At a meeting of the NVYLL Executive Committee tonight, a decision was made to suspend all league lacrosse activities, including practices, effective immediately, and to cancel the first 3 games of the season. We will target April 18/19 to resume games, pending further information as this situation develops. This delay spans all school systems’ Spring Break which amounts to a 5-week delay. If we are able to resume games April 18/19, there would be 5 regular season games left, not including post-season play. If we are able to resume practices at an earlier date, we will inform you as soon as possible. If individual teams or players engage in lacrosse activity prior to NVYLL resuming play, such activity will not be sanctioned by the league.
This is not a decision we made lightly. We consulted with US Lacrosse, Fairfax County and other school systems, as well as other youth sports organizations. Although our sport is an outdoor activity, typically played in wide open spaces for both players and spectators, whether there is an actual health risk to our players and adult volunteers is not the only factor we must consider. We have officials and immune-compromised coaches who are in higher risk age ranges who should not be placed at risk for an elective, recreational activity. Although it seems that our youth players themselves may be in a low risk group, they may go from gathering with other players at games to then interact with older relatives. In addition, a player who is injured during a game may face a challenging situation obtaining emergency or even primary medical care in the coming weeks.
In the end, the decision is essentially made for us by a much more mundane and inescapable fact: many of our games are scheduled on school fields. As schools close, which is happening now, we will lose access to these fields and the domino effect even on clubs playing on Park Authority or other community fields is too difficult to manage and schedule in the fluid situation we are likely to face. In addition, some clubs have governing boards that have decided to follow the schools in terms of ceasing activity.
There is plenty of health advice being distributed so we will not do that here. We will only say that our number one concern is the safety of our players and families. It is our sincere hope that the kids will be out on the lacrosse fields as soon as possible and that in the meantime, everybody in our community stays safe.