ATLANTA – Due to institutional and regional restrictions that has limited the number of teams eligible to play a full schedule this spring, the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA), the preeminent non-varsity league in the country, will be hosting an “Invitational Tournament” this May in lieu of the 2021 MCLA National Championship presented by New Balance.
The MCLA Invitational Tournament will take place from May 12-14 in Round Rock, Texas, and will feature a single, combined eight-team bracket from both divisions.
The invitational is contingent on a minimum number of teams being eligible to compete in a multi-day event.
“Our championship is the jewel of our season and we want all of our teams to have access to it. This year didn’t allow for that,” said MCLA president Ken Lovic. “As such, the board of directors decided that a condensed ‘Invitational Tournament’ was the appropriate approach.”
The Invitational field will be set in late April by a selection committee using various non-traditional criteria in order to give eligible programs a chance to compete this spring. The winner of the tournament will not be considered the national champion and the format and logistics of the tournament will be far more limited than the annual championships.
There will be various safety precautions taken at the event, including virus testing, with fans, parents and extraneous team personnel excluded from the venue. There will be limited staff on site, although the website and social media platforms will be updated with results.
Because there is no official national championship this spring, student-athletes will again be granted another year of eligibility by the MCLA. Players will have the same eligibility status in 2022 as they did entering the 2020 campaign. Those student-athletes using their extra eligibility will still need to carry a full undergraduate or graduate course load.
As it has been doing for the last two months, the MCLA Board of Directors will continue to convene weekly to reassess the season and provide structure for those teams that can compete.
If you have any questions about the Invitational Tournament or the MCLA’s status, please contact Executive Director Jac Coyne.