COVID-19 leads to Luther Invitational Tournament being cancelled for the first time

An annual staple for Luther High School will not be going ahead due to COVID-19.

Luther Invitational Tournament (LIT) had to be cancelled after the Saskatchewan High Schools Athletic Association (SHSAA) has put all high school athletics on pause due to the ongoing pandemic.

Luther’s athletic director Troy Casper joined 620 CKRM’s the Sportscage Friday evening, and says this is the first time in the tournament’s history that it had to be cancelled.

“As far as I can tell — and I’ve done quite a bit of research — there’s no tournament that’s longer than ours that’s high school based,” Casper said. “There’s a couple tournaments in the east that are kind of community and club tournament based that started in schools, but in terms of an absolute high school tournament that’s run for high school athletes and players, I think it’s the oldest one that I can find or make note of in Canada.”

Casper says throughout the history of the tournament, a lot had to be done to keep the tournament running smoothly.

“I even think about times when we had Manitoba teams that can’t get here and we have other teams from the southern part of the province that step up and just join our tournament the day before it or the day that it starts, and we were still able to make it go.”

LIT featured some of the best boys and girls high school basketball teams from across western Canada, and had student volunteers helping organize the tournament. Normally, students would start that planning phase in late-October or early-November.

Casper says LIT isn’t just a basketball tournament, adding it involves the entire community to make the tournament the success it has become.

“It involved different dance companies in Regina, there’s the classic dog-relays with the kennel clubs of Regina,” Casper said. “I think of Jack Semple performing, I think about different musical artists performing, I think about all of these areas that support local and our in-school talent, it’s super important.”

When asked about early plans for 2022, Casper says they now have over a year to make the 69th edition of LIT that much better.

Regina’s LeBoldus Golden Suns won the girls tournament in 2020, while Saskatoon’s Holy Cross Crusaders won the boys tournament last year.

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