UPDATE 1: This post was updated on March 12 at 9:15pm to reflect new information about the MCLA.
UPDATE 2: This post was updated on March 13 at 12:18pm to include information about the MCLA’s new eligibility policy.
The National Lacrosse League, NCAA, and the Colorado High School Activities Association all announced Thursday that they are suspending lacrosse competition until further notice due to safety concerns stemming from the COVID-19 virus. Here is a guide to how COVID-19 has changed the Colorado lacrosse calendar.
The NLL announced today that the season is suspended until further notice due to concerns about COVID-19.
In a statement released today, the league said, “we will continue to evaluate the situation and remain in constant communication with health, team, business and league officials across North America.”
— NLL (@NLL) March 12, 2020
Prior to the cancelation, the Colorado Mammoth held a 7-6 record and were in second place in the Western Division. The Mammoth were next slated to play on March 20th against the Calgary Roughnecks. That game has obviously been canceled.
The NCAA canceled all spring championships for the 2020 season, including both men’s and women’s lacrosse.
The NCAA said the decision was, “based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities.”
The decision means that the University of Denver, Air Force Academy and all other NCAA sanctioned lacrosse teams will not compete for a championship this season.
Earlier in the day, the PAC-12 conference announced that it was suspending all spring sport competition, including non-conference events, until further notice. Because of this, the Colorado Buffaloes women’s lacrosse season was entirely suspended.
Additionally, the Big East announced that all spring sport competitions were canceled for the remainder of the year, meaning that the Denver Pioneers finish the season with a 4-2 record.
— Denver Men’s Lacrosse (@DU_MLAX) March 12, 2020
As for Air Force, the SoCon released a statement saying that all spring sport competitions were suspended until March 30. It’s unclear if any SoCon games will be played after that date given that there will be no NCAA Championship to play for this season.
Thursday’s NCAA decision came after multiple schools announced they were suspending their individual athletic programs, including Duke, Virginia and Towson. Additionally, conferences such as the Colonial Athletic Association, Patriot League, and Ivy League all suspended play. With teams seemingly dropping like flies, many wondered how the NCAA would even go forward with a lacrosse season.
However, the looming question was quickly answered just after 2pm (MT) when the NCAA announced that all spring championships were canceled.
Colorado High School Lacrosse
CHSAA added to the long list of cancelations today when it announced that all spring sports competitions scheduled between Friday, March 13 and Monday, April 6 are postponed.
The association left the decision to compete on Thursday, March 12 up to individual schools. Most schools, including all those from the Cherry Creek School District, decided to postpone their competitions.
However, at least one game did continue on Thursday. Arapahoe and Mountain Vista reportedly decided to schedule and play a game before the suspension deadline. However, a score was not available by the time of publication.
The MCLA announced late Thursday that it will suspend the season until at least April 6. The league will reevaluate its decision on that date.
Both the University of Colorado and Colorado State University had previously suspended travel for club sports earlier this week. This means that the Buffs and Rams will not be able to compete in the MCLA this season.
On Friday morning, the MCLA announced that it would be granting, “every eligible 2020 MCLA player,” an extra year if MCLA eligibility. The move comes after an expedited vote by the league’s Executive Board.
Also, a note: The MCLA release refers to the virus one time by a name that is inaccurate and offensive due to its use of geography. The correct name for the virus is COVID-19, a form of a coronavirus. Due to the terrible error on the part of the MCLA, we will not add a link to their release in this article.
To finish this off on a somewhat positive note, it’s important to remember that there are still lacrosse games scheduled for the future. The next officially scheduled lacrosse game involving a Colorado team will be held on May 30 when the Denver Outlaws travel to play the Chesapeake Bayhawks.
The first Outlaws home game is scheduled for May 6 against the New York Lizards.
Additionally, the Premier Lacrosse League announced that it will return to Denver for the 2020 season. The league will play at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium on August 28-29.