The two international governing bodies of lacrosse merged to form the Federation of International Lacrosse.

By Ken Galluccio
Photos by Galluccio

Already back in Coquitlam during the finals of the ILF U19 Worlds, Tom Hayes was getting misty. As then immediate past President of the ILF and having witnessed its birth 34 years before, he had every right to. "This is it, the very last ILF game ever..."

Doubtful on the other hand that the women were likewise spending much time on nostalgia during last years U19's in Peterborough - they were WAY too organized, busy, and driven for that!

And now here it is and off we go, into the baby blue yonder... the official color of the new united organization, FIL, is to be "UN blue" (Pantone PMS 279), and by the way, a new logo is still needed. Anyone who feels up to the job can submit an entry for consideration and if your design is chosen you will get a few hundred bucks for your trouble, plus VIP treatment at the next major world lacrosse event of your choice - either the senior women's world cup in Prague 2009, or the men's games in Manchester 2010. (in case of interest mail Ken at - I'll pass you on from there)

The new President of the new organization, Feffie Barnhill, is no stranger to international lacrosse, having coached Scotland for many years, and is of course a regular regular in the circles in and around US Lacrosse. Feffie is joined at the helm by Stan Cockerton, who aside from his many years of dedicated service for the ILF, also shot the winning goal in Canada's first World Games win over the USA (no, not in 2006... come on trivia buffs, when was it?). Shelley Maher, from Down Under, will take up the role as Women's Director, the aforementioned Tom Hayes has simply renamed his already very successful joint development committee and re-upped for another round of boldly going to new lacrosse frontiers as its Chair, and the honorable Ron Balls of England, longtime ILF Competitions Chair will keep a tab on the kitty. And if any of you were wondering "Just where is Jack these days?", look no further... The legendary Coach Emmer has agreed to head up FIL's Men's Lacrosse Division as Director.

A party was held to mark the occasion and honor and tribute paid to IFWLA immediate past President Fiona Clark, and to ILF immediate past President Peter Hobbs, both of Oz, and both tireless and dedicated in their work for their respective organizations, but also more importantly in this case united in their vision and understanding to join them as well. The unification took years to complete, and was carefully planned out and staged by the Unification Committee. The result is a milestone and at the same time stepping stone, it is hoped, for the unification clears just one hurdle more on the way to returning lacrosse to the Olympic level it once enjoyed.

Happy Birthday FIL, and thanks to Fiona, Peter, and the members of the new FIL board! May lacrosse live long and prosper, and that force be with us all.

Report from the European Championships in Lahti, Finland


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