Non-Sanctioned Participation Policy Placed On Hold for 2024 by OLA

By TRT Staff with notes from

ONTARIO — On Saturday, December 29, Lacrosse Canada posted a statement regarding the OLA Non-Sanctioned Policy on Facebook. The original policy document explained that any players that played in events non-sanctioned by the OLA, such as camps, clinics, showcases, tournaments, would be suspended for the current and next season.

“As the governing body of lacrosse in Canada, Lacrosse Canada is committed to fostering growth and development of lacrosse in our country. In response to the recent announcement from the Ontario Lacrosse Association (OLA) on December 22, 2023, along with their revision shared December 29, 2023, regarding their Non-Sanctioned Lacrosse Policy, Lacrosse Canada Board of Directors has great concerns on the impact this has on our membership and the opportunities afforded to them.”

“Lacrosse Canada’s mission is to promote, develop and preserve the sport of lacrosse and its heritage as Canada’s national sport. 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.”

“We are in contact with OLA Executives to better align our vision to serve the best interests of athletes, coaches, officials, and members in general.”

The policy and OLA quickly received online backlash from lacrosse families across Ontario.

Following on December 31, the OLA’s Board of Directors announced that they accepted the following recommendation from a majority of minor lacrosse league governors in response to the revised unsanctioned participation policy:

“To fully delay the enactment of the non-sanctioned participation policy for the 2024 season, which will allow for detailed consultation from stakeholders to ensure that policy needs and objectives are met.

As a result, this policy is formally tabled for further consideration in order to define fairness for all OLA stakeholders. A consultation period has been suggested for amendments and clarifications over the next several months, which allows club presidents and league representatives to gather clear feedback for submission and consideration of all facets. While supportive of the policy’s general objectives, concerns regarding implementation, reporting and extenuating circumstances were accepted as valid foundations for further club participation in this process; including opportunities to amend, revise or enact such decisions in a manner that encourages player development opportunities with reputable organizations. With acceptance of this recommendation, the Board of Directors reaffirmed commitment to serving the long-term goals of the OLA.

The decision to delay implementation of this policy does not affect Regulation 6.07 or any other membership conditions or restrictions which were approved in 2021 and 2022, but it does narrow the scope to Junior participants only, which has been historically established by special resolution of the membership. Such measures will be applied as impacts are identified.”

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