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International lacrosse : Olympic Games & Other


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Olympic Games
Field lacrosse was a medal sport in the 1904 and the 1908 Summer Olympics. In 1904, three teams competed in the games held in St. Louis. Two Canadian teams, the Winnipeg Shamrocks and a team of Mohawk people from the Iroquois Confederacy, plus the local St. Louis Amateur Athletic Association team representing the United States participated. The Winnipeg Shamrocks captured the gold medal. The 1908 games held in London, England, featured only two teams, representing Canada and Great Britain. The Canadians again won the gold medal in a single championship match by a score of 14–10.

In the 1928, 1932, and the 1948 Summer Olympics, lacrosse was a demonstration sport. The 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam featured three teams: the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. The 1932 games in Los Angeles featured a three-game exhibition between a Canadian all-star team and the United States. The United States was represented by Johns Hopkins in both the 1928 and 1932 Olympics. The 1948 games featured an exhibition by an "All-England" team organized by the English Lacrosse Union and the collegiate lacrosse team from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute representing the United States. This exhibition match ended in a 5–5 tie.

Efforts were made to include lacrosse as an exhibition sport at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia and the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, but they were not successful.

An obstacle for lacrosse to return to the Olympics is insufficient international participation. To be considered for the Olympics, a sport must be played on four continents and by at least 75 countries. Lacrosse is played on all six continents, but as of August 2019 when Ghana joined, there are only 63 countries playing the sport.

Other
The European Lacrosse Federation (ELF) was established in 1995 and held the first European Lacrosse Championships that year. Originally an annual event, it is now held every four years, in between FIL's men's and women's championships. In 2004, 12 men's and 6 women's teams played in the tournament, making it the largest international lacrosse event of the year. The last men's tournament was in 2016, when 24 countries participated. England won its ninth gold medal out of the ten tournaments played. 2015 was the last women's tournament, when 17 teams participated in the Czech Republic. England won its sixth gold medal, with Wales earning silver and Scotland bronze. These three countries from Great Britain have dominated the women's championships, earning all but three medals since the tournament began in 1996. There are currently 29 members of the ELF, they make up the majority of nations in the FIL.

The Asia Pacific Lacrosse Union was founded in 2004 by Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. It currently has 12 members and holds the Asia Pacific Championship for both men's and women's teams every two years.

Lacrosse was played in the World Games for the first time at the 2017 World Games held in Poland. Only women's teams took part in the competition. The United States won the gold medal defeating Canada in the finals. Australia won the bronze medal match. The Haudenosaunee Nationals women's lacrosse team could not participate.

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