ONTARIO JUNIOR “B” LACROSSE LEAGUE CANCELS REDLINES 2021 REGULAR SEASON
The Ontario Junior “B” Lacrosse League (OJBLL) has regretfully announced the cancellation of the 2021 regular season playing schedule. Many players and teams were hopeful for a different outcome, with athletes maintaining their stick skills and standing ready for a return to normal season game play this summer. Unfortunately, this conclusion was inevitable.
The good news is that this decision does not mean that no lacrosse will be played; just that a regular playing season will not be possible for 2021. With the easing of provincial restrictions throughout June and July, individual, small group strength and conditioning training and team practices will give way to scrimmages, games and other condensed events as provincial guidance permits.
At this time, it is still important to maintain a positive and healthy outlook about returning to action in one form or another this summer. The OLA is currently revising their Return to Play guide in conjunction with provincial health authorities, which will guide the league’s plans for events and programming. Initial activities and game play will be possible on outdoor boxes and turf/grass fields, and teams will be permitted to move indoors as soon as Ontario enters Step 3 of its current Reopening Roadmap. From that point forward, the OJBLL will examine the possibility of tournaments or other structured game play formats for players and teams throughout the league.
OJBLL players (aged 17-21) who are registered, rostered or protected to a team which is unable to offer programming in 2021 are permitted to go to the nearest active OLA team that has room and is willing to accommodate them. These players must return to their current team for the 2022 season as this particular movement is not considered a release. Notification to the commissioner by any team who accepts a player who is registered, rostered or protected to another team is required. Throughout the next six weeks, players are encouraged to maintain regular contact with their teams to determine which playing opportunities are occuring within each community.
Lacrosse symbolizes a spiritual ritual to honour, heal and celebrate individuals and their communities. The health and safety of our members and their families are paramount, and we appreciate that everyone continues to do their personal best as we emerge from the pandemic together. We look forward to sharing the initiatives of our Junior “B” teams this summer with the wider lacrosse community, and returning to play when it is safe to do so.