14 Sep 2015

FIL Clinics Held During Copa América

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Report submitted by FIL Clinicians:
Rick Mercurio, Joanna Liganelli, Steve Arata and Tony Petillo

(Mexico City, Mexico) Correspondence between Mexico and the FIL, to send a developmental contingent there, started soon after the completion of the World Games in Denver. José (Pepe) Luis Espinosa Nuñez had several correspondences with Tom Hayes, Bob DeMarco and then in the final planning stages with Rick Mercurio.

First and foremost, we would like to extend our thanks to all the members of the Mexican Lacrosse Association. Their hospitality, generosity, work ethic and their love of the game was obvious and contagious.

My question (when preparing for these developmental clinics) is what is the focus of the countries’ needs for further development? What would they want to gain from these clinics? The answers here were obvious long before we stepped off the plane. Mexico’s objective is to be self-sufficient and competitive within the international lacrosse community.

General Overview of Mexico Lacrosse

  • There are 350 Males registered members in the Mexico Lacrosse Association / 250 which are currently active throughout the year
  • There are 100 Females registered / 60 active
  • The MEN currently have teams at:
    • TEC-Tecnológico de Monterrey, campus Santa Fe
    • TEC-Tecnológico de Monterrey, campus Ciudad de Mexico
    • TEC-Tecnológico de Monterrey, campus Estado de México
    • UIA-Universidad Iberoamericana
    • UAM-Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana
    • IPN-Instituto Politécnico Nacional
    • UNAM-Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
    • UDLAP-Universidad de las Américas Puebla
    • IPN Unidad Morelia-Instituto Politécnico Nacional
    • Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala
  • The WOMEN currently have teams at:
    • TEC-Tecnológico de Monterrey, campus Santa Fe
    • TEC-Tecnológico de Monterrey, campus Estado de México
    • UIA-Universidad Iberoamericana
    • UAM-Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana
    • IPN-Instituto Politécnico Nacional
    • UNAM-Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Overview of the tournament and activities

Copa América Participating Countries

Copa América Participating Countries: Argentina, Chile, Colombia and host Mexico

The clinics were held in conjunction with the “Copa América de Lacrosse 2015” Tournament. The focus of this inaugural international event was to promote and develop lacrosse in Central and South America.

Teams represented were: Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Argentina; therefore, FIL representatives, Rick Mercurio, Joanna Liganelli, Steve Arata, Tony Petillo and Stephanie Parcell played a role in the further development of lacrosse in several countries during one event.

In addition to providing clinics to players, there were several contacts established within the visiting countries’ to further open communications with the FIL to help in their continued development. Bob DeMarco is currently corresponding with those countries.

Copa America Officials

Copa America Officials

Of major importance was the opportunity to work with several Officials throughout the tournament. Instruction and suggestions were made available to them on a continual and daily basis. Besides the four main officials that worked most of the games, several more potential officials attended a brief clinic given by Rick Mercurio. Most of the officials that had attended the basic official’s clinics came to other games and asked questions and observed. Mexico was one of the few developmental countries where the importance of training officials was recognized. The key being – they are paid by the association. It is a means to earn money and they take it seriously.

ancient Aztec ceremonial dance

Ancient Aztec ceremonial dance to bestow good luck upon all the Copa América participants

The opening day ceremonies were very impressive. Extreme planning went into this event; it was well organized and attended. The event was held in the “Metro Ciudad Deportiva”, which is the biggest and most important sports complex in Mexico City. There was extensive TV coverage of the ceremony and it was emceed by a local celebrity TV personality. A Military School band and marching brigade lead the teams onto the field. We were also honored with a very special presentation of an ancient Aztec ceremonial dance to bestow good luck upon all the participants.

The games began shortly after the opening celebration. Over the next several days, lacrosse – and the events surrounding the tournament – were virtually non-stop. If our staff wasn’t attending the games and offering our help to players, coaches and the officials we were giving clinics and in many cases communicating with key people from the represented teams to help advise them on the continuation of development and growth of lacrosse within their countries.

Copa America Officials

Federación Mexicana de Lacrosse President José (Pepe) Luis Espinosa Nuñez welcomes FIL clinic representative Rick Mercurio

José (Pepe) Luis Espinosa Nuñez was a gracious host. He continually made sure our stay in Mexico would be a good experience. He communicated with us continually, provided for hotel accommodations, rides to and from all events and arranged to take us for some meals where we had the opportunity sit down and discuss lacrosse and for him to share his culture and experiences with us.

The closing ceremonies were just as festive and well planned as the opening ceremonies. Once again there was TV and other media coverage, and it was well attended. Making it more special was the fact that the host country Mexico won the inaugural Copa América de Lacrosse.

Clinic Photos

About the FIL

The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) is the international governing body for men’s and women’s lacrosse. The FIL currently has 52 member nations and holds five World Championships (women’s and men’s field, women’s and men’s U19 field and men’s indoor.) The FIL is responsible for the governance and integrity of all forms of lacrosse and provides responsive and effective leadership to support the sports’ development throughout the world.

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