|Games played: 48||Number of goals: 1068|
This year 15 nations were divided into three divisions, the blue and red divisions containing the same nations as in the World Cup 98, but there was also a new green division for developing nations.
In the first round, each team played all the other teams from their division once, in a 'round-robin' tournament. In the tables below, the scorelines are linked to match reports for each game.
|USA||USA 14-9||USA 22-7||USA 22-6||USA 21-3|
|Canada||Canada 14-12||Canada 20-8||Canada 13-9|
|Australia||Australia 19-5||Australia 19-8|
Meanwhile, in the second division, another round-robin tournament took place, just as in 98:
|Japan||Japan 11-5||Japan 10-8||Japan 19-4||Japan 16-5||Japan 21-8|
|Germany||Germany 15-9||Germany 14-10||Germany 11-7||Germany 11-8|
|Scotland||Scotland 10-5||Scotland 9-8||Scotland 14-7|
|Sweden||Sweden 7-5||Sweden 10-8|
The green division had some new names, and should stimulate a great deal of interest in these emerging programmes. Because there were only 4 teams in this division, some of the games were played more than once.
|South Korea||New Zealand||Hong Kong|
|Ireland||Ireland 14-5; 16-3||Ireland 19-3||Ireland 16-1; 15-0|
|South Korea||SK 23-2; 20-3||SK 19-3|
|New Zealand||NZ 9-8; HK 9-5|
So after the first round matches had been played, there were some predictable results (USA without a loss, England without a win), and perhaps some surprises (Wales's win tally, Ireland's complete domination of the green division, Hong Kong's last-minute avoidance of the wooden spoon). The top three teams from the blue division (USA, Canada, and Australia, again) went straight through to the semi-finals, and the fourth-placed team (Iroquois, again) played the winner of the red division (Japan, again) for the last semi-final place. And again, Iroquois beat Japan in a close game (this time 19-14). Does any of this sound familiar to the last world championships, anyone?
To decide 9th-12th places, the bottom three teams from the red division played against the winner of the green division. However, even though Ireland completely dominated the green division, didn't lose a game, and would have provided serious competition for the red teams, they are not members of the official body, the ILF, and so could not progress to the next round. Instead, South Korea went through (because they are ILF members) to play against Wales. Wales won this game 19-10, and went on to play the Czech Republic, but they lost this match 13-7. So the Czechs went on to meet Sweden for the 9th/10th place playoff, which Sweden edged 8-6, whilst Wales faced South Korea for 11th/12th place, which South Korea eventually won 16-12.
[Many thanks to our mystery correspondent, who asked that she not be quoted, for clearing up the Ireland confusion.]
As Japan lost to the Iroquois, they joined England, Germany and Scotland to settle the 5th to 8th places of the overall championship. Firstly, England played Scotland, and won comfortably 16-7, and Japan narrowly beat Germany in the dying seconds 8-7. Therefore on the final day, England faced Japan for 5th/6th place, and to compound England's miserable tournament, Japan won this game with a final quarter comeback 13-12. Scotland also faced Germany for 7th/8th position, which was another nerve-wrackingly close game, finishing 10-10 at the end of regular time (Quarter scores: Germany 3-1, 5-3, 7-7, 10-10) forcing extra time. Eventually Scotland managed to triumph 12-11 and take 7th place.
Not a great surprise for the semi-final teams, exactly the same as in 98. Firstly, the USA had a comfortable 18-8 win over the Iroquois, but the Canada v Australia match was desperately close, with Canada just winning 15-14. So once again, the 3rd/4th place playoff was Australia v Iroquois, a nailbiter which Australia just managed to win 12-11 to take 3rd place.
In the Championship Final, a replay of 98's Championship Final, USA (who have won all but one Championship) faced Canada (who won the other one). In the first quarter the USA took a dominating 6-2 lead, but incredibly Canada pegged them back to lead 9-7 at half-time. In the third, the seesaw swung back the USA's way, retaking the lead 13-10, and the USA managed to hold on to that 3-goal lead through the final quarter to take the Championship Final 18-15.
The final rankings for the 2002 Championship look like this:
Two main upsets in the rankings - Japan having an incredible tournament and compounding England's woes to take 5th place; and South Korea following their footballing success with an upset of the red division Wales. If the next Championships retain the same division format, Japan will certainly be looking to join the top flight, possibly even replacing England in the blue division. And both Ireland and South Korea have easily proved their ability to compete in the red division. Possible additional contenders for the green division next time include Argentina, Tonga, China and Pakistan, promising another landmark in the worldwide expansion of the great game.
Unfortunately now disappeared from the official lacrosse2002.com website (which seems to have died), these reports were produced by the Western Australian Lacrosse Association Inc. and the Curtin University of Technology. The reports have been reproduced here, translated into html from the original pdf format.
There was also some rather English-centric reporting (which has been made available to the online telegraph as well) on the englishlacrosse site which has since been (re)moved.
The official site of the World Championship was at lacrosse2002.com, which has since died and has even been subsequently removed from the waybackmachine.org. You can see the full game schedule at intlaxfed.org, but this is also looking pretty broken right now.