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.”