MSL and OLA Joint Statement on Four Team Season for 2022
MSL TO PROCEED WITH FOUR-TEAM SEASON FOR 2022
MEDIA RELEASE - In a joint announcement, the Ontario Lacrosse Association (OLA) and Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) share today the Senior “A” schedule will officially resume for the 2022 season, beginning tonight when the defending Mann Cup Champion Peterborough Lakers renew their rivalry with the hosting Six Nations Chiefs.
Newly-appointed MSL Commissioner Lynn Withers, assisted by Board Chairperson Tina Manning, were able to reach a formal agreement earlier today with VP Junior-Major Sean O’Callaghan and the OLA Board of Directors to proceed with approval of the league for sanctioning. For the benefit of the sport and its players, the 2022 Senior “A” season will be played between the Brooklin Lacrosse Club, the Cobourg Kodiaks, the Peterborough Lakers and the Six Nations Chiefs.
Despite genuine attempts by club representatives, the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club and the Owen Sound Lacrosse Club were unable to reach a satisfactory agreement with the remaining MSL teams, while the Oakville Rock elected to take a one-year hiatus from competition as permitted by OLA Regulation 25.05.
In the meantime, representatives from Brampton and Owen Sound will continue to work towards a resolution for MSL to return as a seven-team league beginning in 2023. “The OLA offers its sincere thanks all of the governors and representatives of MSL for their efforts to resolve this ongoing situation,” stated Sean O’Callaghan, Ontario Lacrosse VP, Junior-Major. “Mutual respect and strategic vision informed all discussions, and everyone involved has worked diligently to get to this point. We expect productive discussions to continue between Brampton and Owen Sound, and look forward to welcoming the Oakville Rock back into the league in 2023, with a focus on encouraging further league expansion in the years to come.”
MSL Commissioner Lynn Withers commented, “We look forward to returning to the floor for the 2022 season.” Over the past two weeks, all parties put their differences aside for the betterment of our sport and our league. We appreciate them for focusing on the big picture. Now it’s time to play lacrosse, and we’re thankful to be back for the 88th season of Major Series Lacrosse in Ontario.”
The agreement includes a number of guarantees, including the immediate participation of the representatives of the Brampton and Owen Sound clubs in meetings, drafts and strategic decision-making, as well as a pathway forward for both teams to participate on-floor in 2023. Both the MSL and the OLA commended the facilitation efforts of Ontario Lacrosse member Allen Orth, who was instrumental in bringing the parties together to begin discussion. Orth’s professional approach and guidance were ultimately responsible for ensuring that the 2022 season would be played. MSL action will continue on Wednesday, June 22, when the Six Nations Chiefs will head east to take on the Brooklin Lacrosse Club, and the following night, when the Peterborough Lakers welcome Brooklin to the Memorial Centre. The remainder of the playing schedule will be posted to the MSL website as soon as it is complete. The eventual Ontario champion will host the Western Lacrosse Association’s champion at the conclusion of the season, in the Best of Seven Mann Cup Senior “A” Championship of Canada.