Denver became the mecca for lacrosse throughout the world when 38 counrties came to challenge their lacrosse prowess. If you were lacrosse junkie, it would be a safe guess that you would have been seen in the stands or sidlines at one of the 20 fields at Dick's Sporting Good Park. Participation surpassed The World Championships held in Manchester, England in 2010 with and addition of 9 more teams Belgium, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Israel, Russia, Thailand, Turkey and Uganda which lead to 9 colorful divisions for pool play. The Blue Division was considered the top division with teams like Australia, Canada, England, Iroquois Nationals Japan, and the United States resided and were considered the top six teams in the tournament, but, would they finish that way?
The opening ceremonies were full of fanfare and rich in culture as each team was introduced when they entered the stadium. The teams all donned outfits that would represent their country's heritage - Team Bermuda wore the traditional Bermuda Shorts and Blue Blazer - Finland wore Wool Sweaters - Uganda wore Dashiki's with the colors of the country's flag, suffice it to say it was a specticle not to be missed. Following the parade of nations the obligatory speeches and then wed saw the Iroquois Nation perform a cermonial dance to open the games. The dance was performed by members of all ages accompanied by traditional drum beats and chanting, it brought you back to the roots of the game which was very humbling to many.
The tournament kicked off with a rematch of the 2010 World Championship game between United Staes and Canada, a much anticipated game. Coming into the World's USA had been touted the strongest team in the Blue Division more importantly the world. Team USA was comprised of the who's who of lacrosse, names like, Rabil, Pannell, Harrison, Seibald, Schwartzman, Levielle, Crotty, Lawson, Holman, Durkin, Guerenlian, Adams, Eck, Zink, Belisle, Abbott, Hartzell, Thul, Burns Mundorf, Evans, Bernhardt and Buchanan coached by Meade, Pietramala, Cassese and Tambroni! This was the team, many said the best ever. The opening game was a good hard fought game as you would expect from these two teams, USA came away with the win to etch a 1-0 start to pool play.
We would see Team USA and Team Canada mix it up again in the Championship game with a different result!