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Ontario Lacrosse policy on non-sanctioned play put on hold

January 11, 2024   ·   0 Comments

Backlash creates petition against 

By Brian Lockhart

A policy put in place by the Ontario Lacrosse Association restricting players, coaches, and officials, who participate in events not sanctioned by the OLA, has been put on hold after a storm of controversy led to a petition against the new rules.

The OLA released a statement on December 29, that said players who participate in non-sanctioned events during specified periods in the year, “may be subject to forfeiting their membership for the remainder of the season, and will be deemed to be not in good standing with the OLA.”

The OLA said the new policy was put into place because ‘non-sanctioned organizations do not support the development of the OLA or its clubs. Furthermore, they operate with limited consideration of their impact on our association while attempting to leverage resources developed by the OLA.”

The policy stated that the new rules did not include adult recreational lacrosse, elementary school, middle school, and high school teams, or college and university lacrosse teams, or recognized professional lacrosse leagues.

Almost immediately, there was backlash from parents of lacrosse players who said the new policy wasn’t fair and limited players who participated in private lacrosse clubs to improve their skills.

A petition was started in opposition to the OLA policy

In addition to the petition, the group reached out to Lacrosse Canada with their concerns about the new policy.

Lacrosse Canada responded that it was unaware of the Ontario policy before it was created.

The national organization issued a statement saying, “Lacrosse Canada was not made aware of the OLA’s non-sanctioned lacrosse policy prior to its release and does not feel the policy or its revision is

consistent in executing our mission.”

Lacrosse Canada went on to say it is in contact with OLA executives to better align their vision for the sport. 

As a result of the controversy surrounding the new policy, the OLA has now put the new policy on hold pending “in-depth discussions” that will be taking place. 

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