Team BC (blue) won the silver medal in the 2018 U15 Gold Medal Game of the Canadian Field Lacrosse Championships. In 2019, Kelowna will host the nine-team tournament for the first time. (Contributed)

Kelowna set to host National Field Lacrosse Championships for 1st time

Provincial teams will battle it out for the Canada’s best

For the first time in history, the National Field Lacrosse Championships will be held in Kelowna.

The Kelowna Kodiaks Minor Lacrosse League, along with the B.C. Lacrosse Association, host the U15 and U18 boys teams from across six competing provinces in the national championships.

“We wanted to be a part of this to promote the sport in the Okanagan,” said tournament chairperson Travis Whiting.

“Lots of passionate players and ex-national players involved with the Kelowna association and we hope to see more people get involved in field lacrosse and get more numbers in the association.”

READ MORE: West Kelowna ranks 12th in Canada’s best communities

The top-level players in Canada will be represented at the tournament, with Team Ontario and Team BC being the teams to beat and teams from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec ready to prove their grit.

Team Ontario took home the gold medal in both the U15 and U18 championships in 2018, beating out Team BC in both games.

“The big provinces always represent because that’s where a lot of talent is,” said Whiting.

“It’s a tournament that B.C. has done well in the past, and expects to do well again.”

Field lacrosse differs from box lacrosse by playing outdoors on a larger field and with more players.

While box lacrosse tends to be more physical, field lacrosse relies more on tactics and team organization.

The finals for both divisions will take place on Kelowna’s City Park field.

“We’re excited for it to be at City Park,” said Whiting.

“Having Canada’s national summer sport on the beaches of Lake Okanagan will be something the players and teams will enjoy.

“It’s a great marquee event to showcase the city and the Okanagan.”

READ MORE: Kelowna restaurant nominated for Best New Restaurant Award by Air Canada

The action starts Aug. 29 at Parkinson Recreation Centre field with the finals on Sept. 1 at City Park.

Admission is free for all the tournament games.

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