This Summer, July 11-21, forty-eight men’s lacrosse teams from 6 different continents are set to compete in the 2018 FIL World Championships. It will be the largest international lacrosse event in history.
If you’re curious about how to get there, where to stay, what to see, ticketing and more, you’re in the right place. We’ve prepared this quick-hitting Travel Guide for you!
World Championships Travel Guide
Table of Contents
According to our trusty sources, here are five things worth knowing about this year’s event before you get there:
- This will be the 13th World Championships for men’s lacrosse in history; The United States, Canada, England, and Australia have all competed since the very first event in 1967
- The Israeli lacrosse community is extremely excited to host the World Championships for the first time ever – it’s a friendly place with ever-growing passion for the game!
- Lacrosse has been growing rapidly in Israel, and there’s way more interest than there are spoons. You can make a big difference by bringing extra lacrosse sticks with you to donate on the ground!
- Bring your swimsuit and sunscreen! Netanya, the host city, is well known as Israel’s top surfing destination.
- You can get a great deal that includes tickets, lodging, and transportation by signing up to play in the Festival Tournament during the World Championships. We encourage you to take advantage!
The whole event runs July 11 through the 21. There’s only one game on the 11th, Hong Kong vs. Luxembourg at the Wingate Institute, and admission will be free to the community.
Key dates to plan around:
- Wednesday, July 11 – First game of the tournament; Free admission for all!
- Thursday, July 12 – 2 games + Opening Ceremony at Netanya Stadium
- July 13-16 – U15, U17, U19 Boys Festival Tournaments
- July 13-20 – Elite/Open Men’s Festival Tournament
- July 17-20 – Elite/Open Women’s, 40+ Masters, 50+ Masters Festival Tournaments
- Wednesday, July 18 – Quarterfinal games in afternoon and evening
- Thursday, July 19 – Semifinals at 6pm and 9pm IST (Israel Standard Time)
- Friday, July 20 – Bronze Medal game at 6pm IST
- Saturday, July 21 – Gold Medal game at 10am IST followed by Closing Ceremony
Whichever dates you choose, remember that it may take a while to get there! Chances are you’re coming from a long way away, and that means you need should definitely factor flight time into your overall travel itinerary!
You’ll want to fly to Tel Aviv, and Netanya is about a forty-five minute drive from there. Direct flights from the United States to Israel are around $1,300. We have seen many one-stop flights around $1,000 and multi-stop trips for less.
A ton of flights go out of NYC, so connections are fairly easy. El Al is an Israeli airline that’s known to offer some affordable options, plus Delta, WOW Air, Qatar and several other airlines also fly there, too.
After flights are booked, remembers that locking in hotel accommodations and transportation ahead of time is also key. The sooner you act on lodging the better, as things are expected to get busy!
We recommend you plan to stay in Netanya during the World Championships. The nice thing about this event is it’s being planned by experts on the ground right now in Netanya. Scott Neiss, event director, has arranged fantastic hotel deals at Island Hotel, Seasons Hotel, and West Lagoon Resort. These Exclusive Hotel Packages include breakfast daily, and some even include lunch!
The packages are accessible directly on the 2018 World Lacrosse Championships website, so that should be your first stop when scoping out accommodations. Availability is limited, so act fast!
Of course, there’s also the option of being independent and booking your own place to stay separate from the tournament. Here are a few links to help you get your search started:
Wherever you choose to stay, we recommend trying to book a place close to the action. Cars (and parking… and directions) aren’t always the easiest things to navigate when you’re in a new place!
Keep in mind that you’ll only need minimal transportation once you get to Netanya for the World Championships. Especially if you’re staying at one of the official hotels. Public buses and fee-based shuttle services will be accessible for transporting to and from each venue where games are played.
If you register to play in the World Lacrosse Festival, the package includes 1 Shuttle Pass. This will cover you to-and-from the airport, plus in-between the fields and hotel everyday. Please note airport transportation is only available July 11 and July 22. There is a simple $7 train nearby you can take if you’re traveling outside those dates.
Important Note About Venue Parking: Parking at Wingate Institute is extremely limited and visitors are encouraged to take public transportation. A 10-day parking pass is available for $180 while supplies last. Parking passes will be available on a pre-paid basis only and can be purchased as an add-on while ordering tickets.
Festival players do not need to purchase tickets – registration includes one full event pass.
If you’re making the trek to watch your favorite national squad compete, don’t you worry if they lose! You’ll still get quality time to spend with the team. Each national team competes in a total of 6 to 8 matches over the 10-day period, plus a final ranking game, too.
