Coronavirus: Quick transition allows box lacrosse to return in Saskatoon

Box lacrosse has returned to Saskatoon after being put on hiatus by the COVID-19 pandemic. Saskatoon Box Lacrosse Association / Facebook

The Saskatoon Box Lacrosse Association (SBLA) acted quickly to have a shortened 2020 season after being put on hiatus by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Quick transitions are common in the sport and SBLA executive director Randy Trobak said the salvaged season is thanks to one.

Read more: Cancelled season puts Saskatchewan Huskies soccer player on uncertain path

“The whole (spring) season ended up getting cancelled at the very, very beginning… put us in a real tough spot and it was difficult,” he said on Tuesday.

“We usually start the last week of March and finish on the 20th of August.”

Trobak said the 2020 season started this week with just under 200 players in a combination of levels ranging from novice to senior.

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“I was awesome (Monday). It was great to see so many familiar faces back in the arena. And a lot of people coming up and thanking us for even going through the effort to get it up and running again,” Trobak said.

“It was really exciting… they went out and threw the ball around for the first time this year. And it was really exciting.”

While a typical season usually has about 650 to 700 players, he’s quite happy with the turnout considering the ongoing pandemic.

“It’s so tough for these families to plan what they’re going to do… I mean, financially, you’re committed to a lot of things every year and if you’re not sure that you’re going to have a program or not. What do you do? What do you eliminate?” Trobak said.

“So, I’m glad (the provincial government’s) going through the stages that they’re going through… and, hopefully, we keep going on the right path as the province. And, next year at this time, we’re wrapping up a full season with no issues,” Trobak said.

Read more: Colton Stephenson gives back to next generation of Saskatchewan hockey with 2nd career

On July 6, indoor sports got the green light from the provincial government in Phase 4.2 of the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan. Soon after, the SBLA launched registration and implemented a four-on-four format.

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“Actually, we were very lucky, we developed a winter game program that runs with very small teams. Quick floor time, fast turnarounds, more open floor, allowing kids to develop skills… a lot more passing and shooting. So for us, it was really good,” Trobak said.

“I think the biggest adjustment for families is that we don’t have space to allow parents to come in and watch. We’re running our 30-person maximum with the amount of people that are in the building running the program and players.”

The shortened season is scheduled to run until Aug. 28 with all games at Gordie Howe Kinsmen Arena.

Click to play video: 'Western Lacrosse Association cancels 2020 season due to COVID-19 pandemic' Western Lacrosse Association cancels 2020 season due to COVID-19 pandemic
Western Lacrosse Association cancels 2020 season due to COVID-19 pandemic – May 19, 2020

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