Sport Targets Development of New Discipline for Olympic Inclusion

PHOTO BY SCOTT MCCALL

In order to be included in the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the sport needs to develop a game that's faster in pace and fewer in numbers, among other key changes.


Lacrosse as we know it won’t fly in the Olympics.

And so perhaps the biggest obstacle in the way of the sport’s inclusion in the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles — the FIL cleared a major hurdle Nov. 30 with provisional recognition by the IOC — is the need to develop a new discipline of the sport that’s faster in pace, shorter in length, more confined in space and limited in numbers.

The U.S. national teams experimented with FIL trial rules during U.S. intra-squad exhibitions at Team USA Fall Classic in October and women’s games against UWLX and WPLL select teams at the IWLCA Presidents Cup in November. Among them:

  • Smaller field dimensions.

  • 6-on-6 format (5 field players, 1 goalie per side).

  • Four 8-minute quarters, running time.

  • Faceoffs/draws at the beginning of each quarter only, play resuming after goals with the goalie’s retrieval of the ball.

  • No offside, with all six players from one side eligible to attack the goal.

  • Possession on shot out of bounds determined by which team last touched the ball.

U.S. women’s coach Jenny Levy — who has likened the sport to where women’s soccer was in the 1980s, a decade before its breakthrough in the 1996 Olympics and tipping point in the 1999 World Cup — made her debut on the sideline at Fall Classic. 

“It’s a new era,” Levy said. “Part of what we’re doing is pushing for this 10-year goal of getting to the Olympics.







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