Hong Kong Lacrosse Teams Face Three Major International Tournaments Next Year
18 May 2020
Press Release

18th May 2020 ─ World Lacrosse (WL) has recently announced the revised schedules for several international tournaments, meaning the Hong Kong Men’s and Women’s Representative Teams will take on three major tournaments next year, including the 2022 World Lacrosse Men’s World Championship Asia Pacific Qualifier in April, the 2021 World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship in July, and the 2021 World Lacrosse Men’s U20 World Championship in June.

Affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic, the 2022 World Lacrosse Men’s World Championship Asia Pacific Qualifier, originally scheduled between 29th September and 3rd October this year in New Zealand, will now be held between 17th and 24th April 2021, 12 days after the conclusion of the Hong Kong Lacrosse Open. Originally scheduled for this summer, the 2020 World Lacrosse Men’s U19 World Championship has been postponed to 17th-26th June 2021 and it will continue to take place in Ireland. As the age cap of this tournament has been raised to 20 from 19 due to the postponement, it has also been renamed as the 2021 World Lacrosse Men’s U20 World Championship. Together with the 2021 World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship to be held on 7th-17th July 2021 in Maryland in the United States, the Hong Kong Representative Teams will participate in three major international tournaments next year.

As the number of participating teams for the quadrennial World Lacrosse Men’s World Championship has kept rising, WL has decided to host qualifiers for the first time for the 2022 edition to rein in the number of teams eligible for the main tournament. In regards of the postponement of the 2022 World Lacrosse Men’s World Championship Asia Pacific Qualifier to April 2021, Kevin Mak, captain of the Hong Kong Men’s Representative Team, remarked, “The qualifier will take place about two weeks after the Hong Kong Lacrosse Open, which is a good opportunity for us to get ready for the qualifier. Two weeks are enough for the recovery of players. We are only worried about the risks of injuries, which we hope will not happen.”

The Hong Kong team has not undergone practice for some time due to the pandemic, except small-group fitness training like training in gym and running. Thus, the postponement of the qualifier is essential to all the teams. Mak estimated they would only have about half a year to get ready for the World Championship Asia Pacific Qualifier following the resumption of practice. Though there is also a new head coach for the Hong Kong team, meaning it might take time for the players to adapt to new tactics and gameplay, Mak said they have enough time for preparation. Apart from the Hong Kong Lacrosse Open, the Hong Kong men’s team will have at least one overseas training or participate in some high-level contests abroad by the end of this year or early next year in a bid to enhance their competitiveness and stamina. In addition to the regular team and fitness training, the Men’s Premier League will be held this autumn and winter instead of the Box League as in the past for the Hong Kong team to have more time focusing on outdoor lacrosse competition. The Premier League could serve as a chance for regular practices and high-level competition for the improvement of players in all aspects, including skills, fitness and mindset.

Carrie Hui, captain of Hong Kong’s Women Representative Team, said, “In preparation for the Women’s World Championship next year, we originally planned to join the Lacrosse Prague Cup and Berlin Cup this June and July so as to have a better understanding about the European teams, test our level, and incorporate our gameplay and tactics from training to competition, as well as providing a chance for team members living abroad and locally to train together and get along with each other. Unfortunately, the pandemic has forced us to cancel this trip. We could only have virtual team meetings and fitness training during this pandemic. Under the rules banning public group gatherings, we could only have practices in small groups across different places in hopes of maintaining our competitive level and improving our skills.” There is a lack of high-level practices for the Hong Kong team given the cancellation of the Hong Kong Lacrosse Open and other overseas tournaments. Hence, the women’s team will be scheduled to have team training in the United States this autumn and take part in team training and competition in Australia by next January. Between the Hong Kong Lacrosse Open and Women’s World Championship, between April and July next year, the Hong Kong team will also participate in one Asian tournament, and the players will arrive in Maryland one week before the commencement of the World Championship to tackle jet lag and adapt to the local weather.