Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Trouble With Growing The Game

As I sat in the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) seminar last Saturday I began to ponder the age old question, “Why isn’t Lacrosse bigger?”

It is a difficult question and one that has been asked for many years. It should not be this hard and yet every year we pine for acceptance while only gaining notoriety when the next brawl video shows up on the news.

While I listened to the CCES presenter struggle to answer any questions on Lacrosse specific sanctions while two executives of the OLA sat silent in the same room, it struck me. Lacrosse has a serious leadership problem. I don’t mean Lacrosse lacks good, quality people who do great work to run the day to day of our game. I mean Lacrosse in Canada at the National and Provincial and Local level really lacks people with vision and the ability to see outside the box.

I approached one of the aforementioned OLA Executives after the CCES presentation and asked why he did not speak up. The response; “I have no idea what the answer is because the CLA has not given any rules yet”. Remember that in September of 2012, the Mann Cup was tarred by conflicts around Doping Control and testing of selected players. Here we are 6 months later and still nothing further has been done to inform the Lacrosse community about sanctions or testing parameters.

How could we get into a spot where our National Governing body isn’t even aware of the possibility of drug testing being required by their masters at Sport Canada? Did not one person at the CLA Conventions or meetings speak up about the real possibility that Sport Canada would demand drug testing in Lacrosse for continued financial support? I shudder to think that either no one did or that someone did and they were dismissed. Based on the CLA’s foot dragging, it is painfully obvious that the majority had dismissed the very real possibility of drug testing in Lacrosse as far-fetched. Yet these are the people who we let continually run our game.

Maybe it is time that we start asking ourselves one important question. Why? Why are we still letting the same people run the sport the same way it has always been run? Why are we not asking for more clarity and more information and more accountability? Why are we so afraid of change? It is one small world with the power for major change.

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