LAKE PLACID – As the recently completed Ironman Lake Placid triathlon segues from our village, we have a variety of athletic events set to move into town in the coming days as rugby, lacrosse and hockey enter the Adirondacks.
We begin with the 46th annual Can-Am Rugby Tournament taking over 13 pitches (rugby jargon for fields) in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid from Aug. 2-4. After the Northstar Invitational concluded on Aug. 1, lacrosse “sticks” around for its Summit Classic Aug. 5-11, while USA Hockey holds its women’s national festival Aug. 5-17.
Starting with rugby, there will be over 100 sides (also rugby jargon for teams) of men and women covering most age groups. This tournament, organized by the Saranac Lake Mountaineers Rugby Club, started in 1974 in Saranac Lake with just eight teams/sides. But after nearly half a century and several generations of players later, the Can-Am Rugby Tournament has become a family affair with fathers playing in the old boys divisions, and their sons competing in the club divisions.
Summit Lacrosse Ventures will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its Summit Classic shortly upon conclusion of the Northstar Invitational. The event runs Aug. 5-11 and starts with boys and girls high school teams. However, by Wednesday, adult men and women take over the North Elba Athletic Fields, with Masters teams following the adults.
One of the highlights of the 2019 celebration is an important forum which will discuss the potential return of lacrosse to the Olympic Games. The sport has been contested twice, in 1904 and 1908. The IOC has granted the sport permission to return. World Lacrosse has set this goal as its mission; the possibilities will be discussed in Lake Placid on Friday, Aug. 9 from 4-5 PM. It’s free to attend but please register in advance. World Lacrosse CEO Jim Scherr will be onsite to participate in the discussion.
Lacrosse hopes to be as successful as rugby in gaining Olympic designation; both sports have lots of fans in the Lake Placid region, and they would be as happy as the serious players if lacrosse gets reinstated.
Finally, the USA Hockey Women’s National Team skates into town Aug. 5-17. The group won the 2018 Olympic gold medal in South Korea, and is ultimately eyeing talent as it seeks to defend that title at the Bejing Games in 2022. In Lake Placid, coaches will select U18 and U22 squads to face off against Canada from Aug, 14-17.
The rugby and lacrosse events are free for the public to view, while tickets for the women’s hockey festival are available through the Olympic Center Box Office in Lake Placid.
In the meantime, the Mirror Lake Inn welcomes players from all these sports to our lakeside resort.