On July 12, lacrosse fans will flood the Surrey Sports Park in Guildford, England, for the 2017 FIL Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup.

Over the course of 10 days, teams representing 25 countries will play 97 games. Just as these national teams have been practicing and preparing for this tournament for months, another team continues its vigorous preparation — the officials.

Officials play one of the most important roles at any lacrosse event, especially one on the world stage.

As lacrosse has grown, so has the demand for more experienced officials at this high level of play. At the 2017 World Cup, there will be an officials’ leadership team, 13 off-field officials and 39 on-field officials.

One of the on-field officials selected to represent the United States is Liz Brush, the women's officials education manager at US Lacrosse.

With slightly more than 100 days until the opening ceremonies, Brush walked us through what it takes to be a World Cup official.

Brush, who has been an official for 16 years, began training for her upcoming season with daily strength, cardio and stretching workouts in November 2016.

“While the speed of the U.S. game is its own preparation, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done,” Brush said.

When being considered as a World Cup official, individuals are put through a variety of tests, including three to test physical fitness. The Cooper Test, the FIFA Fitness Test and a pacing test are performed by officials prior to the submission of their World Cup applications, again in March and in May, and for a third time upon arrival to the games in July.

Along with the grueling fitness tests, and a full season of games to referee, officials must complete the rules preparation course that will begin in April. This preparation course consists of quizzes, online learning modules, and it concludes with a full test of knowledge in July.

Every on-field official will be assigned an off-field official as a mentor to help in preparation for the games. This mentor helps the on-field officials learn what to expect when at the games, observes their officiating in order to provide feedback, and then offers a full evaluation at the end of the World Cup.

“This year will be bigger with more teams, more officials and more games,” Brush, who will be officiating in her third World Cup, said. “But other countries don’t have NCAA-caliber games in the months leading into the game, so the officials coming from the U.S. have a slight advantage.”

When asked what the biggest challenges for U.S. officials are on the international stage, Brush said, “Scaling back what we, as officials, allow physically on the field is difficult. We also have to adjust to the many different styles of the game being played. It’s all about balance.”

While leaving her family back in the States for two weeks will be very difficult, Brush very much looks forward to working with officials from other countries and styles of play.

“It’s fun because we all live in the dorms together,” she said. “We are all treated as athletes there.”

As Brush prepares both physically and mentally for the games in July, her teammates at US Lacrosse have nothing but faith in the veteran official.

“Liz is going to represent the USA to the highest degree as an official in so many ways,” said Charlie Obermayer, senior manager of officials development. “Her excellence on the field, her leadership off the field and her calm, collective demeanor both on and off will be assets to her peers from around the world and to the athletes that she will be officiating.”

Brush will be joined by 18 other US Lacrosse officials at the World Cup.