Ontario Women’s Field Lacrosse has canceled their official 2020 season due to the uncertainties of COVID-19. Please see the official release below:
This May long weekend should have been the kickoff to a robust 2020 OWFL women’s lacrosse season – new clubs, new rules, Summer Games, National Championships. Instead we find ourselves at home, with our families wondering what the future holds, when we can resume playing the sport we love and what form, if any, the 2020 season will take.
A number of steps and conditions must happen before we can reasonably expect any form of return to play which include:
The easing of stay-at-home orders from the Federal public health authority;
The easing of restrictions on public gatherings from the Provincial public health authority;
The easing of restrictions for field and facility usage by the respective Municipal public health authority AND
Guidelines and policies for safe return to play specific to Lacrosse as developed by our governing bodies and the appropriate government Ministries.
Given that our season was to begin and the continued degree of uncertainty as to when “life returns to normal” or more accurately when a “new normal” will commence tough decisions have needed to be made. Unfortunately that means the OWFL will not be able to offer a regular competitive lacrosse season culminating in a Provincial championship for 2020. There are simply too many unknown variables for the OWFL Executive to reasonably plan for to ensure a safe, fair and equitable season for all of our members. The majority of our member clubs will not be granted field access in their respective municipalities before July 1st, and most require a 2 week minimum to be ready for competitive play. Additional constraints prohibit play beyond early August.
So what does that mean? Will there be any women’s field lacrosse this year? In short, we hope so. And while we await further direction from public health officials, government officials and our governing sport body, the OWFL Executive continues to explore alternatives, the most likely of which would be open festival tournament style weekends in late July/August.
It is also important to note that while we remain hopeful for this type of an option for play when things start to open up, continued restrictions on youth sport in the Province and required modifications such as the number of players allowed on field, tight restrictions on inter community play and the the ability to have spectators or a significant number of people gathering may result this option as not being viable. We will however continue to closely monitor the situation and will update all clubs on the status of any contingent plans. Your input will be needed on these issues as we move forward. Moving to a fall ball seson is not being considered.
And while the OWFL explores our options, we encourage you to prepare your own ready for practice strategies and keep us informed of new rules and guidelines in your respective municipalities.
We know each of you is eager to return to play. Ordinarily desire and heart often trump all other factors but not this time. The health and safety of our lacrosse community, our local communities, the province and the country will determine when we get back to the game.
Until then, let’s all stick to the bigger game plan. We’re in it for the long haul.