Even as the province continues to open up, sports are still suffering in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Western Lacrosse Association announced Tuesday morning that the league will not play its 2020 schedule, and the Mann Cup national lacrosse championship has also been cancelled.
The WLA’s decision mirrors with the same move made by Ontario’s Major Series Lacrosse (MSL). Both leagues were set to dive into a ‘revised schedule’ in late May. WLA commissioner Paul Dal Monte and MSL commissioner Doug Luey hoped to hold the Mann Cup series in September.
But after reviewing recommendations from various levels of government, and listening to public health authorities, both men have decided “it would not be possible or responsible to play box lacrosse in 2020.”
Among the reasons given by Dal Monte:
– statements by B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer that legal restrictions on gatherings of more than 50 people would be unlikely to be lifted this summer;
– provincial guidelines about eliminating all non-essential travel that would make it difficult for players to travel to their summer clubs and reduced B.C. Ferries sailings that would have impacted teams’ abilities to travel between the mainland and Vancouver Island;
– and the serious economic impacts on the WLA’s business partners, whose support its member clubs rely on for operations.
“While we know this is a huge disappointment for everyone involved in lacrosse — in particular, all of the players, coaches and fans — our primary responsibility is the health and safety of the competitors, volunteers and thousands of fans who will attend and contribute to the success of the Mann Cup,” Dal Monte noted. “This unprecedented cancellation reflects the gravity of situation the world currently faces.”
Since the modern era of the Mann Cup began in 1926, this will be the first time the trophy will not be awarded to the best senior A lacrosse club in Canada.
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