(Photo by Bob White)
by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – The MCLA has certainly gone through its trials and tribulations from a public relations standpoint over its 25 years. There have been some novel ideas and some misses.
Most of those that have gone awry have come from a good place, but the PR game is an inexact science, especially with the ever-changing social media and indirect media platforms.
Alas, one of the enduring brands that the MCLA has established – I believe it was the brainchild of former president John Paul – is the “We’re Everywhere” slogan.
Simple and effective. It illustrates that the MCLA is in corners of the country that no other lacrosse league – at any level – can access. It’s one of our organization’s biggest strengths.
Ironically, it has the potential to be one of the MCLA’s biggest obstacles for the 2022 season.
Spanning the country would be an asset in most times, but we’re situated in a weird one right now with the virus. We have regions that are working on seemingly a completely different plane on how to handle things.
For example, my 83-year-old mother flew into Wisconsin from suburban Boston and she felt like she was a different planet in terms of rules and regulations. Honestly, you could send someone from one part of the country to another and it would be the same way.
I’m not here to get into the right and the wrong of it. I’m kind of tired of it, to be honest.
But there are some very real consequences for the MCLA because of the diverse geographic footprint. We have some regions prone to lockdowns or mandates and others that trend toward a more open philosophy.
And guess what? There are teams from these disparate areas that are scheduled to play each other this spring.
That’s a problem. Well, maybe not a problem per se, but something that needs to be planned for. We can’t just hope this whole thing goes away.
There will undoubtedly be some conflicts within conference play that may force a rescheduling or two. But that’s on the respective conferences to figure out. The MCLA has a federalist structure that puts conference issues into the conference’s hands.
Where the MCLA may have to step in is when there is an inter-conference issue, specifically in regards to games getting canceled because of the virus.
Who should be held accountable for a cancellation? How will it impact postseason eligibility if a team drops below the mandatory non-conference threshold because of a virus cancellation? If Team A flies across the country and Team B says, “We’re out because of school protocol,” how can everyone be made whole?
None of us want this to happen. This is painfully obvious after the instability of last two years. But there needs to be a protocol set up that handles all of the potential eventualities that may arise.
This is the MCLA’s challenge, and it won’t be easy.