The Governors of the Western Lacrosse Association, at mid-day on Saturday Jan 5th, concluded an Extraordinary Emergency Meeting. The meeting had been called to deal with a single issue, that being Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA) Playing Rule 45. The revised rule now reads as follows:
A) A major penalty and game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player/goalkeeper who fights. A goalkeeper penalty shall be served by a player who was on the floor at the time of the infraction. The major penalty must be served in its duration.
B) If there is an instigator or clear aggressor in a fight, a major penalty and a game misconduct plus any other penalties shall be assessed to the offending player(s). Where an instigator or clear aggressor penalty is assessed the non-offending player shall not receive a game misconduct under 45 (a).
The Governors of the WLA at the meeting, voted reluctantly to comply with the provisions of CLA Rule 45, reversing a decision made earlier, at the AGM on Dec 8, 2012. The previous decision in December, was to call WLA league and playoff games as per 2012 rules.
The Governors had concerns with the lack of clarity in the new wording of the rule, and also with unintended consequences occurring in the late stages of a game, as a result of the new rule.
The process followed prior to promulgation of the new rule was of a concern to the Governors, the latest in a series of policies, processes and decisions by the the CLA which have rankled WLA officials. These decisions included insufficient information, education and protocol in preparation for the recent Canadian Centre for Excellence in Sports(CCES) initiative to test for usage of banned substances by participants in the Mann Cup. The WLA has also had long-standing frustrations with many decisions by the CLA regarding player movement throughout the country.
WLA Board Chairman Ed Ponsart stated, "the Governors of the WLA would like to see a decision making process at the CLA that is well thought out, with due diligence, one that is fair to all participants, and also places health and safety above all other considerations".