Inaugural IIJL Commonwealth Cup to Finally Take Place March 2023

by CLL

A total of three years, 1096 days to be exact, will have passed from when the IIJL Commonwealth Cup was originally scheduled for March 17-21, 2020 to when the Canada Development Team (CANDT) will finally hit the floor in Australia in March 2023. 

Cancelled mere hours before Canada players, coaches, and staff were scheduled to depart their home cities to Vancouver, BC on route to Melbourne, VIC, the IIJL Commonwealth Cup has been floating in limbo. 

With international travel stabilized as it relates to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the inaugural IIJL Commonwealth Cup will finally take place March 2023 featuring the original schedule of games and all-star teams from Adelaide, Melbourne, and Perth with Canada playing each team once. The 2023 IIJL Commonwealth Cup will culminate with a winner-take-all final pitting Canada against Australia in the championship game. 

[PHOTO: Via Victoria Box Lacrosse Facebook Page, Altona Lacrosse Club outdoor box.]

Previously, the IIJL Commonwealth Cup was scheduled to take place at Westgate Sports Complex, a multi-purpose indoor facility located in North Altona, with Altona Lacrosse Club's outdoor box under construction.    

With construction of Australia's first and only outdoor lacrosse box now complete, the 2023 IIJL Commonwealth Cup will be played exclusively on the grounds of Altona Lacrosse Club. The new facility has quickly becoming the crown jewel of the southern hemisphere, rivalling LCC Radotín in the Czech Republic as a must see facility amongst lacrosse fans. 

Most recently, Altona Lacrosse Club is in the final stages with local city council to name the facility Alan Lewer Box Court, in memorial of Alan Lewer. Alan was instrumental in establishing a home for box lacrosse at Westgate Sports Complex and was the driving force behind the construction of the new outdoor box. 

[PHOTO: via Victoria Box Lacrosse Facebook, the Storm 2021-2022 Victoria Box Lacrosse Champions.]

While the 2023 IIJL Commonwealth Cup will be the first international competition to take place at Alan Lewer Box Court, it won't be the first action the facility has seen. That distinction goes to Victoria Box Lacrosse and their 2021-2022 Regular Season and Championship, which took place November through to the end of February. 

Equipped with a dedicated full-time box lacrosse facility, the Victoria Box Lacrosse season featured a four (4) team Senior teams, which included player 18 years and older, and games between Junior teams. In Australia "Junior" is classified as U12, U14, and U16 or what would traditional be considered "Minor" in Canada. 

[PHOTO: Australia's #23 Hayden Parsons from SunShine, Victoria, Australia and Footscray Lacrosse Club avoids Canada's #91 Mitchell Sandberg at the 2019 IIJL World Junior Lacrosse Championship.]

Combined with their previous World Junior appearance in 2019, a new box lacrosse facility, and strong box lacrosse programs in Adelaide, South Australia and Perth, Western Australia, Australian Box Lacrosse will arrive in Winnipeg, Manitoba on August 8th for the 2022 IIJL World Junior Lacrosse Championship with its most experienced box lacrosse roster to date.

The 2022 World Juniors and 2023 Commonwealth Cup will also serve as a proving ground for Australian players who are interested in entering the Canadian Lacrosse League Import Draft. 

In addition to a series of games and IIJL Commonwealth Cup final featuring Canada against Australia, the CLL will conduct a series of box lacrosse specific camps, including coaching and officiating clinics at clubs and locations around Melbourne in an effort to promote and develop box lacrosse internationally. 

The Altona Lacrosse Club was founded in 1964, located on PJ Lynch Reserve at Paisley Park, Altona North. Altona is the only lacrosse club in Victoria that has full use of its facilities 12 months of the year. The Club has four lacrosse specific playing fields, one of which can be used for night games, and a box lacrosse court that also has floodlights. More information about Altona Lacrosse Club can be found on their website and on social media; Facebook and Instagram.

Founded by Ric Benedierks, Australian Box Lacrosse was established to provide junior age Australian lacrosse players the opportunity to gain valuable experience competing against international teams from Canada, Iroquois, United States, and around the world. More information about Australian Box Lacrosse can be found on their website and on social media; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Established in 2019, the inaugural IIJL Commonwealth Cup will take place in March 2023 in Altona Victoria, Australia minutes outside of Melbourne. Tickets for the 2023 IIJL Commonwealth Cup are available through the Altona Lacrosse Club website. Stay up to date using social media on Facebook and Instagram.