2021 IIJL World Junior Lacrosse Championship COVID-19 Update

by CLL

The last eighteen months have been difficult for sporting events around the world including the IIJL World Junior Lacrosse Championship (WJLC). 

Recent updates continue to move in a positive direction as Canada and Manitoba meet milestones as the country and province move closer to a full reopening. 

However, entering Canada to participate in sporting events come with additional mandatory requirements, including but not limited to, quarantine requirements, players/staff vaccinations, and players/staff entering into Canada together via charter or other non-commercial means. 

Unfortunately, the current requirement regarding entry into Canada make participation for Israel, Poland, and the United States at the 2021 WJLC impractical with the situation remaining too speculative to plan appropriately. 

Additionally, inter-provincial travel restrictions within Canada have been lifted and indoor sporting events, for both participants and spectators, are imminent.

However, inter-provincial travel restrictions without quarantine and participation in and spectating of indoor sporting events will be limited to those who are fully vaccinated. 

Unfortunately, the current requirement to be fully vaccinated makes participation for Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee at the 2021 WJLC idealistic given their longer period of quarantine and isolation within their own communities and uncertainty around the vaccine. 

Combined with Australia and Ireland withdrawing their participation in January, due to foreseeable travel restrictions outside of their own country, Canada remains as the only nation able to participate in the 2021 IIJL World Junior Lacrosse Championship. 

The IIJL's primary focus is the safety and well-being of everyone participating. Any decision to move forward with the 2021 WJLC also takes into consideration the integrity of the championship and its purpose to provide players with domestic and international development opportunities, in environments that require performance under pressure.

The IIJL has agreed to move forward with the 2021 IIJL World Junior Lacrosse Championship with Canada playing an East versus West, cumulative three-game series for the Gold Medal. 

The World Juniors last saw multiple regional Canadian teams compete in 2015 and 2016. In 2015, Canada Atlantic/Quebec, Canada CLax (Ontario), and Canada West participated with Canada West, lead in goal by Christian del Bianco, winning gold over Canada CLax, lead by Jeff Teat, in a dramatic one-goal game. Then in 2016, Canada East (CLax) and Canada West participated with Canada CLax being awarded silver in the gold medal game against the star studded Iroquois West. 

The 2021 IIJL World Junior Lacrosse Championship will provide Canadian players with the opportunity to compete for a championship for the first time in two seasons and lacrosse fans with the opportunity to watch what will arguably be the most competitive series of games the World Juniors has seen outside of the individual gold medal games.  

To keep up to date with new developments and information regarding the 2021 IIJL World Junior Lacrosse Championship, please visit www.worldjuniorlacrossechampionship.com and on social; Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.