History made in Burnaby with first international lacrosse sixes tournament
Over two days in September, the sport of lacrosse sixes took over the Burnaby Lake Rugby Club fields with 26 teams in five age divisions from B.C., Alberta and Washington state. The BC Sixes was the first international tournament of its kind to be held in Canada.
Lacrosse sixes features shorter games, a smaller playing surface and faster tempo. Sixes is played on a 70-metre by 36-metre outdoor field and involves eight-minute, running-time quarters.
“It’s very new,” explains tournament organizer Keith Gagne. “The athletes are taking their current lacrosse skills and adapting those to the new field size. It’s a dynamic sport with speed and fan entertainment.”
Because rugby fields in Burnaby are 70 metres long, it was logical, says Gagne to host this inaugural event here. “The grass fields here in Burnaby are ideal. These facilities give us room to expand. We hope to be back next year.”
So, how are players adapting to the new version of lacrosse? Jesse Worley of Abbotsford is an assistant coach with various teams in field lacrosse. He says sixes is gaining the attention of those in minor lacrosse. “It’s fun and fast-paced. It’s great for our guys and it’s a lot of cardio.”
Shannon Paterson, a Pitt Meadows lacrosse mom with two daughters in the tournament, says she “thoroughly enjoyed watching my girls play this weekend. The format is quick, lots of ball movement, with fewer stoppages.” She praised event organizers and the Burnaby venue with plenty of field and park space to host. “I am looking forward to next year.”
World Lacrosse, the governing body for the sport, is working to get sixes onto the sport program of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Sumer Games. More information about the sport is available here.
Photo Credit: Bold Photos by Shelly @boldphotosbyshelly