On June 10, an OLA official was assaulted in Orillia by a lacrosse team trainer.
On Friday, June 28, another OLA official was assaulted after the Six Nations Rivermen hosted the Oakville Titans.
“A Senior Board of Referees Official was allegedly confronted in the parking lot by a player who had been assessed a game misconduct. The player allegedly blocked the ref’ from driving out and jumped on his car,” posted Scott Arnold, a commentator for the OLA, to Twitter on Sunday.
The OLA Senior B game sheet wrote that Tom Montour was ejected in the third period for “Abuse of Officials” which resulted in a game misconduct.
The following game scheduled for the Rivermen against the Brooklin Merchants on Saturday, June 29, was cancelled.
Subsequently, on Sunday, June 30, the OLA Referees announced a walk out.
The Ontario Lacrosse Officials Association posted “Repeated instances of referee abuse, with no satisfactory solution in place despite efforts by both parties, has led the OLOA to recommend that its Board of Referees not accept assignments until a protection policy is ratified by Ontario Lacrosse,” to Twitter the same day.
This caused the cancellation of several junior games as well.
OLA President Marion Ladouceur wrote “In response to a second serious incident involving a box lacrosse referee in as many weeks, the Ontario Lacrosse association (OLA), in conjunction with the officiating community and the commissioners of each Junior and Senior league, were left with no choice but to cancel a select number of scheduled games while representatives of the OLA’s Board of Directors met with representatives of the officiating community to address the current climate of box lacrosse in Ontario,” in a released statement shortly thereafter.
Ladoucer later included that the six-hour meeting that took place in Cambridge on Saturday, covered seven main points brought to them by the officiating representatives.
With the Founders, Minto, Presidents and Mann Cup approaching, the changes that are hoped to be made through the seven recommendations to keep officials safe will be quickly adaptable.