The Haudenosaunee (hoa-duh-no-SHAWN-ee), known to many as the Iroquois Confederacy, have shared with the world the sport of lacrosse, which they believe was given to them by the Creator as a vehicle for peace, friendship and healing. To this day, the Haudenosaunee compete as the Iroquois Nationals and are revered for founding the sport as well as their level of play, consistently ranking in the top three in the world. So, when the Iroquois Nationals were excluded from the eight-team field in the 2022 World Games because of sovereignty issues, lacrosse lovers took a stand. Among them was Ireland Lacrosse, the lowest-ranked team invited to the World Games. Ireland volunteered to relinquish its spot in the games, a steppingstone to inclusion in the Olympics, after assurances that the Iroquois Nationals would be invited.
“As much as our players would have been honored, we know the right thing is for the Iroquois Nationals to represent our sport on this international stage,” said Michael Kennedy, chief executive officer of Ireland Lacrosse.