The 2022 World Lacrosse Games are in the process of seeding the multiple national teams looking to play in the championships. The Iroquois Nationals are one of the best teams in the world, but they were not considered because of a technicality. Enter Ireland.
This week, if you looked up the dictionary definition for the word ‘sportsmanship,’ there’s a good chance you might have seen a picture of Ireland’s national lacrosse team there. That’s because rather than looking to their own interests, they ceded their spot at the World Lacrosse Games 2022 to a Native American Iroquois squad who’d been shut out of the international competition on a technicality.
The eight teams slotted to play in the tournament were selected on the basis of where their team ranked at the end of the 2018 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championship. The Iroquois Nationals came in third. Ireland finished 12th.
Since the Iroquois are not recognized as a sovereign nation nor do they have an Olympic Committee, the International World Games Association (IWGA) initially disqualified them from championship play.
For the record, this is a stupid rule. There is no need for the Iroquois to have an Olympic Committee, since they have been playing in world tournaments for years.
Seeing the injustice, the Irish team dropped out, giving the Iroquois their spot.
In a statement, Michael Kennedy, chief executive officer of Ireland Lacrosse said, “It’s simply the right thing to do… As much as our players would have been honored to compete, we know the right thing is for the Iroquois Nationals to represent our sport on this international stage.”
This is no minor act of kindness. Ireland earned a spot on the World Games and they voluntarily gave it up because they saw another team getting screwed. You think a team from the NFL, NBA, or MLB would do that? The answer is no.
Cheers to you, Ireland. Sláinte!