National Club Championships 2015 – Open Letter

Men’s Playing Committee

National Club Championship 2015

The Iroquois Cup and Wilkinson Sword games pitted the top men’s teams from the South and North of England against each other to identify our potential national champions. The Iroquois Cup, between the respective senior flags winners was deemed, historically, as the English Club champion and the Wilkinson Sword was played between the league champions. Despite the attention given to maintaining these games over recent years participation has received diminishing enthusiasm from clubs which has undermined the reputation of these trophies.

In 2013 the Men’s Playing Committee (MPC) felt that the relevance of these games had reduced to such a point that the position should be reviewed and consequently suspended the competitions and looked for a more attractive replacement.

In January 2014 the MPC agreed to create a new competition to better meet the requirements of the sport and to identify a National Champion Club team eligible for European competition. Unfortunately it did not prove feasible to stage the event as envisaged this year but planning for 2015 is now in progress and we wish to brief all clubs of the position and allow as much notice for preparation as possible.

The National Club Championship (NCC), as this event will be known, is administered by English Lacrosse and has been identified as a priority event for 2015. Entry will be by invitation extended to the top teams within the major English Leagues (currently BUCS, NEMLA, and SEMLA). It has been agreed that the winners of the South and North senior leagues, the BUCS league and the Senior Flags will be invited to participate in 2015. If the same team wins more than one competition leaving a vacancy, or should a team decline to compete, the runners up will be invited to compete in the National Club Championship.

Teams will play in a preliminary round on day one (the format to be confirmed prior to the event but may involve reduced playing time); with a final game , played to full international rules, on day two to identify the champion national team. This team will be awarded the Iroquois Cup to hold for one year. The runners up, third and fourth places etc. will also be recorded. The 2015 event will be held in Manchester on 6/7th June.

Funding support will be provided towards the expenses of teams incurring major travel or support costs while competing in the National Club Championship

The champion team will be invited to represent English Lacrosse in the European Club Championship (Ken Galluccio Cup) and will receive funding from English Lacrosse towards the cost of this event. In the event that the Champion team declines the invitation then it will be offered to the other teams in order of final placing. Entry to the European Club Championship is now limited by the European Lacrosse Federation to one team per country.

Manchester City Council have provided funding towards the staging of this event in the run up to the World Championships in 2018 which, given the national situation for local government funding, shows a strong commitment to our sport. Recognising this support and as we wish to use this major and top level event to promote lacrosse in the run up to the next Men’s World Championship the NCC will be held in Manchester until 2018. In subsequent years the location of the event will be decided annually by English Lacrosse after considering available facilities, funding, and support but it is hoped to create a successful truly national event.

As part of the weekend festival Juniors and Schools North will be hosting the Manchester Challenge Tournament, an open 8 a side competition for youth teams at U11/13/15/17 age groups. English Lacrosse will also be hosting a festival for U8 and U10 players designed for beginners. We are also seeking to include a top level Women’s senior game over the weekend. In future years it is hoped to expand the event to include junior girls club based teams.

Hopefully, this briefing has provided some clarity about the arrangements for this event and will enable teams to consider preparations for taking part in this major event. A shortened version of this announcement will shortly appear in Shooting Strings so you may receive questions about the event from your members.

Watch out for further information in the New Year and forward any questions to either:

David Shuttleworth
John Sharples