Caught-up in pro lacrosse fever, Saskatoon lands world championship tournament

Saskatoon will host the world's best junior-aged lacrosse players as they compete for the gold in an indoor championship.

Tournament honours game's Indigenous roots

The Saskatchewan Rush is drawing big crowds and is motivating more young people to take up the game of lacrosse. (Saskatchewan Rush)

With the arrival of the Saskatchewan Rush, Saskatoon is a little caught up with lacrosse fever. 

Now the city has landed a premier event that will only add to that frenzy.

It's very graceful. It's a fun, exciting game.- Randy Trobak

Saskatoon will be home to the 2018 World Junior Lacrosse Championship.  

"Anytime team Canada and team USA meet, it is going to be exciting, that's for sure," said Randy Trobak in an interview with CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.

"This game is very fast. There are a lot of young guys trying to prove themselves."

Trobak is with the Saskatoon Box Lacrosse Association and is the driving force behind the successful bid to bring the championship to the city.

The Thompson brothers are draped in blankets, in place of traditional buffalo robes - a gift given to them by the Saskatoon Tribal Council. The Rush have always worked to honour the games traditional Indigenous roots, as does the tournament set for Saskatoon in August. (Bridget Yard/CBC)

Honouring the history of the game 

With the professional league in Saskatoon, and now with some of the best under-20 lacrosse players in the world headed here in August, the city is caught up in a modern love affair with a game that finds its roots in the history of Indigenous communities who played long before colonisation.

Trobak said that the energy has captured young people, and that the Saskatoon Box Lacrosse League has seen its numbers double over the last couple of years.  

"It shows the kids that are coming up, where they can go with the game."

This tournament pays great tribute to the games Indigenous roots. In fact, playing alongside Canada and the U.S. will be the Iroquois Nation, and this will be the first time the International Indoor Junior Lacrosse tournament will be staged outside of Six Nations of the Grand River in Ontario.

Randy Trobak with the Saskatoon Box Lacrosse Association helped bring the world junior tournament to the city.

Best of the best

Trobak said the level of play will be intense as these young man compete not only to represent their teams, but also themselves as they showcase their skills but he said, it would be a mistake to think that this is just a tough, physical game.

"It's very graceful. It's a fun, exciting game."

The championship will be held at SaskTel Centre from August 8th to 12th.

About the Author

Danny Kerslake

Danny Kerslake is an award-winning journalist who has worked in radio stations across Western Canada. In his career with CBC Saskatchewan, Danny has reported from every corner of the province and has lived and worked in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. Danny is a newsreader and digital AP for CBC Saskatoon.

with files from Saskatoon Morning