Playing in the FIL World Lacrosse Championships is an experience not many people get to have in their life, but did you know that we have some players here from Utah who will get to compete at the highest level of international lacrosse this summer?
In 1967, there was a four team invitational tournament held in Canada. Representing the United States, Mt. Washington Lacrosse Club (MD) won that tournament. Seven years later, four teams competed in a tournament in Australia where the United States was again victorious over teams from Australia, Canada and Europe. It was at that tournament when the International Lacrosse Federation (ILF) was formed and the concept of a World Championship being held every four years was decided. In 2008 the ILF merged with the International Federation of Women’s Lacrosse Associations (IFWLA) to form the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL)—the present governing body for both men’s and women’s world championship lacrosse. Four years ago the tournament was held in Denver, Colorado, and team Canada upset the United States 8-5. During the 2014 tournament, 38 nations were represented and 142 games were played over ten days. The tournament this year will be held in Netanya, Israel.
This summer Utah native, Ian Kadish, will be a part of the FIL regulated 23 man roster playing for Team Israel. His younger brother, Lane, made the 46 man Team Israel team and will participating in training camp and scrimmages before the tournament. Unfortunately, Lane is not old enough to apply for citizenship but he is looking forward to having the opportunity to compete for Team Israel in the championships when he is eligible. I’m privileged to call these two my friends and am grateful they took some time from their busy college schedules to answer a few questions about their experience.
Drew Bicker– How did you first learn about Team Israel and then when did you decide you wanted to try out for the team?
Ian Kadish– I learned about Israel lacrosse right before the end of my Sophomore year. I saw information about their birthright program their summer internship on Instagram and reached out to the coordinators. I went out for my birthright trip and stayed for the entire summer interning as a program coach and playing in the competitive summer league they run. After the league concluded, I was lucky enough to be selected to the national team for the European games in Budapest where we took silver in a one goal game to England. It was without question the best experience of my life and I knew I wanted to stay involved with Israel lacrosse for life. Shameless plug, if you’re at all interested in Israel lacrosse please reach out to email@example.com
DB– What has your experience with Team Isreal been like over the past couple years?
IK– Playing for Team Israel has been one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life. Playing for Israel to me is about playing for something bigger than myself. While that can be said for many teams, what makes this team so unique is when we put on the jersey, we are not only representing a country but an entire people. The Hebrew people have gone through so much, and have persevered and thrived in the most extreme situations. When I put on the jersey, I think of all the many Jews who came before me and laid the foundation for me to have the many privileges that I am so lucky to have today. Add on top of that the unbelievable people that make up this organization! I have made friends for life through being involved with Israel lacrosse and I consider myself so lucky for every day that I get to continue my involvement.
DB– This year the FIL World Lacrosse Championships are in Israel. How special is that and what are you looking forward to most during the tournament this summer?
IK– We are so excited to be hosting the World Lacrosse Championships! It’s so amazing to see the incredible growth of the sport out there and being able to bring an event like this to the area is absolutely invaluable. I’m most looking forward to being at such an incredible event with my family. It’s a weird kind of capstone to my playing career as I graduate this year. It doesn’t seem real that I started in a backyard in Salt Lake City and now I have the opportunity to play against the best players in the world.
Lane Kadish– One of the main goals of Team Israel Lacrosse is to grow the game in Israel and share our love of the game with people that have never been able to participate before. Having the FIL World Lacrosse Championships hosted in Israel will hugely advance this goal and is a huge step for Israel lacrosse.
DB– How did the tryout process go? Was the reality different than what you expected?
IK– Tryouts for the world team began this summer which consisted of an initial 3 day evaluation in Israel with somewhere around 250 players participating. They cut that to about 46 for scrimmages this fall in the U.S against Towson, Johns Hopkins, Boston University, Albany, Iroquois Nations, and Team USA. After those events they cut the roster to a final 23 which I was fortunate enough to be on.
LK– It was long, hot, and tiring, but being a part of some of the highest level lacrosse ever to be played in the country was an incredible experience.
DB– How is it being reunited with your brother on the same team and what are you looking forward to most during the tournament this summer?
LK– Playing with my brother for two years in high school was the most enjoyable and unforgettable aspect of my lacrosse career. Having the opportunity to play on the same team again means the world to me. I am definitely most excited to play with my brother again and to be around the many other interesting and amazing members of Israel Lacrosse.
Ian and Lane will travel to Israel a week or so before the tournament begins to join the rest of the team for training camp and pre-tournament scrimmages. Team Israel will be looking to better their 7th place finish in Denver. Be sure to tune in this summer, July 12-21 to watch and see if Team Canada can repeat, if the Iroquois Nationals can make another amazing run, or just tune in to watch one of my favorites in Team Jamaica.