Enjoy the Grid



By Pierre Filion


On the last page you will find a copy of Lacrosse Canada’s 2023 ‘’membership voting grid’’ along with the information pertaining to the number of registered participants in each province. This information is sent annually to the delegates who attend the annual meeting. Lacrosse Canada’s Operation’s Manual (bylaws, article 24, page 6) calls for the annual meeting documents to be sent to the delegates 21 days before the meeting if sent electronically; this year the package and the voting grid were sent 8 days before the meeting. Why would Lacrosse Canada ignore (or break) its own rules? Who even noticed?

Lacrosse Canada’s rules and calendar of events indicate that the provincial member associations must send the information concerning the number of their own registered participants to LC on October 1st. Lacrosse Canada released that collective information on November 9th. This means that Lacrosse Canada ignored its own rule and that its members, the members it was politically reporting to, had received the grid (the number of votes) and the proposals for rule and procedural changes 8 days before the meeting. Now why would a National governing body treat its members that way? 

The grid was on page 37 of the 252 pages sent to the delegates. The grid, along with the financial statements, is probably the most interesting and revealing document that members can refer to in order to appreciate the real situation of the game and to act accordingly. It is a surprise that this information is not a public information circulating freely within Lacrosse Canada (on the web site) and within the provincial associations. Why would Lacrosse Canada not want this information to circulate freely?

There were 30 rule change proposals to the Operations’ Manual covering 45 pages; the voting delegates were presented with these proposals 8 days before the meeting. Why are voting delegates and volunteer members treated that way and expected to contribute to the planned development of the game?

In 2022 at Lacrosse Canada’s annual meeting there were 15 voting delegates sharing amongst themselves 105 votes; in 2023 there were 11 voting delegates sharing 117 votes. They were the provincial presidents. Why are there so few voting delegates at annual meetings? This is troubling within a democratic association.

However informative the membership voting grid is there are significant elements that the delegates and voting members do not have; elements of information which are not presented to them who, as voting delegates, draft the future of the game;

  1. The grid is a one-year snapshot; contrary to the financial audit (which shows the present and past year’s financials) the grid is a one-year picture; 46,959 members; that’s it;


  1. The grid does not allow the delegates (the voting members) to assess if there was growth or decrease in membership across Canada; the reality is that lacrosse has grown in numbers by 13.4% since 2022; this was not reported in the package sent to the delegates; why is that?



  1. The grid does not present, but should, a national trend in membership; a ten-year picture could easily show to the voting delegates if the game is growing in number of registered participants or if it is just entertaining ‘’a vibrant status quo’’; the reality of the last ten years is below:


2023:    46,959

2022:    41,390



2019:    48,408

2018:    49,441    

2017:    49,547

2016:    51,216

2015:    48,973

2014:    49,193

2013:    49,491

Why are the voting delegates not presented with this information? Why is it not on the web site and generally circulated within Lacrosse Canada?


  1. The grid does not indicate which provincial associations have grown or decreased in the last year; the delegates don’t really know the performances of their voting partners from other provinces; the reality is here:


Province                 2022 numbers         2023 numbers     net gain       %


Ontario                    14,245                       18,420                   4175            29.3%

Québec                   630                           1,245                      615              97.6%

Manitoba               1,121                        1,653                      532              47.4%

NB                            288                             627                          339              117.7%

Nova Scotia           1,897                         2,162                     265               13.9%

FNLA                        130                             342                         212               16.3%

NFLD                       0                                100                        100

Alberta                    7,907                          8,005                     98                 1.2%

PEI                           131                              216                        85                 67.8%

BC                            12,137                        11,695                  442               -3.6%

Saskatchewan       2,904                         2,494                    410               -14.1%


In a general perspective there have been 5,569 new players in 2023; Ontario was responsible for 4,175 thus for 74.9% of the national growth; Québec was responsible for 11% while Manitoba was for 9.5%; three provinces accounted for 95.4% of the growth. This is a clear indication that there is no national plan for growth and that the provinces are left on their own…


  1. The grid does not indicate the changes in the number of votes up for grab from one year to another;


Province                 2022 votes                 2023 votes         net gain


Manitoba              5                                    14                        9

