Another lacrosse season will be lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Western Lacrosse Association announced Tuesday, May 18, that it is cancelling the 2021 season. The WLA said in a press release that the “difficult and disappointing decision” to cancell the season and the Mann Cup national championship was made in partnership with Major Series Lacrosse and Lacrosse Canada.
According to the press release, the leagues had been planning a delayed start to the season and had drafted revised schedules with an eye to the Mann Cup going ahead in September. However, “considering directions from government and public health authorities,” the commissioners concluded “it would not be possible or responsible to play this year.”
The WLA press release noted gathering restrictions, non-essential travel restrictions and economic impacts felt by sponsors were some of the reasons for the cancellation of the season.
“While we know this is a huge disappointment for everyone involved in lacrosse – in particular, our players, coaches and dedicated fans – we are committed to doing our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and our primary responsibility is the health and safety of the competitors, volunteers and thousands of spectators who would contribute to the success of the Mann Cup,” said WLA commissioner Paul Dal Monte in the release. “This decision to cancel was not taken lightly and is a reflection of the gravity of situation the world, including the world of sports, currently faces.”
Shawn Williams, Lacrosse Canada president, said in the release that the lacrosse community is encouraged to “stay safe and focused on brighter days ahead.”