OLA Update Regarding COVID-19 (May 15th)
As a further follow up to the Ontario Lacrosse Association announcement on March 30, 2020 regarding an immediate pause on sanctioned events and activities, and in light of ongoing developments and legislation, the OLA is prepared to continue the postponement of in-person lacrosse activities until at least June 15th, as announced in our most recent postponement directive:
The Ontario Lacrosse Association, in consultation with its Board of Directors, have been monitoring the most recent developments with COVID-19 and the ongoing public health emergency, and are currently assessing next steps for the 2020 season. We remain optimistic as we continue to model multiple Return-To-Play action plans based on a number of scenarios, although we recognize that there is not a uniform direction available as it relates to municipal sports at this point.
At this time, the OLA is also asking teams and associations at all divisions of play to actively communicate with their association members by posting this directive to their website, sharing it to their registered members via email, and using social media. We have received a variety of inquiries from participants and parents requesting information contained within our directives and the FAQs listed below. It is critical for all leagues and zones to keep their members informed during these challenging times using links to the information provided by the OLA.
Wishing you good health and safety while we work together to get through this difficult time. Further information will be communicated when it is available.
Frequently Asked Questions
(Last Updated: May 15th, 2020)
To our valued players, parents, club representatives and leagues:
Please review the frequently asked questions and responses below addressing the 2020 OLA season during the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency. This section will continue to be updated with additional questions and answers as they becomes available. As a guiding principle: it is time is to plan, not to panic. Planning together throughout this situation will ensure the best possible outcome. It is important to remember that we are all in this together.
Will there be a lacrosse season in 2020?
No one wants a lacrosse season more than us! As soon as it is safe and appropriate to proceed, OLA leagues will be granted approval to begin operating with modifications that ensure lacrosse is played in 2020. Currently, the Province of Ontario is under an Emergency Order and has closed all recreational facilities, including arenas and sports fields until at least June 2nd. This closure may be extended if necessary; some municipalities have extended their facility closures past June 2nd. We continue to monitor this situation through the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and the Ontario Ministry of Health in order to plan for the eventual lifting of restrictions.
How can I access the most up-to-date information from the OLA related to the 2020 season?
The OLA’s established communication practice is to publish information related to all programming on our website while simultaneously directing league commissioners and representatives to disseminate information within their sectors. Up-to-date information will always be included in this section of our website as it becomes available.
House league lacrosse typically operates between April and June. Should clubs cancel their house league seasons or modify their schedules based on the fluidity of the current situation?
Clubs will need to make this decision based on their local circumstances. The OLA believes in the value of house league programs in providing local, recreational opportunities for players to develop a love of the game, and we strongly encourage clubs to accommodate house league schedules later into the summer when it is safe and appropriate to return to play.
Has a cut-off date been determined for announcing the cancellation of the 2020 Provincial Championships and/or the 2020 competitive season?
The current postponement of in-person lacrosse programs is in effect until June 15th. The situation is dynamic and is monitored by senior leadership on an ongoing basis, as we continue to accept guidance from the Ontario Government in relation to any decision made to cancel or postpone the 2020 season. At this point, decisions will continue to be made on a rolling basis as necessary. The next decision will be made prior to June 15th.
If the minor box season is modified and some tournaments are cancelled, will the OLA consider expanding remaining tournaments to help teams get the necessary number of games for the purposes of meeting their ratings requirement?
At this point, it is too early for this question to be answered. All sanctioned OLA tournaments scheduled through the weekend of June 12-14 are currently cancelled. The OLA is committed to being flexible to both host associations and registered teams when determining the next steps related to the scheduling of invitational tournaments once additional information becomes available. There is potential for tournaments that have been cancelled by the OLA's Tournament Committee to be rescheduled for later in the summer.
For tournaments that are cancelled, will the approved tournament hosts be automatically granted hosting privileges in 2021? Could these tournaments maintain their list of accepted teams for the next season?
Based on the variability of team registrations and schedules from year-to-year, the usual procedures related to tournaments will apply. A new application process will be opened in the fall, and associations may request hosting privileges for the 2021 season in the usual manner. Hosting tournaments are not permitted to hold spots for teams for the following season.
What will happen to minor team ratings?
Once the OLA has determined the starting date for the 2020 season, revised timelines and deadlines will be announced that correspond with ensuring that accurate ratings are calculated in advance of the provincial championships, as determined by the OLA’s Board of Directors.
Will the “TRY Lacrosse” program be extended past June 1st (allowing for the introduction of new players) if social distancing regulations are relaxed past the current cut-off date for this program?
The OLA intends to inquire about modifications to our existing insurance coverage when the time is appropriate to do so. As more information related to this request and other programming becomes available, it will be communicated.
What will happen to levies due as part of OLA fee schedule?
Adjustments to the OLA fee schedule (both deadline dates and amounts) will be determined in conjunction with revisions made to the OLA operating budget. Specific details will be circulated as more information becomes available. Should there not be a season in any OLA league in 2020, the fee schedule levies will be as follows:
Chuck Rowan / Jamieson Kulhmann Levy – applicable (this levy applies to 2019 AGM)
Annual General Meeting Association Levy – applicable (this levy applies to 2019 AGM)
Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame Levy – to be determined in consultation with the HOF Committee
CLA Player Levy – not applicable
What will happen to the Ontario Summer Games?
The Ontario Summer Games committee is currently planning to host this event as previously announced. At this point, the OLA intends to enter teams into competition in both male and female categories under our existing agreement with the Ontario Summer Games, subject to change as the event approaches and more information becomes available.
What type of aid is available for clubs who are potentially in a position of insolvency?
Our clubs are the lifeblood of our sport. Although it is too early to offer a commitment on the details of any opportunity for financial aid or support for clubs, the OLA's Board of Directors is open to considering cooperative agreements and joint ventures if it is determined to be financially feasible to provide assistance to clubs who demonstrate need.
My question hasn’t been answered here. How can I ask it?
There are a number of questions that have been raised by multiple stakeholders which won’t have immediate or clear answers at this point. The OLA's Board of Directors is engaged in ongoing consideration each week based on a number of factors and provided guidance. Clubs should address any questions to their league commissioner or zone director to be filtered through the OLA Board of Directors for discussion. As answers become available or the situation changes, updates will be made to this section of the website.
Related OLA Directives:
COVID-19 Directive, May 15th (Social Media Dimensions)
COVID-19 Directive, March 30th (Social Media Dimensions)
COVID-19 Directive, March 13th
Province of Ontario Emergency Information
Province of Ontario Mental Health Resources