What is the role of the Convenor during the Mann Cup?
As lacrosse fans, attending the Mann Cup is special. We experience the excitement and thrill of watching the two most successful Senior level teams in Canada competing for the ultimate trophy in lacrosse. It probably does not cross the mind of the average fan, the incredible amount of behind the scenes organizing and work required to ensure the Mann Cup proceeds smoothly with few or no bumps along the way.
Lacrosse Canada has the responsibility of ensuring the Mann Cup series follows the required policies and procedures. This work is largely assigned to a Mann Cup series Convenor appointed by Lacrosse Canada. For the 2022 Mann Cup, the very experienced Doug Luey from Ontario has taken on the role. Mr. Luey has been the Convenor at more than 25 Lacrosse Canada National championships from minor lacrosse up to the Mann Cup.
Doug Luey – Mann Cup Convenor
In addition, to the efforts of Mr. Luey, the team hosting the Mann Cup also has a Host Committee headed by their own Convenor. For 2022, lacrosse veterans Lee Vitarelli and Tim Barrie have stepped up to fulfill this role on behalf of the Peterborough organization. Both having experience convening Mann and Minto Cups, they know their vital role and acknowledge, “We provide local input which is necessary - Helping the Lacrosse Canada Convenor with information on the local facility and coordination with the municipality in whatever manner is necessary”.
Head - Peterborough Convenor Committee
So – what does the Lacrosse Canada appointed Convenor do? We spent a few minutes with Doug Luey to learn the specifics of the role of the Convenor. Mr. Luey responded to the following questions:
#1 What does a Mann Cup convenor do?
Basically, the role of the convenor is to oversee the competition while ensuring the Lacrosse Canada Operations Manual and the Mann Cup Agreements are followed. This starts with meeting with the host committee and chairing the pre-competition meeting. On game nights, immediately after the game - you chair a meeting with the Referee in Chief, both Commissioners and the host convenor. Any issues or problems from the game are reviewed and concerns and logistics going forward are discussed. This often involves assigning various tasks.
#2 Do you have a group or committee to work with?
As noted above you work closely with the host committee and commissioners prior to and during the competition. In this regard, the 2022 Mann Cup is fortunate to have a host convenor team headed by Lee Vitarelli assisted by Tim Barrie – two extremely experienced lacrosse people with incredible work ethic and knowledge. Additional duties in my role include convening the appeal committee along with the commissioners and taking the lead along with the awards committee.
#3 Can you cite some of the specific tasks you are required to do?
Among the various tasks are representing the governing body Lacrosse Canada during the Mann Cup including the opening and closing ceremonies, working with the Referee-In-Chief assigned to the Mann Cup, various members of the media and the teams on a regular basis to put the game in a positive light. There is a constant dialogue with the commissioners to make any necessary improvements going forward.
#4 How tight are deadlines?
Lacrosse Canada uses a convenor’s guideline that lays out the timelines that need to be adhered to and all seem reasonable to me. Perhaps the tightest one is the oversight of the player and coaches’ registrations - in the case of the Mann Cup you don't see the registrations until the pre-competition meeting, the day prior to the first game.
#5 Can you share a particularly challenging or troubling moment experienced when convening?
At one Founders Cup the schedule format that was approved, but changed after being approved by Lacrosse Canada. This resulted in a team with a 3-1 record missing the playdowns while a 2-2 team advanced. The team with the 3-1 record left the tournament refusing to play the next game.
#6 Can you share a particular memory you experienced while convening?
My favourite would have to be after informing a player that he must serve a 3-game suspension penalty for a gross misconduct due to racially motivated comments. During the tournament, I had a number of conversations with the young man about what he did and why it was wrong. You can imagine my surprise when I received an extremely long hand written letter from him actually thanking me. We have stayed in touch over the years and today I address him as “Doctor”.
There you have it lacrosse fans – Mann Cup Convenor and Host City Convenor Team – not a glorious role, but essential and critical to the operation and running of a successful Mann Cup series.
MSL Media Team