February 3, 2019
In conjunction with its January Board of Directors meeting in Philadelphia, the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) hosted a special dinner to pay tribute to four leaders whose contributions to the sport were instrumental in growing international lacrosse, developing FIL and earning Provisional Recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in November 2018.
FIL President Sue Redfern also thanked the IOC for its recognition of lacrosse and the important designation that has been granted to the sport and its international federation.
Recognized by President Redfern for their contributions to FIL and the global growth of lacrosse were Ron Balls, Stan Cockerton, Bob DeMarco and Tom Hayes.
“Our sport was recently honoured to receive Provisional Recognition from the International Olympic Committee, and we thank the IOC for this important expression of confidence in our sport, its future and our international federation,” said President Redfern. “Reaching this milestone was made possible through the hard work and commitment of countless volunteers and lacrosse enthusiasts worldwide who share our vision for the continued growth of this great game.
“On the occasion of our Board of Directors Meeting, it was particularly appropriate to pay special tribute to Ron, Stan, Bob and Tom — four leaders who have given so much to the development of FIL and the growth of our sport worldwide,” added President Redfern.
Ron Balls, who is from England, has been a longtime Secretary General of FIL and has helped usher in numerous changes that have encouraged growth during the past few decades. Among his many contributions, Balls was a member of the leadership team that organized and hosted the 1978, 1994 and 2010 Men’s World Championships; the 2001 Women’s World Cup; and the 1999 Men’s and Women’s European Championships.
Former Canadian National Team star Stan Cockerton has been a longtime ambassador for the sport globally, promoting the game in various capacities, including as a Hall of Fame player. He was instrumental in the 2008 merger of the International Lacrosse Federation with the International Federation of Women’s Lacrosse to form FIL, and he served as President of FIL from 2010-18.
Bob DeMarco, an American, serves as FIL’s Development Director and has tirelessly traveled to numerous countries to promote the game. DeMarco’s work with Belgium, Russia and China led to those countries being represented in the 2014 Men’s World Lacrosse Championship. Through his leadership, 18 National Governing Bodies have become members of FIL.
Legendary Rutgers University coach Tom Hayes of the United States is the Olympic Vision Director on the FIL Board of Directors. He was instrumental in founding the International Lacrosse Federation in 1974, while building international awareness through a formal World Championship. He served as the ILF’s President from 1994-2002 and Vice President from 1974-78.
President Redfern also recognized Jim Scherr, who joined FIL in 2017 as the organization’s first-ever Chief Executive Officer, for his contributions to the FIL. Scherr is an Olympian (United States, 1988, freestyle wrestling) who formerly served as Chief Executive Officer of the United States Olympic Committee.
The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) is the international governing body for men’s and women’s lacrosse. The FIL currently has 62-member nations and holds five World Championships: Men’s Lacrosse World Championship; Under-19 Men’s Lacrosse World Championship; Men’s World Indoor Lacrosse Championship; Women’s Lacrosse World Championship; and Under-19 Women’s Lacrosse World Championship. Each event is held on a quadrennial basis. 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.