Lacrosse Canada announced that the the 2021 Mann Cup National Championship, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is also cancelled.
This decision was made in consultation with the Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) in Ontario and the Western Lacrosse Association (WLA) in British Columbia. With directions from government and public health authorities, Lacrosse Canada, the MSL and the WLA confirmed the cancellation of the 2021 Mann Cup.
This news follows Lacrosse Canada’s decision two weeks ago to cancel nine of its National Championships.
The Mann Cup annually brings together the MSL and WLA senior A champions to compete for the championship title.
“The decision to cancel the Mann Cup this season was made with the support of the MSL and WLA,” said Shawn Williams, Lacrosse Canada President. “Lacrosse Canada has had to make the difficult decision to cancel most of our National Championships for a second year in a row. We encourage our lacrosse community to stay safe and focused on brighter days ahead.”
“While we know this is a huge disappointment for everyone involved in lacrosse — in particular, our players, coaches and dedicated fans — we are committed to doing our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and our primary responsibility is the health and safety of the competitors, volunteers and thousands of spectators who would contribute to the success of the Mann Cup,” said Paul Dal Monte, WLA commissioner. “This decision to cancel was not taken lightly and is a reflection of the gravity of situation the world, including the world of sports, currently faces.”
“We look forward to welcoming back lacrosse fans to the 2022 Mann Cup, which will be hosted in the East by the MSL champions,” said Doug Luey, MSL commissioner.
Lacrosse Canada would like to clarify that this decision is not a cancellation of the lacrosse season in Canada. With return-to-play or return-to-activity at different stages across the country, Lacrosse Canada’s member associations will decide the 2021 lacrosse opportunities based on provincial and health authority guidance.
Lacrosse Canada encourages everyone to continue following the health and safety guidelines in their provinces or territories.
It’s the second consecutive year the pandemic has forced cancellation of both league play and the national championship. The WLA and its member clubs will continue to monitor developments on the situation with local health officials.
Both leagues had high hopes for 2021 and had planned to delay the start of regular season play, which was to have kicked off at the beginning of July; revised schedules were drafted as the two commissioners planned the Mann Cup series, which was to be held in September in Ontario. Their focus was to ensure the greatest calibre of box lacrosse in the world would be played when it was safe for players, staff, volunteers and fans.
“Paul and I have been in regular contact over the past several months and having to cancel the Mann Cup for a second consecutive year is very disappointing to both of us. However, it is undoubtedly the right decision,” said Luey.
Since the modern era of the Mann Cup began in 1926, this will be just the second time the trophy will not be awarded to the best Senior A lacrosse club in Canada. The Mann Cup series is held each September, with the WLA and MSL champions facing off in a best-of-seven competition (for more Mann Cup information, see below).
In the most recent Mann Cup, in 2019, the Peterborough (Ont.) Lakers won the national title— their third straight — four games to one over the host Victoria Shamrocks in B.C.’s provincial capital.