LAXNAI co-organizer Connor Wilson announced today that the 2021 tournament has been cancelled.
LAXNAI is one of the most competitive box tournaments in North America, but it won’t be happening in 2021. This cancellation now makes it two years in a row that the young competition will not be played in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The tournament started back in 2016 with just 12 teams but featured rosters with plenty of NLL, international, and Sr. B talent, immediately making the event highly competitive. The major draw of the tournament has been its home location at the Onondaga Nation Fieldhouse, which is also a primary driver for why the tournament cannot resume as normal.
According to Wilson, the Onondaga Nation still has not fully resumed athletic activities and has been highly successful in avoiding any sort of major outbreak in its area. This has created some hesitancy to host a tournament the size of LAXNAI at this point.
Wilson said that alternatives were considered, such as a smaller tournament still taking place on Onondaga with certain restrictions, or even hosting it at other locations in Upstate New York. But ultimately, this was the decision that felt the most appropriate to LAXNAI’s organizers.
“The way I look at it, we can either do it right or not do it at all,” Wilson said. “It’s special for this tournament to be played on the Onondaga Nation and to have the draw it typically does.”
Wilson agreed with the assessment that if they were to try something else, it would be a box tournament. But even if that were to happen, it would be different; it would not be LAXNAI.
He also said he is hoping to once again have the tournament operating as it always has in the fall of 2022.