OLDS — The Olds Minor Lacrosse Association (OMLA) has been playing a lot of games outside their normal home floor for a variety of reasons this year.
But they expect to start playing at home on May 14 until the end of the season in mid June, when playoffs begin.
Like many other sports, minor lacrosse was able to do very little for the last couple of years, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“It feels great being able to get back on the floor. I know a lot of our kids sure missed lacrosse in the past two years,” OMLA president Joe Berreth wrote in an email.
They were able to get ready for the season in the Cow Palace, thanks to the help of the Olds Regional Exhibition.
However, teams were only at the Sportsplex for a couple of weeks before they had to vacate the premises for the KIOTI Curling Championships.
“Luckily we were able to move to the Bowden Arena until we are able to come back to Olds in mid May,” Berreth wrote.
Only 58 kids registered in the OMLA this year, down from the usual 100 or so. However, Berreth says membership appears to be down in all minor lacrosse associations in 2022.
As a result of the lower numbers, this year, the OMLA only has four teams: 6U, 8U, 10U and 12U.
“We didn't have enough 14U kids so we were able to move them down to the 12U team as most of the 14U kids were new to the sport and they fit in with the 12U (team),” Berreth wrote.
Only two kids registered for 16U, so one opted to play lacrosse in Innisfail and the other decided to join a team in Airdrie.
June 4 will be a big day on the OMLA calendar.
On that day, all of the association’s teams will be playing, along with some others.
“There will be a 6U game where we have all of the 6U teams in the league coming to play. After that we have the 8U,10U and 12U playing,” Berreth wrote.
Berreth has also been told that the Mavericks and seniors will be playing that day as well. As a result, “we are hoping to do something big that day to showcase lacrosse to the town.”
June 24-26 will also be huge for the OMLA.
On those days, the association will be hosting the 14U playoffs.
“Back in 2019 our Bantam 14U team won the league," Berreth noted.