldn’t wait. They had already introduced Sixes for domestic competition prior to the announcement.
A series of international events for 2021 and 2022 are expected to be announced in the next 90 days. A world championship is being targeted for several years from now.
World Lacrosse Sixes will be the discipline featured at The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama in July of next year.
Written by Gerard Farek
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