Inaugural PALA Championship Starts This Week

Mexico is one of six nations that will compete in the PALA Women's Qualifier this week. The event is a requirement to participate in the 2021 World Lacrosse Women's World Championship.

A new era in international lacrosse begins this week when the Pan American Lacrosse Association (PALA) will hold its first championship event.

Argentina, Colombia, Haudenosaunee, Jamaica, Mexico and Puerto Rico will compete for the inaugural PALA Women’s Lacrosse World Qualifiers from Nov. 14-17 at Lake Myrtle Sports Park in Auburndale, Fla. In addition to competing for a title, the participating nations will earn qualification status for the 2021 World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship, which will be hosted by US Lacrosse at Towson (Md.) University in July 2021.

“We are beyond excited to welcome six countries from across North and South America to the inaugural PALA women’s regional qualifiers for the 2021 World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship,” said Ann Kitt Carpenetti, VP, US Lacrosse and PALA Board member. “This event is the culmination of a year of dreaming and planning by many lacrosse leaders throughout our region, and we fully expect that the competing athletes have a memorable experience and will represent their countries and our sport with great distinction.”

New World Lacrosse regulations allow a maximum of 30 countries for world championships and continental federations are used to determine the qualifiers. The U.S. and Canada both earned automatic bids to the world championship based on Top 10 finishes at the previous world championship in 2017. The remaining slots were awarded to the four continental federations — African Association of Lacrosse, Asia-Pacific Lacrosse Union, European Lacrosse Federation and the newly-formed PALA.

The process for forming PALA started in early 2018 and the group has been making significant process.

“In a short period of time, we formed a coalition of a very strong board with members serving from the United States, the Iroquois Nationals, the Haudenosaunee, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Jamaica,” said Katherine Loh, secretary general of PALA.

One of the significant achievements was a partnership with Polk County (Fla.) Tourism and Sports Marketing. PALA has offices at the Lake Myrtle Sport Park and access to 11 grass fields.

Katherine Loh, secretary general of PALA, says the partnership with Polk County (Fla.) Tourism and Sports Marketing, has the organization in a strong position to grow the sport and cultivate new members for the organization.

“This partnership allowed PALA to have a world class facility as a headquarters,” Loh said. “PALA is in a very strong position to accelerate the growth of both the sport of lacrosse and the cultivation of new members.”

The facility will be showcased during this week’s championship, beginning with a doubleheader on Thursday morning featuring Colombia against Jamaica and Mexico against Argentina. The championship game is slated for Sunday, Nov. 17 at 11 a.m.

The Haudenosaunee is the most experienced team in the championship. The Haudenosaunee won its pool at the 2017 world championship in England and ultimately finished in 12th place. They played in two previous world championships, finishing 11th in 2009 and seventh in 2013. Mexico and Colombia both participated in the 2017 world championship, finishing 20th and 24th, respectively.

In addition to the championship play, an all-star game will be held on Saturday at 6 p.m. utilizing the 6-on-6 trial rules developed by World Lacrosse to help best position the sport for potential Olympic inclusion.

For more information about PALA, please visit

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