Lacrosse Editorial – The NLL Plays It Cautious

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) has decided to cancel it’s week five games amid the Omicron virus and the unprecedented case counts all over the world.

In a press release on Monday the league wrote:

” We have been in constant contact with authorities, media, and business partners and officials on both sides of the border monitoring developments up to the minute. With that information, we feel it is in the best interests of all to reschedule the three games we have this coming weekend until later in the season.

We do this out of an abundance of caution which will keep the competitive balance of our league in place while making sure that our number one priority is, and always will be, the health and safety of our players, our coaches, our staff, and our fans.

We expect to play week 6 of the season on January 7-8, 2022 and we will update if there are any changes based on this fluid and complex situation.”

To this point, the league hasn’t had near the problems that the NHL or NBA has had with players entering Covid protocol, and are trying to stay ahead of the curve. 

The Arenas:

Here in Canada the arenas are at 50% capacity, and here in Ontario specifically, are not serving food or drink for the time being, making sure there are no excuses for the fans to be wearing their masks at all times.  In order to enter, everyone already has to show that they are double vaxxed, but the league doesn’t want to take any chances with their players, or fans alike.

Playing it by ear:

As the press release stated, the league is only postponing week five, with full intention of a week six return the weekend of January 7th.  However, should things change, and public health advises against a return to action, the league has left that option open as well.

We can only hope that this is a mere bump in the road, and the rest of the season will be played as scheduled.   To this point we have seen some of the most exciting lacrosse we have seen in years, and can expect the rest of the season to be even more exciting than what we have already witnessed. 

In these trying times, it is refreshing to see a league that puts player and fan safety ahead of the almighty dollar, again showing the character of those in the leadership roles.

Don’t worry folks, if there is a way to safely get the season in, I am certain they will find the correct way to do it.

Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.