Arena Lacrosse League cancels remainder of 2020 season

by Lance Winn

Paul St. John, President of the Arena Lacrosse League has finally conceded to the coronavirus and officially announced the cancellation of the remainder of the 2020 ALL season.

"It's been a long seven and a half months since we shut down the season in March," said St. John. "We had so much optimism that with only a couple weeks left in the regular season and two weekends of playoffs that COVID-19 would have subsided and we could have returned to finish the year. As we all know that has just not happened and with a second wave currently hitting record numbers here in Ontario, we don't know when full contact leagues like the ALL and other sports can return to play."

As difficult as this decision has been, it goes without saying, the health and safety of our players, coaches, staff, officials, volunteers and fans is the top priority and the thought of putting anyone at risk is not an option.

With our vision now turned towards the 2021 season we are monitoring (along with our venues) the recommendations of the Ontario Government and its Municipalities on their Return to Play policies. The current Return to Play module in Ontario has banned contact sports, allowing sports to return to play providing that they play non contact with limited incidental contact. The ALL does not play this style of lacrosse.

"Without clearance from the Ontario Government and its Municipalities that it is safe to resume full contact sports, we will also have to delay the start of the 2021 season," continued St. John. "Once we have clearance to Return to Play, we will update our players, officials and our great group of volunteers when we can play a season that is safe to everyone involved, hopefully that will be sometime in the new year but we just don't know when."

St. John did say that current players that plan to return to the ALL will receive credit towards their 2021 player fees. Refunds will not be issued as the ALL had completed the majority of its season, ending before the playoffs leaving the 2020 season without a champion.

When asked about the 2020 ALL Draft, St. John said that the league will delay the draft until they have more information on the league's return to play.

"We will have a draft, we just haven't set a firm date yet". 

About the Arena Lacrosse League: Proud partners of the National Lacrosse League. the 'ALL' is a seven team league based in Ontario, Canada, providing development for players with pro ambitions. Currently preparing for the fifth season, the ALL has provided close to 100 players to the NLL, many gaining full time pro positions. 

In the recent NLL Draft, three players (Marshall Powless, Ethan Riggs and Laine Hruska) who played in the ALL during the 2020 season were selected in the 1st round.