Three Burrards converge on an Adanac opponent during a 2015 WLA game.

Burrards to continue season

Fans will notice added security at Cam Neely Arena in Maple Ridge.

The Western Lacrosse Association and the Maple Ridge Burrards have come to an agreement that will keep the first-place team on the court, without posting a $25,000 bond or going to court.

The league ordered the bond be paid last week, and that the Burrards would lose their money and be suspended for the remainder of the season if any further fines or suspensions occurred .

The decision came following a May 29 game between the Burrards and the Burnaby Lakers in which 16 penalties were called in the game with 15 seconds remaining in overtime. After that, the governors reviewed videos and game sheets from six other previous Burrard games, dating back to 2013

But on Friday, the Burrards executive posted a statement on the team website, calling the bond “illegal and without standing.”

It said the process violated the WLA constitution, the Societies Act and “the principles of natural justice,” because the Burrards were not notified and allowed to attend the meeting.

“If this action taken by the league is not remedied, we shall have no further alternative but to seek action through the B.C. Registrar of Companies or through legal means.”

Sunday morning, the league and team executives got together and came to an agreement, the terms of which will not be released.

“I won’t say both sides are happy, but we have an agreement,” said Burrards president Lance Andre.

“We have an agreement to continue the season for the betterment of lacrosse, and to continue talks to improve the game,” he added.

“I do agree we’ve got to curb the fighting,” and he believes the answer is rule changes in leagues across Canada.

Dan Richardson, chair of the WLA board of governors and the general manager of the New Westminster Salmonbellies, said there was never any intention to prohibit the Burrards from fighting.

However, the league wanted to curb “extra-curricular activities on and off the floor.”

He said fans should notice extra security at Cam Neely Arena in Maple Ridge. Security and conduct off the floor at the Maple Ridge venue has been an issue for visiting teams.

Richardson clarified that the intent of the governors was never to make the Burrards the one team in the league that was forbidden to fight. However,  with ongoing research into the effects of concussions, and the potential for serious injury resulting from fighting, the board cannot allow staged fights, line brawls and bench clearing brawls.

“I can see the day when all sports – including hockey and lacrosse – will ban it completely, but we’re not there yet,” said Richardson, but added the WLA will take steps to protect its players.

“Now we want to get back to good WLA lacrosse.”

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