What’s going on, everybody? Welcome to another episode of Lacrosse History. My name is Justin Skaggs, and today, we’re going to be talking about the Junior A lacrosse championship, also known as the Minto Cup.
This is another installment in a larger series dealing with the Canadian Lacrosse Association and their four major cups.
The Minto Cup has an incredibly vibrant history. The Minto Cup is the championship for the Junior A division in Canadian professional lacrosse. It’s played every year and hosted by the CLA.
We do have another video that gives a general overview, so if you’re lost as to what the CLA is, or what Junior A is, or what any of this means, go back and watch the general overview video on all four of these championships. That should clear things up and help it make a little bit more sense.
Also, I know that a lot of you are watching in the United States and that those of us in the States don’t watch a lot of box lacrosse. If you see any information you disagree with, feel free to comment here on the site and we can have a discussion about it. I try to be as informed as I can, but sometimes mistakes happen!
The first time we have seen the Minto Cup used for Junior Lacrosse was in 1937. It was originally kind of an all-star game format. It wasn’t until 1960 that this all-star format was abandoned and a provincial championship format was instituted. For our those unfamiliar with Canadian geography, it was a kind of like a state-based thing.
It was donated in 1901 by General Lord Minto. It was supposed to be an amateur tournament, but within about three years, there were already under-the-table semipro teams forming to play for it and it got a little bit unfair. Because of that, in 1904, it was opened to all challengers.
The last successful “amateur” competition for the cup was by the North Westminster Salmonbellies — a particularly huge name when it comes to this cup in particular. The Minto Cup professional competition — which is where the water gets a little murky for me — is different from what we’re doing now with the Junior A. However, the original Minto Cup was completely dominated by the Salmonbellies. They held the trophy for 21 of the first 29 years. That’s some incredible domination. The Salmonbellies are still a very popular team and a very popular program to this day. They also happen to have one of my favorite jerseys of all time.
Professionals last played for this particular cup in 1924, as the host league folded. After the Coast Professional League was no more, the cup went into storage with a trustee and was actually lost when that trustee died. It was found right before the Junior Provincials of 1938, and if you’re paying close enough attention to this Quentin Tarantino timeline I just gave you for the Minto Cup, that brings us right back to the All-Star-Style format that I mentioned before, which is now our Junior A Tournament. I’ve gotta say… The Minto Cup is probably one of the most long-winded entries to this series. ‘Til next time, take care. Keep Laxin’.