Limerick is the centre of the growing lacrosse world as the 2022 Men’s U21 World Championship, the largest junior-level world championship staged to date, gets underway at the University of Limerick campus and runs until Saturday 20th August.
Ireland Lacrosse will host the tournament at University of Limerick campus, featuring a record 23 teams and more than 500 athletes competing in 86 games over 11 days. The last junior-level men’s championship featured 14 teams competing in Canada in 2016.
Eight teams will be making their debut in the event: Jamaica, Kenya, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Puerto Rico, Sweden and Uganda. Meanwhile, eight teams will be making at least their fifth appearance in the competition: Australia, Canada, England, Germany, the Haudenosaunee, Japan, Korea and the United States.
The rosters for all 23 teams can be found here. As the tournament was originally scheduled for 2020, the age limit increased from U19 to U21.
Nearly 300 athletes taking the field in Limerick compete in collegiate lacrosse, highlighted by over 80 athletes who play NCAA Division I. Both the United States and Canada have more than 20 players on their rosters that hail from Division I institutions.
All 86 games in Limerick will be broadcast globally with 22 games distributed by ESPN and the remaining 64 games will be offered globally by Lax Sports Network. The full schedule, along with broadcast designations and global streaming information, can be found here.
The 23 teams in Limerick will be split into five pools – three groups of five and two groups of four. Pool A features the top ranked teams: USA, Canada, Haudenosaunee, Australia and England.
Pool play will continue through Monday, August 15 and will determine seeding for the playoff brackets. The top three teams from Pools B and C and the best fourth-place finisher from those pools will join the five teams from Pool A in a 12-team championship bracket.
Meanwhile, Pools D and E are aimed at providing developmental and championship-level experience to 10 teams that do not meet the age rules for full participation. After pool play, those teams will compete in the platinum bracket to determine 13th through 23rd place, alongside the three lowest ranking teams from Pools B and C.
Bracket play begins on Tuesday, August 16, building up to the semifinals on Thursday, August 18 and the medal games on Saturday, August 20, with the championship match set for 7pm. local time. The brackets can be found here.
The United States will be looking to maintain its claim on the world title, with the Americans’ most recent championship coming in an instant classic in the 2016 title match. The USA came back from an 8-2 deficit to Canada at halftime to win 13-12, scoring the winning goal with 8 seconds remaining in the game.