The box lacrosse season, for both junior and minor teams, have been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.
The box lacrosse season is a very short season, ending in July. Prior to the April 10 announcement, the lacrosse season was postponed until at least the end of April.
Pat Hanson, Tier II commissioner with the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League (RMLL), says a possible reason the season was cancelled is due to the short season.
“The minor season is usually done at the beginning of July with the junior season usually done by the middle of July, so the season would just be too short,” Hanson said, adding it is still unknown when the courts will open again.
For the Junior B Yettis, the cancellation of the entire season is a hard blow to take.
The team finished last season as the provincial champions and was set to host the provincial playoffs this year.
“It is disappointing for sure. Many of our players were looking forward to this year, coming off of last year’s provincial win,” Hanson said.
An application was also put in for the bantam and midget Buccaneers to host playoffs.
It is unclear what will happen with those applications, as there are still many conversations and discussions occurring following the season cancellation.
It is expected everything will be bumped over to next year.
“During a recent conference cal we were talking about just moving everything over to next year,” Hanson said, saying the Yettis are expected to host provincials next year as well.
Another discussion revolving around the table is what will happen to the graduating seniors.
Many senior players in the junior league are hoping to play with their team next year, as their senior year was cancelled.
“We need to work with Canada Lacrosse and have their approval to have our seniors come back next year for their final year.
“There is a senior league after the junior, so I hope if they can’t return they will think about moving on to the senior league,” Hanson said.
There is a small sliver of hope that the box season isn’t completely buried for 2020.
There is talk about the junior teams potentially playing exhibition games over the summer months.
However, Hanson says there are a lot of things to consider for a modified play this summer.
“If we have the court open up, and we have approval for exhibition games then it is possible to see some sort of modified play in July or August.”
Hanson’s advice to lacrosse players is to stay positive and stay healthy.
She says if it is possible, and safe to do so, go outside and pass the ball around to keep up with skills, but make sure social distancing is observed.
“We want our players to be safe and keep up their skills, but they have to make sure social distancing is always observed,” she said.
“Mostly just stay positive. This will turn around.”