MW Lacrosse Fight Originally uploaded by andrew.deci

Plan on watching your son or daughters lacrosse game? Well good luck. The Manitoba Lacrosse Association have banned spectators from its games.

The reason for the ban is to send a message out to the spectators and should be a temporary ban. Recently there has been various incidents of verbal abuse of league referees. League officials have finally said enough is enough.

Parents of players on Monday night, we’re asked to wait outside the Maples Community Centre until the end of the game. Continuous abusive behavior from spectators have forced such dramatic measures.

One senior league official has already quit and the league is finding it harder and harder to find referees to officiate the games.


Spectator Attendance at Red River Lacrosse Association Games

Over the last few days I have received calls about the spectators abusing officials at the RRLA games.

The MLA does have a policy in place to deal with members of the MLA who abuse officials (Zero Tolerance). However the policy does not cover individuals who are not members of the Association. The officials have been instructed by the RIC of the RRLA to have unruly spectators removed from the facility, however the abuse of referees continues.

I have had a discussion with the MLA Director of Officials who has indicated that one (1) Senior Official has quit and assigning referees to games are becoming quite challenging. Therefore the RIC has recommended that immediate action take place to ensure that there is no further abuse of officials.

I have contacted Fred Haight, the President of the RRLA and we have come to the conclusion that the abuse of officials must end immediately. Both the President of the RRLA and myself agree that for the betterment of lacrosse, we must support our officials.

Therefore, with the support of Fred Haight, President of the RRLA, I will be instructing Bruce Paton, MLA Director of Officials and Referee in Chief of the RRLA, to have all spectators removed from all facilities where RRLA scheduled league or RRLA play-off games are occurring effective immediately, and will be in effect until further further notice.

The abuse of officials must stop and unfortunately the actions of some spectators have resulted in the extreme action being taken.

Glen Henkewich, President
Manitoba Lacrosse Association