WLA / BCJALL Joint Statement

B.C.’s Senior A and Junior A lacrosse leagues have come together to oppose proposed changes to age designations for Minor and Junior lacrosse players.

The boards of governors of the Western Lacrosse Association (WLA) and British Columbia Junior A Lacrosse League (BCJALL), after careful deliberation, passed resolutions this week relating to proposals scheduled for discussion at the BC Lacrosse Association (BCLA) Senior Directorate meeting, which is to be held Saturday, Oct. 3.

Under existing regulations, Junior-aged players are 17 to 21 years of age. The proposal going before the BCLA calls for 17-year-old players to be eligible for an additional year of minor lacrosse. 

As well, in response to that proposal, the BCJALL had asked to extend Junior eligibility to 22 years of age to preserve Junior’s five-year window, meaning players would enter WLA/Senior A lacrosse a year later.

Now, both the WLA and BCJALL are coming out in support of the existing regulations regarding 17-year-olds and the BCJALL is withdrawing its proposed policy amendment.

The WLA and BCJALL believe it is crucial to wait for the results of the research of the Canadian Lacrosse Association’s (CLA) Long-term Athlete Development Committee, which is scheduled to deliver its recommendations at the next CLA semi-annual general meeting in May 2021.

As well, the decision to oppose eligibility extensions was made on the basis of being able to provide British Columbia’s top players the best opportunity to develop their skills, while ensuring that WLA and BCJALL member teams remain in the strongest position to compete both provincially and nationally.

The WLA and BCJALL, along with all member leagues and teams of the BCLA, have been discussing the impact of COVID-19 on the cancelled 2020 playing seasons for a number of months. Along with other sports and leagues, they have had to consider the graduating seasons lost by many players who will miss their final years of Minor or Junior lacrosse as a result of the global pandemic. The two organizations, however, are focusing their efforts on returning to action in 2021.

The BCLA Senior Directorate governs leagues, teams and players in Senior A, Senior B and Senior C as well as Junior A and all tiers of Junior B in British Columbia. 

The WLA board is made up of representatives of each of the league’s seven teams. The BCJALL board comprises governors from the league’s eight clubs.