On May 26th, the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League (RMLL) released a statement regarding this upcoming summer (seen here). It was the expected cancellation of the season but with a happy twist. Here are the two sentences from the league statement to explain the lows and the highs:
“…the RMLL executive has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 official season.
The good news is that if Premier Kenney’s “Open for Summer” re-opening plan goes ahead according to schedule, then RMLL teams could start to participate in different return to lacrosse activities in mid-June”
THE NEXT DAY
Reaching out to JrA Commissioner Sean Aggus, the first question asked was about the urgency surrounding the release of the JrA update:
‘We have been bombarded with so much negative news over the past 15 or 16 months that we wanted to do something positive. We wanted our kids (players) to have hope, to have something to look forward to, which is why the announcement came so quickly. Small details are still being ironed out but the road back is drawn.”
The framework of the schedule is in the announcement, “5 weeks starting on July 10…Championship tournament weekend August 14-16”.
The announcement also mentioned “rule modifications that will closer resemble some game situation aspects of the NLL, with the purpose of speeding up the game”. I asked the Commissioner what these trial modifications were:
“We are not changing rules in the Lacrosse Canada rule book, we are asking for application of existing rules to be applied in consistent scenarios. We are asking for existing rules to applied a little differently. It will speed up the game and create a faster more exciting game play. Some examples are:
- a goalie with the ball in the crease has a 5 second count, we want to reduce it to a 4 second count
- 8 second count, only applies on a team killing a penalty whereas the NLL it applies to both teams whenever they gain possession. Jr A has asked to experiment with this enhancement..
- back court – once a ball is taken into the offensive zone it cannot cross back over centre. Current Lacrosse Canada rules dictate that is only enforced during a penalty kill. We want that to be the normal for all situations of play once again a la the NLL.
- too many men – If you are going on offense and you have too many men it is currently a possession change but if you are on defense and you have too many men it’s an automatic minor. We look to experiment with the too many penalty being called in both situations.
- mechanics of calling a delayed penalty – Lacrosse Canada states the penalty is called after a shot on net or a possession change – we wish to have the penalty called on a possession change only. What that means is after a shot on goal, if the offensive team retains possession of the ball – play continues.
These enhancements we are proposing are at the Alberta Lacrosse Association Board of Directors for approval”
Northern Alberta features the St Albert Jr A Miners as their sole Jr A representative. New Head Coach John Lintz, a move announced February 11, 2020, will see his first official unofficial game behind the Miners bench on July 10th.
Stay safe everyone, lacrosse is on the horizon.