The 2020 Junior ‘B’ lacrosse season in Ontario has officially been cancelled.
The Ontario Lacrosse Association (OLA) and the Ontario Junior ‘B’ Lacrosse League made the announcement on Thursday, June 4, 2020.
“It is with much regret that the Ontario Jr. B Lacrosse League announces their decision to officially cancel the 2020 season,” said Dave Vernon, commissioner of the Ontario Junior ‘B’ Lacrosse League, in a written statement.
“The health and safety of our members and their families are paramount and we appreciate that our members have been doing their personal best to help prevent this virus from spreading, thank you for self-isolating, practicing social distancing and working to keep vulnerable people safe.”
The Wallaceburg Red Devils Junior ‘B’ Lacrosse Team shared the news on social media as well.
“It is a sad day but we begin to work towards next years season and look forward to supporting all our local sponsors, the community and the best fans in lacrosse,” the Red Devils said on Facebook.
Vernon said the OLA had prepared schedules for various start dates, up to July 1.
“But with the government and Ministries of Health extending start-up dates further into the summer this decision was inevitable,” Vernon said.
“Many players and teams were hopeful of a different outcome with players working to keep their stick skills up and trying to be prepared for any type of season to appear. Unfortunately this unavoidable conclusion was apparent to the entire league.”
Vernon said at this time it is still important to maintain a positive and healthy outlook.
“We cannot accomplish all that we need to do without working together,” he added.
“We will look forward to returning to play this amazing game in 2021, remembering that lacrosse symbolizes a spiritual ritual to honour, heal, and celebrate individuals and communities, which is why it is referred to as the ‘medicine game’.”
Vernon said the league now has time to ensure that next season “is the best that we can make it” and the league looks toward the Founders Tournament being held in mid-August next year by the Brampton Excelsiccs, in honour of the 150th anniversary of lacrosse in Brampton.
“This was a very sad day, but tomorrow is a new beginning,” Vernon added.