Season cancelled for Regina Thunder, other CJFL teams
REGINA -- The Canadian Junior Football League has cancelled the 2020 season, a decision that dashes the chances of the Regina Thunder being able to play this year.
In a statement released on Thursday morning, the CJFL said it’s not feasible for the league to operate a regular season or playoffs.
“Our focus and attention will now be on our return-to-play plan for 2021,” it said.
The CJFL previously told CTV News in June that the season would go ahead in September, but it had to change course after looking at the return-to-play guidelines.
“Return-to-play guidelines do not allow for large enough gatherings to make training and competition safe for our athletes,” it said.
CJFL commissioner Jim Pankovich said based on the provinces’ recommendations and guidelines, the league determined it wasn’t feasible to ensure there would be small gathering sizes on a field.
“It was a unanimous decision on the board of the CJFL, and among the 18 teams, that this was the decision we wanted to make, for both the health and safety of the athletes,” said Pankovich.
He said if provincial guidelines had allowed for larger gatherings, it’s possible the league would have supported teams to play.
“If there was a region that could, we would support them actually playing,” Pankovich said. “But what it came down to though is none of the provinces in which we operate have large enough gathering sizes that would allow us to play a game.”
He said the league wanted to notify players four-to-six weeks before the season was supposed to start.
The CJFL is encouraging teams to engage with athletes. It hopes players can participate in small group activity sessions in a safe environment.
The league is working on a plan for players to return for the 2021 season.