The facilities where this event is all going down are impressive, to say the least. The main venue, the Wingate Institute, has been home to many of Israel’s National Teams for over 60 years. Netanya Stadium, where the championship and opening/closing ceremonies are being held, was built in 2012 and seats 14,000
Curious about V.I.P. Tickets, aren’t you? Here’s what the passes get you at each venue:
- Access to the Field
- Side VIP Tent on Field 1 during all games
- Complimentary beer and soft drinks from 16:00 – 22:00 daily
- Watch post-game press conferences LIVE
- Private autograph sessions with star players
- Premium bathrooms
- Access to the VIP grandstand (West tribune)
- Access to VIP room during games
- Complimentary beer and soft drinks from 16:00 – 22:00 daily
- Private seating area in the center of the grandstand
Once you have tickets locked in, you’re all set. We’ll see you in Israel mid-July!
Obviously you’ll be watching a ton of lacrosse, but what else is there in Netanya? Well the first thing is the beach. Well, actually, BEACHES. There’s about 9 miles of beachfront in Netanya. It’s hot, sunny, and it’s a bit of a surf town. Laid back, casual, and fun, there is plenty to keep you busy off the field.
The population of Netanya is a little over 200,000. It’s the seventh largest city in Israel and one of the more diverse. English is a commonly spoken language by many of the residents.
It’s a tourist city, with a solid backbone of tech and industry – there are public busses and railways. Taxis are also abundant. There are a number of museums and art galleries, memorials, statues, and other cultural sights to experience.
There is also an active nightlife in Netanya, meaning there are plenty of bars, restaurants, and clubs to keep you dancing if that’s your style. If you’re looking to have some fun on this lacrosse trip, Netanya has you covered across the board.
When planning your journey to the 2018 World Championships, check out this helpful YouTube video we came across from a knowledgeable local who, if he isn’t yet, should be a lacrosse player:
There is a lot of interesting stuff to see in Israel, and during your time in Netanya you’ll only be scratching the surface. It’ll be worthwhile to factor exploration time into your travel plans!
There is so much to do, the plans could be never-ending: From floating in the Dead Sea to snorkeling the Red Sea to touring the Baha’i Gardens and checking off everything on this list of “Top 32 things to do in Israel with your kids.” We hear touring the Old City of Jerusalem is a must if you have the time!
Best Places to…
- Eat: Falafel/Shawarma shops on the side of the road – find one, find many!
- Run Find a beach! There’s plenty of coastline between Tel Aviv and Netanya
- Hike: The Ancient fortifcation of Masada – It’s a giant ancient fortress in the desert!
- Learn: Jerusalem – Of course! Old Town is the birthplace of three of the world’s major religions
- Explore: Tel Aviv – You’ll quickly realize why Tel Aviv is a tech capital of the world once you land
- Shop: Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv – The best spot to find a mall and do some shopping
- Golf: Take a trip up north in Ceasaria where there’s plenty of greens for your getaway
- Surf & Bike: You can find surf boards by just about any beach and bikes all over Tel Aviv for a fun way to tour the city
- Work on that Beach Bod: Tel Aviv – Gordon, Frishman and Bograshov beaches are the place to be on the weekends
Must Do’s …
- Grocery Store: Tiv Ta’am = major supermarket with all your needs covered
- Hummus: You must east this in Israel. Lots and lots of hummus. Regardless of your previous hummus experiences. It’s good, and you’ll like it
- Fresh Juice: There are fresh squeezed juice stands everywhere. Don’t be shy!
- Adult Beverage: Goldstar, it’s like the Budweiser of Israel
- The Shuk: Visit an “open air market” in any city! Make it a point to get to one
- BEACH DAY: Go to the beach for an entire day. Change spots, meet people, play volleyball, observe the way the Middle East relaxes. Enjoy a cultural experience while getting some “me time” and soaking up the rays
Phrases to Get By…
(Pronounce them like they sound – phonetically!)
- Hello/goodbye: shalom (Shalom)
- How are you: mah-neesh-mah (Ma Nishma)
- Where is: ayfo (Ayfo)
- Sorry: slee-ha (Sli’ha)
- Please: ba-vakasha (Bevakasha)
- Thank you: toda (Toda)
- Cheers: lak-high-em (L’Chaim)
Got a question about travel to the event that we didn’t cover above? Drop a comment below, and we’ll get right back to you. See you at the 2018 World Championships!