Blogs and Commentary

posted 12.19.2012 at 5.39 p.m. by Clare Lochary

December Milestones for English Lacrosse Association

It’s been an extremely busy month for the English Lacrosse Association, US Lacrosse’s counterpart in England. 

  • On December 7, the ELA made a recommendation regarding eyewear for women’s lacrosse, recommending that eyewear be worn as a protective measure for all women’s lacrosse players. While US Lacrosse has mandated eyewear since 2005, FIL rules do not mandate it, and no other lacrosse governing bodies require women to wear eyewear. Thus it’s relatively rare to see non-American players wear goggles. The ELA recommendation is not a mandate, however. English players can still choose to play without them.

  • Mark Coups will succeed longtime CEO David Shuttleworth beginning in April 2013. It’s a major transition, since the retiring Shuttleworth has been involved with the ELA for more than 25 years. Coups is currently the ELA’s Director of Development and Coaching.

  • Sport England, the English government agency that supports and promotes athletics, has pledged £ 3.4 million to the ELA. (That’s just under $7 million in U.S. dollars.) Lacrosse is now one of 46 sports officially sponsored by Sport England. The ELA received the grant as a result of increased participation in recent years, and plans to use the money to increase club membership by 45 percent and increase the number and geographic spread of English lacrosse clubs. Manchester is the hotbed of men’s lacrosse in England; the women’s programs are more popular in the south of the country.

    Sport England’s Chief Executive, Jenny Price said, “For the first time we have created a specific fund to reward success by NGBs who can prove they can grow their sports. This is about backing winners.”

    There is no equivalent agency in the U.S.; national governing bodies like US Lacrosse and even the IOC are independent organizations that do not receive direct government funding.