Québec                  6                                    14                        8

Ontario                  23                                  25                       2

Nova Scotia           9                                    10                       1

NFLD                      0                                     1                         1

SASK                      11                                   12                       1

FNLA                      3                                     2                        -1

Alberta                  15                                   14                     -1

PEI                          3                                     2                       -1

NB                          7                                     6                        -1

BC                          23                                   17                      -5


                               105                                117


  1. The grid indicates the number of registered players in each sector (box lacrosse, men’s field lacrosse, women’s lacrosse and sixes); however it does not show the number of female players in both box lacrosse and sixes; the delegates cannot determine from the grid how many females are playing lacrosse in Canada; and the reality is that there is a  World championship (female box) and national championships in women’s box lacrosse; it would be essential for the voting delegates to have an idea of how many females play lacrosse, in this context, in Canada. Why are the delegates treated that way? Why are the members held in ignorance of basic information?


  1. The grid does not indicate any form of relationship between the number of registered players and the number of citizens in each province; population is not the only factor supporting growth but it is an important one to consider and not to ignore: the larger the population the better chance a province has to recruit more lacrosse players!!  Here is a ranking of the provinces’ performances (from best to worse) when population is taken into account (from the 2021 national census information): number of registered players divided by population creates a ratio:


BC                             .0023

Nova Scotia             .0022

Sask                          .0022

Alberta                    .0018

PEI                            .0013

Ontario                    .0012

Manitoba                .0012

NB                            .0008

NFLD                        .0001

Québec                   .0001

FNLA ; calculations for the FNLA are difficult to establish because of the lack of information pertaining to the population numbers in the areas where lacrosse is played under FNLA’s governance;



  1. Finally one information that the delegates might have hoped for would have been a ten year comparison between team sports in Canada; what has been the growth of soccer, hockey, baseball, football, basketball, in the last ten years; just a comparison to allow lacrosse volunteers and voting delegates to position lacrosse against other sports, to see what ‘’they’’ have done to support their growth and what, maybe, lacrosse could learn from other sports. But that information is not in the grid; neither is it in the package sent to the delegates. Maybe for good reasons…

The general impression emerging from the grid (what it delivers and what it does not) is that the members (the voting delegates who are drafting out the future of the game) are supplied with mountains of documents (252 pages), at the last minute (8 days before the meeting) and asked to vote on issues, on 30 policy change proposals covering 45 pages and to comment on two budget proposals for 2024-25. It is to be noted that 19 of the policy change proposals were presented by the VP in charge of Administration, 9 by the provinces (7 by Ontario, and one each by NS and Alberta); the other policy change was from a sector chair. The VP Administration is the person in charge of the Operations’ manual…

It is also to be noted and remembered, from the 2022-23 audited statement, that Lacrosse Canada is greatly financially supported by its members whose contributions cover 27.5% of Lacrosse Canada’s revenues. Total revenues are of 2,045,485$... Whether in membership fees, in sanction fees, registration fees and in purchases of goods and services the provinces generate important revenues; the other contributors to Lacrosse Canada are the Canadian Lacrosse Foundation (24.2%) and Sport Canada (39.7%). Lacrosse Canada on its own seems not to generate revenues (donations= 0$ or sponsorship=1,000$).

NOW THE GRID. It’s on the next page; have a look at it and, if you have time and interest…

The grid was built to support developing provinces who collect votes (and thus political influence) when they register players. It was also developed as a way of increasing the number of participants/delegates at annual meetings. Votes are collected per sector, by age categories and by categorized groupings: (under 30 players=0 vote/ 31 to 250= 1 vote/ 251 to 500= 2 votes/ 501 to 1000= 3 votes/ over 1001= 4 votes). That’s the element which indicates where smaller provinces could get their votes (if they properly or strategically register their players) and politically control Lacrosse Canada. In 2023 the 8 small provinces already had control over every issue which required simple majority; they were taken for a ride at the 2023 annual meeting and fell for a strategy which would have given Lacrosse Canada total control over the provinces.

Now, why are the members, the voting delegates and the provinces treated that way? Hey, enjoy the grid….and share it in your network.