Lacrosse Editorial – The Mann Cup

The Mann Cup trophy is awarded to the Canadian senior men’s box lacrosse champions. The championship is a best of seven, East vs West series played between the league champions of Major Series Lacrosse (MSL), and Western Lacrosse Association (WLA).  The Home team switches from West to East yearly.

There have actually been three Mann Cup trophies in existence.  The original trophy was in use from 1910 until 1985 when it was retired permanently to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame. A replica trophy, which has a larger and taller base than the original trophy, was in use and awarded to teams from 1986 until 2004 when it was destroyed in a bonfire mishap in Peterborough. The second replica mirrored the previous 1986 replica trophy.

The Mike Kelley Memorial Award:

This is a medal which is presented to the player selected by the sports writers as the most valuable to his team during each Mann Cup Series.

History:

The Mann Cup was donated in 1910 by Sir Donald Mann.  Prior to the donation, the Minto Cup was the senior amateur championship trophy.  Today the Minto Cup is awarded to the Junior A champions of Canada played in a round robin tournament.

The Mann Cup was originally a challenge trophy, but in 1925 the champion New Westminster Salmonbellies turned the trophy over to the Canadian Lacrosse Association who instituted a national playoff system. The challenges and championships for the Mann Cup were played by the rules of traditional field lacrosse until 1932, when box lacrosse was adopted by the Canadian Lacrosse Association. The first indoor Mann Cup was played at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto in October 1932.

The Calgary Chinooks Dispute:

In 1914, the Vancouver Athletic Club defeated the Calgary Chinooks and Brampton Excelsiors in Mann Cup challenge matches but the Mann Cup Trustees disputed the status of one of the Vancouver players in the series versus Brampton.

Despite the views of British Columbia lacrosse, national lacrosse and amateur athletic organisations that supported Vancouver’s position, the trustees instead awarded the cup to the Calgary Chinooks on September 29, 1914. Vancouver however held on to the gold trophy and refused to turn it over to either the trustees or the Chinooks. On December 7, 1914, the Canadian Amateur Lacrosse Association overruled Mann Cup trustee Joseph Lally and awarded the cup to the Vancouver Athletic Club.

Cup Mishaps:

In 1989, the Mann Cup was stolen from the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in New Westminster, British Columbia. Despite fears of the cup being melted down for its gold content, it turned up a few weeks later, with a small chunk cut out of the rim, but otherwise intact.

Following the 1999 Mann Cup final the cup broke during the post-game “victory lap” taken by the Victoria Shamrocks around Memorial Arena.

In 2004, the Peterborough Lakers won the Mann Cup. During a celebratory gathering the replica of the trophy was dropped in a bonfire and was destroyed.

The Most Mann Cups:

Of the Current teams, the Peterborough Lakers have won 17 Mann Cups since their inception in 1949, tying the New Westminster Salmonbellies for the most Mann Cup titles since it started being contested as a national championship playoff series in 1927 (New Westminster has 21 titles since 1910).  Brampton has 11, Victoria Shamrocks 9, Brooklin 7, and Six Nations 6.  The Coquitlam Adanacs also have one Mann Cup title as well.

The Current Season:

With both the MSL & WLA winding down their respective seasons, things are still up in the air as for who will have home advantage in MSL, and who will be the four teams to even make the playoffs in WLA.

MSL Standings:

  • Six Nations Chiefs 8-3-1
  • Brooklin 6-4-1
  • Peterborough 6-5
  • Cobourg 2-10

WLA:

  • Nanaimo 12-6
  • Victoria 11-4
  • Coquitlam 11-5
  • Langley 9-6
  • New Westminster 7-8
  • Burnaby Lakers 4-12
  • Maple Ridge Burrards 1-15

We the fans are being treated to phenomenal lacrosse this summer.  With the intensity of the upcoming playoffs, and Mann Cup on the horizon, it truly is a great time to be lacrosse fan.

Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.

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