Lacrosse joins football as latest cancelled fall university sport

By Michael Boriero - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Lacrosse joins football as latest cancelled fall university sport
(Photo : Courtesy Marty Rourke)

The Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association (CUFLA), which represents 14 university men’s field lacrosse teams, including Bishop’s University, cancelled the fall 2020 season on Thursday morning.
With 12 CUFLA members based out of Ontario University Athletics (OUA), and the association cancelling a majority of fall sports in the region, lacrosse was going to get the axe eventually, according to Bishop’s lacrosse General Manager Drew Pollock.
“There’s only a few schools within our league, ourselves, McGill, Trent and Western, that are even considering return-to-practice protocols at this point, so the decision was largely taken out of CUFLA’s hands at that point,” Pollock said.
Field lacrosse becomes the second Bishop’s sport to officially lose its regular season and playoffs for the fall campaign. However, unlike football, which was the first sport cancelled in Canadian universities, there is hope that they’ll be able to salvage the year.
“We’ve cancelled the fall season, but CUFLA is still considering a tournament style plan or some kind of playoff scenario, it’s really going to depend on what OUA, RSEQ and U SPORTS decides for winter sports,” he explained.
The Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) has made no indications of cancelling sports. Meanwhile, U SPORTS cancelled all national championships for the fall, but doesn’t stop sports like women’s soccer from completing a regular season.
The RSEQ represents a glimmer of hope for many university teams looking to get back on the field. Pollock said that if winter sports get the green light, Bishop’s has domed field options in Sherbrooke, Ottawa, and Toronto.
McGill University, the only other Quebec-based team in the CUFLA, also presents an interesting option for Bishop’s. Depending on the RSEQ’s decision over the summer, Bishop’s and McGill could create a mini best of five series.
“If we are able to play an exhibition series with McGill then that gives us some semblance of play, it gives us a seniors day, for example, we feel the worst for our seniors because they’re losing out on a season,” said Pollock.
In a press release, Bishop’s University stated its commitment to facilitating some form of lacrosse, despite losing its season. The 37-year-old former Bishop’s University student, added that the plan is to have players back for individual drills.

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