This year’s box lacrosse season never even made it onto an arena floor.
On Apr. 10, the Alberta Lacrosse Association (ALA) issued a release that the board had voted to cancel the minor box lacrosse season for 2020 due to the continuing COVID-19 restrictions.
The season usually starts once the ice is gone from arenas in late March/early April and comes to an end in July. That means a rather short season and with no light at the end of the tunnel for this virus or the opening of facilities, there wasn’t much of a choice.
That is little consolation to the Lacoka Lacrosse Association, which operates out of Ponoka and Lacombe, with president Angela Nygaard explaining they were set to go.
“We had a record number of registrations with 160 and were excited for the season ahead to introduce the sport to new players in every division,” said Nygaard in a email interview.
“While the ALA requires a $10 fee for players, officials and executive members registered as of March 25, during this difficult time both Lacoka and the Central Alberta Lacrosse League have decided not to pass this cost onto registrants and will be issuing full registration fee refunds.”
Nygaard added the association is fortunate to be a member of a league that can cover that fee and that both Ponoka and Lacombe have cancelled all rentals, saving them some funds.
However, Lacoka still has some expenses including equipment and fees for processing, refunds, its website plus raffle and event tickets. The hope is these will still be covered by a pair of fundraisers that will be held sometime in the future.
“It was important to Lacoka Lacrosse that these costs were not passed onto the members and that everyone was issued a full refund,” Nygaard said, adding Lacoka will take a bit of a loss this season.
“Our raffle has been cancelled until further notice, but most upsetting is the Duelling Pianos. Lacoka Lacrosse was looking forward to trying a new fundraiser this season and had planned to host a Duelling Pianos event on May 23.
“We still plan to host this event, but is on hold until it is safe to do so. It is our plan to make this an annual event that we will host alternately between Lacombe and Ponoka. Going forward, we will rely on our fundraisers to help keep registration fees at a minimum.”
Nygaard is optimistic that the field lacrosse season will proceed without interruption, though that will be determined by the ALA at a future date.