The Israel Lacrosse Association has announced that it will kick off the inaugural season of the country’s first-ever men’s open lacrosse league next month.
The regular season will span from January to June and will feature the highest level of the sport played regularly in Israel. David Lasday, Israel Lacrosse’s chief operating officer, told Haaretz the first games will commence the week of January 5.
The five-team league will generally hold standalone games on Sundays and Wednesdays as well as showcase games at Israel’s major youth lacrosse festivals. The inaugural squads will represent Ashkelon, Be’er Sheva, Herzliya, Netanya and Sha’ar HaNegev.
Teams will play an 18-game regular season schedule with the top three squads advancing to the playoffs. The league champion will qualify to represent Israel for the first time at the Men’s European Champions Cup in Ghent, Belgium, in September.
The league, which was founded by homegrown star Ori Bar David, will be primarily comprised of U-20 players but is open to all men’s players who reside in country and meet the European Lacrosse Federation’s minimum age standard of 16 as well as Israel Lacrosse regulations.
“This new league allows players to now have a pathway from U-15 all the way up to our men’s national team,” said Jacob Silberlicht, Israel Lacrosse’s director of youth development and head coach of the blue-and-white’s U-19 national team. “We’re also starting to see our players coming back to lacrosse after completion of their military service. It’s a huge step in the natural development of the sport, and a clear sign that lacrosse is taking strong root in Israel.”