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Lacrosse leagues, associations in COVID-19 limbo

The BC Junior A Lacrosse League’s executives and governors are still scheduled to meet March 29 to discuss possible plans for a 2020 season.
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Leagues and minor associations continue to watch the news regarding COVID-19, wondering when and if the 2020 season can be rescheduled or postponed.

The BC Junior A Lacrosse League’s executives and governors are still scheduled to meet March 29 to discuss possible plans for a 2020 season.

Also expected to be talked about is the directive issued a week ago by the Canadian Lacrosse Association that suspends all activity until April 5 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BCJALL president Karl Christiansen said in a statement.

In an email response to query as to the status of Sunday’s planned meeting, Christiansen said the plan is still to meet.

“Everything is ever changing and very different than when we met 2 weeks ago. We will have our meeting Sunday and release information shortly after,” Christiansen said. “Our top priority is the health and safety of not just athletes, coaches (and) officials but also our fans and families involved with the BCJALL.

“These are trying times and we wish everyone great health and wellness.”

The league was scheduled to start the regular season play on April 25.

All minor lacrosse associations, including Burnaby and New West, are following edicts of the CLA and B.C. Lacrosse Association to suspend all in-person activities until further notice.

“We’re lucky to have had strong leadershiop from the province’s public health officials. This is why we’re basing our response on the expert advice of those organizations, as well as the B.C. Lacrosse Association and the (CLA),” NWMLA president Rich Catton said in a statement on the website.

As a result of the health concerns, New West has postponed its mini-tyke and tyke evaluation events, originally scheduled for March 31 and April 1, as well as the Olivia Malcom mini-tyke and tyke Jamboree, scheduled for April 4 and 5.

“We will continue to monitor the directives from our governing bodies as well as the federal and provincial governments and will follow and enforce these directives. We will update our membership when there is a change,” stated a post on the Burnaby minor website.

Meanwhile, the Western Lacrosse Association says its business as usual — for now.

But with the start of the regular season less than two months away, the league is monitoring the ever-evolving novel coronavirus outbreak, commissioner Paul Dal Monte said. He added none of the teams are currently practising.

The league’s website has removed its 2020 schedule, which was to begin May 21 with Maple Ridge visiting New West at Queen’s Park Arena. The Burnaby Lakers are to launch the 2020 season a day later, May 22, in Victoria.

Many of the league’s players who are part of teams in the professional National Lacrosse League are already idle as that circuit suspended its season two weeks ago.

The U.S. east coast-based professional outdoor Major League Lacrosse has not altered its schedule online from its May 31 opener, although the sport’s governing body in the United States has also postponed all events until at least April 5 as well as cancelled two national women’s tournaments scheduled in May.