For those who are not as familiar with the Women’s College Club organizations, these two groups are the oversight for the Women;s college game at the Club level, similar to how the MCLA runs the Men’s side of the sport.
The WCLA is the larger of the two and a number of the major universities in the state have club programs for the Women, including Gainesville, which would surprise many. WCLA schools from their web site included UCF, FSU, FGCU, Miami, FAU, USF and UF.
It’s a shame that this occurred and here are the press releases:
Due to safety and health concerns related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the strong likelihood that a limited number of teams will be in competition this spring, US Lacrosse has cancelled the 2021 WCLA National Championship Tournament, which was scheduled to be played in Virginia Beach, Va. from May 5-8. The cancellation decision was made unanimously by the WCLA’s leadership committee and US Lacrosse staff.
The WCLA (Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Associates) is comprised of 230 non-varsity collegiate teams nationwide. The traditional spring season culminates annually with the Division I and Division II national championship tournaments, hosted by US Lacrosse.
Liz Holmes, chair of the WCLA’s leadership committee, provided some explanation for the decision.
“For most of this year, the WCLA leadership has been monitoring and discussing state, local, and university policies regarding practice, game, and travel restrictions for student activities. Unfortunately, COVID rates and hospitalization rates have dramatically increased all over the country, and many schools have instituted policies that restrict practices, travel, and large groups visiting campus. We fully support and will comply with all university guidelines. Based upon feedback from our league presidents, we do not foresee even 50 percent of our teams being able to play their seasons. Accordingly, plans and financial commitments for the 2021 US Lacrosse WCLA National Tournament have been cancelled. We all regret this, but see no benefit in delaying the decision that we think is inevitable.”
There were a number of safety factors involved in the decision, including the overall rise in cases nationally, players and teams located in states with high positivity rates, quarantine issues related to state-to-state travel, travel restrictions imposed by colleges and universities, and a limitation on the size of gatherings.
“In response to the continued uncertainty of spring conditions and in consideration for the safety of the student-athletes that make up the WCLA, this was a heartbreaking decision that the WCLA leadership made with great gravity,” said Caitlin Kelley, women’s lacrosse director at US Lacrosse. “We are saddened that these players will once again be impacted due to the pandemic, but we look forward to that time when we can all get back on the field.”
On behalf of the WCLL board, I would like to thank you for your patience during this difficult time. We understand that things are not easy right now as we are all navigating the ever changing situations regarding COVID. With that in mind, we know many of the teams in our league are waiting on decisions for the spring season from us and from their school. Please keep an open mind as you read the next bit of information.
•The WCLA (nationals) has decided to cancel the national championship at the end of the regular season.
•The WCLL has also decided to cancel the league playoffs at the end of the regular season.
•Dues (national dues and the portion of league dues as stated before) are being rolled over to the 2021-2022 season. If this is an issue for your team, please contact a member of the WCLL board to further discuss.
•We are working to have an independent season this spring. What that means for the teams right now: teams will be allowed to play in a “season” however, the start time of the season will be moved back to later in the spring semester. The season will not count towards a players 4 year eligibility. The usual dues per season will not be collected as they are already being rolled over (see previous note above).
•The board will be meeting again after the holiday to discuss further details for the spring. Please understand we are doing everything we can to allow game play. We want to be on the field as much as you all do, but we know there are safety guidelines in place that we need to follow.