Chinook’s Edge bans lacrosse

Lacrosse teams will not be facing off in gyms at Chinook’s Edge School Division after it recently decided to ban the sport.

Lacrosse teams will not be facing off in gyms at Chinook’s Edge School Division after it recently decided to ban the sport.

Allan Tarnoczi, associate supervisor of corporate services for the school division, said their facilities are mainly for educating children and so it’s important that they are kept in top-notch shape.

“And because we want to be good community members, Chinook’s Edge strives hard to have a positive presence in the community,” said Tarnoczi

Tarnoczi wouldn’t give particulars as to what prompted the decision to ban lacrosse teams.

“When we rent out facilities, we try to minimize the risk of damage to facilities,” said Tarnoczi. “So we’re trying to be responsible to the taxpayers and not be using facilities that they were not intended to be used for.”

Marlane Quinton, vice-president of the Innisfail Lacrosse Association, said they have been using the Innisfail Junior/Senior High School gym for about eight weeks during the winter season, as well during an interim practice time leading up to the spring season.

So they were surprised when they learned of the ban late last year.

They scrambled to find another location, which ended up being at Olds College.

Quinton said the ban had a big impact. The association’s winter program numbers were cut in half. A number of children didn’t want to travel to Olds, she added.

Quinton said she’s surprised people are concerned about damage since gyms are made for sport. Plus, the Innisfail high school gym is old anyway, she added.

“Badminton has a metal racket that can coincidentally strike the floor at any time,” Quinton said.

“That’s much more damaging than the plastic material that a lacrosse head is made out of. And anytime we used the school facility, we stipulated the use of foam balls. They’re non-damaging.”

Red Deer Public Schools, Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools and Wild Rose Public Schools do not have bans on lacrosse.

“This has never been an issue before, though, because we do not have any lacrosse activities, besides casual play in physical education classes,” said Wild Rose spokesman Nathan Klosse.

Wolf Creek Public Schools has a detailed list of high-risk activities — including archery and ice hockey — that required increased planning and supervision.

It also lists prohibited activities, such as drag racing and excursions to war zones. Lacrosse is not listed in either.