North Okanagan Minor Lacrosse Association has cancelled its 2020 indoor box season due to COVID-19. (Morning Star - file photo)

North Okanagan Minor Lacrosse Association has cancelled its 2020 indoor box season due to COVID-19. (Morning Star - file photo)

North Okanagan Minor Lacrosse cancels box season

COVID-19 wipes out indoor lacrosse; group hopeful outdoor field season will start in August

Box season is out. Field lacrosse is – fingers crossed – in.

North Okanagan Minor Lacrosse Association has cancelled its 2020 indoor box lacrosse season due to COVID-19, and will focus now on its outdoor field season, which is slated to begin in August and would run through to November.

“The NOMLA executive has voted to cancel the 2020 box lacrosse season in conjunction with other associations across BC,” said local president Casey Sherriff. “We will focus on having a very successful field lacrosse season that will start in a few months. We felt that although the province has taken every precaution to ensure a safe gradual return to “normality,” it has become increasingly evident that the return of box lacrosse will not happen this summer.”

Sherriff said the NOMLA board was “united in a painful decision, one that was not made easily or without deliberation.

“Our association is a non-profit organization, but we can assure you there will be no difficult decisions going forward financially,” he said in a letter to parents. “And we will continue to manage our finances with the utmost due diligence to keep lacrosse in this area one of the cheapest sports to play.”

The organization will give 100 per cent refunds on box lacrosse registration fees. For families that required sponsorship, those fees will be carried over to next season. Those eligible for the first-year 50 per cent discount will still be eligible in 2021.

Sherriff said discussions will continue on those players who were in the final year of minor box lacrosse eligibility in 2020 as to whether they could play in 2021.

“Nothing has been made concrete,” he said. “That’s everyone’s main source of disappointment right now.”

Cancelling the box season also means North Okanagan misses out on hosting the 2020 B.C. Peewee Division Championships, which they were slated to in mid-July at Kal Tire Place and Kal Tire Place North.

“It sounds like at least we will be able to hold the Peewee provincials again next year,” said Sherriff, who, on behalf of his organization, expressed thanks to the City of Vernon for their support in helping put a lacrosse floor on KTPN for a planned May long weekend home tournament and provincials.

Field lacrosse registration will start soon. Check the NOMLA website for details.

The five-team Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League and four-team Thompson Okanagan Senior loop cancelled their box lacrosse seasons earlier in May.

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roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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