Flu fears cancel Lacrosse game
Board members of the Martha's Vineyard Youth Lacrosse last Thursday cancelled a game scheduled for Sunday, May 10, for fear the visiting team would spread the H1N1 virus, commonly called swine flu.
The action left the visiting team scrambling to cancel complicated reservations and change Mother's Day travel plans, three days before the game.
Though not affiliated with the school, the visiting team is from the Nashoba Regional School District, which encompasses the towns of Stow, Bolton, and Lancaster. Parents in that school system were notified that a student there had a "probable" case of the H1N1 virus.
Vineyard Youth Lacrosse director Kira Sullivan notified the visiting team in a phone call Thursday evening.
"I was unhappy," said Patty Bolton, who is an official of the Nashoba Youth Lacrosse League, and coach of the two girls teams that were scheduled to travel to Martha's Vineyard on Sunday. "It was really something we worked hard to make happen. It takes a little bit of planning to get people from Bolton and Stowe to Martha's Vineyard. We were a little upset. Our girls aren't sick. We didn't have a problem."
Ms. Bolton said the flu case did not involve any members of the two teams, or their families. The school did not close because of the case, and did not cancel any sporting events or extra-curricular activities.
The decision to cancel was made on Thursday by several members of Martha's Vineyard Youth Lacrosse.
When contacted Monday, Ms. Sullivan was at first reluctant to talk about the board's decision, and asked that The Martha's Vineyard Times not report the story. "As an organization we felt that any risk to our players or to Martha's Vineyard was not something we felt comfortable with," she said. "There wasn't a lot of time for us to make a decision."
The Martha's Vineyard Times was unable to contact any of the Martha's Vineyard Youth Lacrosse board members listed on the organization's web site.
Some families on the visiting team planned a Mother's Day weekend trip around the lacrosse games scheduled for last Sunday. The father of one team member said he was appalled at the last-minute decision to cancel the games.
"There were a lot of mistakes made here," said David Koury of Stow in a telephone conversation Friday. "This is an influenza, it's treatable. There's not one other youth- or school-sponsored team that has had an issue with any other team playing. Yet the girls of this lacrosse team get a message. It's like 'you're lepers, we don't want to associate with you.' There are people on Martha's Vineyard that think this way? I'm absolutely appalled."