As summer starts to wind down so does the summer box season across Canada, and that means that the Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA) national championships are on the horizon.
This year, I wanted to take a dive into the history of each of the four CLA National Championships that will take place from August through September. After looking at the history of the Founders Cup, Minto Cup, and Presidents Cup we move onto the Mann Cup which is the championship for Senior ‘A’ in Canada.
Originally donated by Sir Donald Mann in 1910, the Mann Cup has one of the oldest histories of the four championships, and just like the Minto Cup it predates the box game. The Mann Cup replaced the Minto Cup as the senior mens amateur trophy in 1910 as the Minto Cup had been taken over by professional teams.
In 1910, the Young Torontons beat the Vancouver Athletic Club and Toronto Maitlands in the challenge series to capture the first ever Mann Cup. The Vancouver Athletic Club won the next four years in a row (1911-1914), becoming the first dynasty in Mann Cup history.
The New Westminster Salmonbellies held the trophy from 1915-1917, but there was no competition in 1916 or 1917 due to World War I. However, New Westminster was the last dynasty in the challenge cup era as the held the Mann Cup from 1922-1925 when they handed it over to the Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA) who created a national playoff for the trophy.
1932 marked the year when the Mann Cup moved from field to box lacrosse, like we know the championship today. The Mimico Mountaineers defeated the Winnipeg Argos to win the first box competition for the Mann Cup. The Orilla Terriers were the first dynasty in the box era of the Mann Cup, hoisting the trophy in 1934, 1935, and 1936.
Following Orilla, there have only been three teams to win the Mann Cup three years in a row. The Peterborough won four straight from 1951-1954 while the Six Nations Chiefs won three in a row from 1994-1996. In 2019, the Peterborough Lakers are looking to win the MSL and have the chance to win their third straight Mann Cup. They would be the first team to three peat since Six Nations in 1996.
In addition, there have been three different Mann Cup trophies in the championships 109-year history. The first trophy was used from 1910-1985 when it was retired and donated to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame. The second trophy was used from 1986-2004 when it was accidentally destroyed in a bonfire by the Peterborough Lakers.
The trophy that is use now was first handed out in 2005. It is a replica of the trophy used from 1986-2004 and doesn’t mirror the 1910 trophy like the previous one.
Just like usual, the MSL (Ontario) and WLA (British Columbia) champions will face each other this September for the Mann Cup. The WLA champions will be the host of the 2019 Mann Cup.