Lacrosse hopeful of return
The Ontario Junior A Lacrosse League (OJALL) intends to return to the floor in 2021.
The OJALL announced earlier this week a Return to Play plan spearheaded by Bill Greer (Burlington Chiefs), who is working alongside Cody Jamieson (Six Nations Arrows) and Bruce Codd (Orangeville Northmen).
“There is no playbook for these uncertain times, but over the past number of weeks, our league has worked tirelessly on a plan that we believe is in the best interest of our players,” OJALL commissioner Mark Grimes said. “We have some of the best minds in lacrosse working together to get our players back on the floor safely, and I want to thank everyone who has stepped up to help our teams navigate this pandemic, and most importantly move the league forward.”
The 2021 season will debut a series of premiere events aimed at boosting the profile of junior players and National Lacrosse League (NLL) prospects. Registration for the league’s return to play is live at ontariojuniorlacrosse.com, and is open to returning players born from 2003 to 1999, and OJALL hopefuls born as early as 2004 and 2005. Players registered with the league will have access to these events.
“I know they had a back to action team going for a while,” St. Catharines Athletics general manager Jeff Chcoski said. “It’s definitely an interesting concept. I think a lot of players are getting excited, especially the 99s, who are included in this.”
Exact details are still forthcoming, but it is believed the event will be held in Oakville over the course of one week in August.
“They haven’t really let us know how it’s going to work because I truly think it’s going to depend on what the government allows us to do at that point,” Chcoski said. “They want to have it in place and have three or four different scenarios as to how this thing is going to go.
“They just want to get the sticks in the kids’ hands and a part of it will be a combine for the NLL and a part of it will be some skills. I don’t know if they’re going to be able to play any type of game. It could be a three-on-three or a four-on-four depending on where we stand with COVID.”
The 2020 junior A season was wiped out by the pandemic and there has been no official news on a 2021 season.
“At this point I don’t want to say for sure but my gut tells me with this being put together the season will probably not be played this year,” Chcoski said.
The A’s were slated to host the Minto Cup at the Meridian Centre in 2020.
“It’s actually been very difficult. At my work, we have the board of our rosters that would have played last year that got wiped out and we’re getting prepared to wipe out this year’s roster. It’s very difficult. I meet with (assistant GM) Sean Howe almost on a daily basis and the coaching staff is in contact, but there’s not a lot of lacrosse talk at this point.”
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