The COVID-19 pandemic brought the Saanich Tigers’ lacrosse season to a grinding halt so players decided to come together for a virtual passing practice.
At the end of April, the Saanich Lacrosse Association launched a ball throwing video of players passing to one another from their separate homes.
Athletes aged five to 16 decked in Saanich Tigers gear joined the fun while showing off handling tricks, said Andy Stuart, president of Saanich Lacrosse.
After the Bantam division team made its own passing video, Stuart invited the rest of the association. Saanich Lacrosse put out a call to all players “desperate to get the 2020 season underway” and asked they come together from a distance to create a passing video.
The instructions were simple: wear team swag, film the short clip outside during the day, make sure to receive a mock pass from the right, do a trick, then pass to the left so it would look like the ball is being passed to the next player.
Saanich Tiger Sylvi Jenner edited the clips together.
Although the season is on hold the Saanich Tigers are keeping their lax skills sharp. https://t.co/Gn5qtWhWoh Thx @JennerSylvi for creating the video. We are challenging other @BCLacrosse and @LacrosseCanada associations to make a virtual passing video.
— Saanich Lacrosse (@SaanichLacrosse) April 27, 2020
The video served as a form of teambuilding while players can’t be together, Stuart said. Sports bring people together and the “hard stop” was difficult, especially for younger athletes who don’t necessarily understand why practices are cancelled.
B.C.’s social distancing restrictions went into place right before the season was set to launch. Teams had just been formed and athletes were getting excited to play, Stuart said. The association is “optimistic” that there will still be some sort of 2020 season, though no one is quite sure what that will look like, he said.
Stuart expects that Saanich’s littlest Tigers will be the first to head back to the box as there’s a “no contact” rule for younger athletes.
For now, the young lacrosse players do at-home workouts.
The Saanich Tigers have also issued a challenge to other lacrosse associations in both the British Columbia Lacrosse Association and the Canadian Lacrosse Association asking them to show their skills and make similar ball-throwing videos.