TLL set to begin in August

The Tewaaraton Lacrosse League has announced that it plans to begin play with an eight-day tournament this August.

The TLL, which has said it will be a junior league but which will allow 22-year-old players rather than the usual 17-21 age range, has an-nounced four teams and that they plan to play a round robin tournament culminating in its first championship.

After careful consideration and a great deal of planning, the Tewaaraton Lacrosse League plans to launch its inaugural season this summer.

With a number of different scenarios on the table over the last several months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the founding members of the TLL, along with the wisdom bestowed to them by its Leadership Circle of Excellence, plan to begin play on August 12.

“As the TLL prepares for its inaugural season, we are closely monitoring federal and provincial updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rob Francis, who is a member of the TLL’s Leadership Circle of Excellence. “Our league is committed first and foremost to the health and safety of our players, staff, officials, administrators, and all those involved in our league. Our excitement surrounding TLL’s inaugural season is somewhat tempered by the current pandemic situation, however, our passion and commitment to bring Major Junior lacrosse to Ontario remains steadfast.”

The four teams – Burlington Black Hawks, Oshawa Knights, Six Nations Arrows and Tri City Havoc – will play in an eight-day tour-nament, from August 12-19, to decide its first-ever champion.

With a location yet to be determined, the four TLL teams will play a round robin format, using modified National Lacrosse League rules. Francis, who is leading the health and safety aspect of the league, said the TLL is doing everything they can to plan for a safe launch to play this summer.

“We are developing a comprehensive health and safety plan that will, first, follow policies and protocols issued by public authorities for the safe running of organized sport leagues; second, we will take all precautions at our disposal to mitigate the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 as we begin league activities,” Francis said. “We will publish the TLL’s Health and Safety Plan well in advance of our league start. Additionally, if required, we will postpone or cancel activities if the risk warrants such a decision.”

Lewis Staats, the TLL’s President of the Board of Governors, is cautiously excited to get things going.

“Announcing a launch date for the TLL is historic from the league’s perspective,” Staats said. “The TLL is grateful to have Rob Francis and the other members of our Leadership Circle of Excellence who provide us with their insight and recommendations as we prepare to take very measured steps towards league play this year. Although we are planning for the best, we will always put the health and safety of our players and league personnel as our highest priority.”

In the coming days and weeks, a number of league and team announcements are going to be made. Each individual team will begin announcing its organizational plans, and staff, as well as information on the first-ever player drafts will also be released.

Lewis Staats has always been a great leader in and outside of lacrosse, and the Tewaaraton Lacrosse League proudly announces that he is the major junior lacrosse league’s first-ever President of the Board of Governors.

The TLL’s governors voted in its first-ever executive via video conference. While Staats is the league’s President, the 2021 executive consists of Vince Hunt, from the Burlington Black Hawks as 1st Vice President, and Jeff Snyder, from the Tri City Havoc as 2nd Vice President. One of Staats’ first orders of business is to lead the search for a commissioner.

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