While much of the world is enjoying World Cup Soccer, the game of Lacrosse is getting ready to crown its own champions. In just over two weeks, the 2006 World Lacrosse Championships will open in London, Ontario, Canada. Twenty-one nations, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, and the Iroquois Nation, will compete in four divisions to be called “Best in the World”.

While the games may be in Canada, there is a strong connection to Charlottesville, Virginia. Team USA defenseman Ryan Curtis and midfielder Jay Jalbert played for the University of Virginia, as did Team Canada’s goalie Chris Sanderson and midfielder AJ Shannon.

Former UVa standout and Woodberry Forest Head Coach Mike Caravana is an assistant coach for Team USA. In addition, Charlottesville doctors Tom Schildwachter and Vito Perriello are the US team’s physicians.

The 2006 World Lacrosse Festival will be held in conjunction with the 2006 World Lacrosse Championships. Seminole League coaches Tom McCrystal and Rodney Rullman will be playing in the festival, which begins July 17th. McCrystal is a goalkeeper for the Bayswater Rocks from Perth, Australia (Master’s Division); Rullman will be in the goal for Team Toyota Lacrosse (Grandmaster’s Division).

Beginning July 13th, stay tuned to cville-lax.com for special coverage of the 2006 World Lacrosse Championships.