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Checking In With The World* Lacrosse Championship

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*technically still called the "World" Championship even though one Nation in particular isn't present.

So what's been going on with the teams actually in England with big sticks? For all the hopes and dreams of rising powers like Latvia and Norway, it's been a two-team tournament...as usual.

The United States and Canada remain on a collision course for the title as they cut a wide swath through the rest of the field. 

Canada finished the pool play at 5-0, winners of the Blue Division, which represents the top tier nations in the tournament.  The U.S. finished 4-1, their only loss coming to those Canucks in a 10-9 heart-breaker. (Go behind the scenes with Team USA here).

The Americans have been led by two former Syracuse All-Americans, Ryan Powell and Mike LeveilleLeveille has 14 points (10, 4) so far and Powell has 12 points (6, 6). Ryan needs the win the championship if he wants to keep pace with his brothers.  He's the only one that doesn't have a gold medal.

England, host nation and general grumps when it comes to recognizing Native American sovereignty, finished the round 2-3. Canada and the U.S. both gave the English a beatdown on behalf of the Iroquois, 17-6 and 17-5 respectively. 

The English are said to be pressing for a rule change because they won't be able to finish any higher than fifth in the tournament.  Don't you just hate it when someone sets arbitrary rules that don't allow you to get what you want, England?

The winners of the other divisions include Ireland (Orange), Spain (Plum), Finland (Yellow), Czech Republic (Red), Scotland (Turquoise) and Wales (Grey).  Why a Plum division when green was still on the table?  Why not?

Those lower division winners are battling it out tournament-style to see who will meet up with Canada and the U.S. in the semis.  Honestly, the tournament looks ridiculously complicated and seems to favor the elite teams a little too much, but, whatever.  The U.S. will play the winner of Japan vs. Netherlands while Canada will take on the winner of Australia vs. South Korea.

Kudos to Japan for breaking out the ol' hidden ball trick in their game against the Aussies.  But let's talk about the real issue here...the uniforms.  The U.S. and Canada might play exciting lax but they bring the same old kits to the playing field every day.  Red, White & Blue and A Lotta Red.  Booooring.   I like the Ireland unis.  They're green.  Really green. Japan has some decent unis as well but why oh why didn't they wear these AMAZING Karate-inspired uniforms???

And kudos to the French for having a sense of humor (for once) with the t-shirt: "We May Not Be The Best At It...But We Named It."

I leave you with a scene that lacrosse's founders didn't quite have in mind when they first played the game.  Team Scotland being led onto the field by a bagpipe player vs. Team New Zealand meeting them with a Haka dance.

It's a global game indeed.

Keep an eye on Lacrosse Playground as they've got everything covered...