ONTARIO — The Ontario Lacrosse Association was established in 1897 and it has been a long-standing dream of many to play for Team Ontario, in box or field divisions, during ones lacrosse career.
It is a dream that only OLA members can pursue.
That dream extended to Nodin Porter, 15, of Mohawk heritage, who had played with the Kitchener-Waterloo Minor Lacrosse Association. His story made a headline with the Toronto Star on December 4.
Although having attended multiple try-outs, he was disqualified from playing for the Team Ontario U-15 men’s field lacrosse team, even though he had made the cut.
Without demanding proof of club registration and upon attending try-outs, players are taken at their word that they are registered with an OLA club. But Porter was not, due to a family loss the same year, even though he had had played for the Kitchener-Waterloo club for several seasons previously.
Understanding that clubs have affiliated insurance to connect to players, Porter is regarded as uninsured by the OLA, and his family was notified of his ineligibility. Set to play in Florida next weekend, the team will be moving on without Porter due to the technicality.
In Porter’s situation, voices online asked why proof of registration was not asked for up front.
Another recent movement brought forward by the OLA includes removing contact from the paperweight and U-9 divisions. Thoughts were asked for through the Six Nations Minor Lacrosse Association Facebook page, to be compiled into an email and sent off to the OLA by this Friday. The email will encompass the thoughts of the community on the removal of contact.
So far, a common theme of online responses explain that contact is necessary at a younger age level, like U-9, to teach players how to play contact responsibly and properly. The removal of contact from the paperweight division is seen as a non-issue, but as players age and mature, lessons of contact, such as body checking and cross checking are necessary to develop sound players.