IWLCA Cancels 2020 Slate of Recruiting Tournaments
The IWLCA announced that all 2020 IWLCA Recruiting Tournaments have been cancelled due to the risks presented by COVID-19. These IWLCA events include the Champions Cup (VA) and New England Cup (MA) scheduled in June, the Midwest Cup (IL) and Capital Cup (MD) scheduled in July, and the Presidents Cup and Debut scheduled in November (FL). The IWLCA has directed its tournament event management company, Corrigan Sports Enterprises, to cancel these events and issue refunds to all registered teams.
The IWLCA Board of Directors and staff spent a significant amount of time analyzing this issue and the potential impact on the IWLCA, its members and its constituents. The current sports landscape provided a compelling context for this decision. In the world of athletics, the postponement of this summer’s Olympics, UEFA Euro 2020 and the World Lacrosse U-19 Championships to 2021, the cancellation of Wimbledon, the suspension of all professional and the youth leagues, all point in the same direction.
The timing of this decision was intended to give clubs teams, families and academic institutions directional guidance and minimize any financial consequences.
“We know that the players want to play, that families want to get outside and cheer from the sidelines, and that coaches want to recruit,” noted IWLCA Executive Director Liz Robertshaw. “However, under the current circumstances, we cannot confidently say that it will be feasible or responsible to host youth tournaments for 3,000-14,000 people this summer, or even this fall. Should the youth sporting landscape open up and allow for other types of events for prospective student-athletes to play safely and our coaches to recruit safely, the IWLCA will explore those opportunities.”
In looking at the NCAA, NAIA, and member institutions, the precedent has been to put travel and activities on hold for the safety of the students and staff. The NCAA recently extended the recruiting Dead Period until May 31. Many colleges and universities across the country have restricted or suspended travel for coaches, as well as prohibiting activities on campus for the summer in response to COVID-19.
“2020 is a unique year on all fronts. The unprecedented and ever-changing landscape has forced the IWLCA to look critically into what our responsibilities are to our membership and the greater lacrosse community,” stated Kathy Taylor, IWLCA President and head coach at Colgate University. “In coaching, we must adapt and evolve constantly. These circumstances challenge us to be innovative, flexible, and patient.” Taylor concluded, “While canceling the currently scheduled IWLCA tournaments was a hard decision, we believe that it is the right thing to do.”