This Edmonton Prospects fan thought he had it all figured out. With Re/Max Field having a capacity of 9,200 and the Prospects averaging 2,102 fans per game last season, I would have volunteered to help to reduce the capacity of the stadium by two thirds. Sure all the tape in the stadium to reduce the seating to 3,036 would have been an eyesore but social distancing would be able to enforced. The players instead of being huddled in the clubhouse would instead be strewn completely down their respective foul lines. The issue of bringing in Americans while borders are still closed could have been usurped by calling up players from the Edmonton Collegiate Baseball Club as their season was recently cancelled. Fans would be allowed to bring in sealed water bottles as concessions would need to be cancelled to reduce the amount of people in the building and to avoid cash transactions. With the Re/Max Field having no public transportation directly to the park, the concern about overflowing buses and LRT are mute. Give me baseball damnit!
In what has to be one of the most open and honest press releases, the WCBL did not stop at simply stating the obvious that the timelines needed for the league to play conflict with the timelines to return their players back to their fall programs. The league openly explained every measure and scenario they have could have taken to save this baseball season and why it would not work. It is understood that the right choice was made but it is still a downer.
If it the right choice for baseball then it is also the right choice for lacrosse. The decision stings a bit more this year because the Presidents’ Cup, the nationwide Senior B Championship, was slated to be hosted in Alberta by Miners Lacrosse.
Here’s a snippet of the press release from the CLA stating all National Championships were cancelled due to the pandemic:
“The Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA) announced today that it has cancelled all 2020 National Championships, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The 2020 National Championship hosts will have the opportunity to host in 2021.
This difficult decision was made with the support of the box lacrosse and field lacrosse sectors and in consultation with the CLA’s Member Associations. Health and safety, travel concerns, venue closures, and many other factors were taken into consideration. Return-to-play or return-to-activity is in different phases across the country, which provides unique challenges based on geography to our Canadian lacrosse community.
“The health and safety of our players and everyone in the lacrosse community are our top priorities,” said Shawn Williams, CLA President. “We recognize that national championships are important to lacrosse players of all ages. The CLA will be preparing for the 2021 national championship season and we look forward to having our lacrosse family back together once again.”
The 2020 National Championship cancellations include the Mann Cup, the Minto Cup, the Presidents’ Cup, the Founders’ Cup, the Alumni Cup, the First Nations Cup, the Ross Cup/Victory Trophy, 16U Box Lacrosse Championship, 16U Girls Box Lacrosse Championships, 14U Box Lacrosse Championship, 14U Girls Box Lacrosse Championships, 12U Box Lacrosse Championship, and the U19 Women’s Field Lacrosse Championship. For the most part the 2020 host organizations will be hosting in 2021.”
Another bright side to what is the right decision in cancelling the season is that appears the Presidents’ Cup will stay in Alberta.
I had falsely convinced myself that lacrosse would still be played this pandemic so I held off on contacting teams until I could ask them about the their plans for 2020. There will still be lacrosse stories as I reach out to the Sr B division members the Miners, Beaumont Outlaws, and Edmonton Warriors but now the dialogue starts on a down note. A story about the major change at the coaching helm of the Jr A Miners will be posted early Monday morning.
From the CLA press release after the part that said all National Championships are cancelled and I stopped reading, “Individual member associations will decide the course of 2020 lacrosse opportunities on their own timelines under provincial and health authority guidance.” Where I wrongfully said 2020 was cancelled, there’s still a glimmer of hope. I apologize for the confusion.