Editor’s Note: In preparation for the 2014 FIL World Championships, the international scene has been running rampant through the lacrosse world, and perhaps even more than usual. Today, we welcome Jamie Fleming, of Scotland Lacrosse, to fill us in on some exciting international news regarding a restructuring of the Scotland Lacrosse Premiership.
Scotland Lacrosse is currently undergoing a vast reconstruction, as you will read below. Jamie Fleming and others leading the charge are very proud (and rightfully so!) of the changes being made and hope it will help them to achieve both their goals internationally (for the Men’s team to achieve a Blue Division world ranking) as well as domestically (to raise the integrity of the leagues, develop sustainable clubs, and a great participatory culture).
They are hoping, through this restructuring of the league, that they will be able to produce a premiership which is not only well-respected, but that will also attract more players. The league currently features many international players, and they hope to see that trend continue.
The reason for the proposed changes to our league is that over the years the quality of the league, in terms of organisation and incentives for development, has seen a decrease. With the introduction of both team and individual monetary incentives it will see a number of ok teams amalgamate to produce great elite teams.
This collaboration means that those who wish to play at an elite level and go onto play international are able to play both with and against high calibre players, making the Scottish league a hub for talent development, thereby, cutting our need to rely on north American and Canadian players with Scottish heritage in international events.
A further benefit is that alongside the elite team, clubs will also have a secondary development team. This team will be used to nurture and develop the newcomers to the sport which, for the men’s game in Scotland, is on average 17-19 year olds. This new structure will get players on a progression pathway where they can get the required coaching to allow them to be the next generation of athletes competing at world championships in the short time that is available to them.
It is worth bearing in mind that the population of many American states far outnumbers that of the whole Scottish nation. Furthermore, Scottish players are at a disadvantage by not getting the same access to coaches and facilities that many North Americans do. This new structure is hopefully a step towards eliminating these differences. We are not expecting this to turn our domestic teams into the likes of Duke and Loyola overnight but it will get involvement and development moving in the right direction. For those involved in the game surely this is all we can ask for, that we continue to grow the game.
See below for the document that outlines the new structure of the Scottish Premierhship:
To find out more about Scotland Lacrosse, check out LacrosseScotland.com, ‘Like’ Scotland Lacrosse on FB, or follow them on Twitter @LaxScotland. We look forward to more from Jamie on the continuing evolution of Scotland Lacrosse.