The 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship in San Diego will open with one of the best rivalries in the sport. The reigning champion United States will play against Canada on June 21 at 7 p.m.
The game is the first of 87 in the tournament, which will pit 30 countries from around the world. The United States and Canada have alternated world championships since 2002 with the U.S. edging Canada 9-8 on Tom Schreiber’s goal with one second remaining to win the gold medal at the 2018 world championship in Netanya, Israel.
The U.S., aiming to become the first team to repeat as the event’s champion in over two decades, will play Australia (June 23), Haudenosaunee (June 24) and England (June 25) in pool play. The playoff rounds begin on June 27 with the quarterfinals on June 28, the semifinals on June 29 and the championship game on July 1.
Competition will be staged across three venues at San Diego State University and the University of San Diego, with marquee matchups taking place at SDSU’s new, state-of-the-art Snapdragon Stadium. The 35,000-seat venue that opened in September 2022 is home to SDSU football, the National Women’s Soccer League’s San Diego Wave and Major League Rugby’s San Diego Legion.
Eleven matches – including all A-pool games and two quarterfinals – will take place at USD’s Torero Stadium, which seats 6,000 and is home to the school’s football and soccer programs.
All remaining games will take place on SDSU’s campus among four adjacent fields, anchored by SDSU Sports Deck, the 1,500-seat home of the university’s soccer programs.
The 30-team field is made up of the top 10 finishers from the 2018 Men's Championship – which all earned automatic qualification – along with 20 teams determined by continental qualifiers that took place last year. The European Lacrosse Federation received 11 slots, the Asia Pacific Lacrosse Union and Pan-American Lacrosse Association each received four slots, and the Africa Association of Lacrosse received one slot, based on the number of WL members in each Continental Federation.
The top five seeded teams make up the A pool: the United States, Canada, the Haudenosaunee, England and Australia. The remaining teams were split into pools B-F based on their finishes at continental qualifiers, ensuring that each pool has representation from a minimum of three continents.
The six pools will compete in a round-robin format from June 21-26. The top two A pool teams will advance directly to the quarterfinals, while the remaining three teams from the A pool will join the top nine teams from pools B-F (five first-place finishers and four second-place finishers) in the first round of the playoffs on June 27 to determine the remaining teams in the quarterfinals, which kick off on June 28.