College Lifestyle

12 Angry Men? The PNCLL Annual Meeting Shakes Things Up

The PNCLL higher ups voting on change you can believe in.

The PNCLL votes for change

Editor’s note: University of Montana’s Will Moss was kind enough to give us the low down on the upcoming alterations going on in the MCLA’s most western of conferences, the PNCLL.

Going into Saturday’s PNCLL Annual Meeting, the question wasn’t if the conference’s D1 would split, but how.

With 10 teams in the division, the high number of mandatory conference games was putting teams at a disadvantage both competitively and financially. The PNCLL’s D2 (also 10 teams) had already split the previous year and it seemed to be working well.

The debate on the subject was whether the D1 should split on a purely geographic line (East/West), or on a performance based division. The funny thing is that the two options were almost identical, except for the placement of Montana and Portland State.

An East/West split would have given us SFU, Oregon, Washington, Oregon State and Portland State in the West, and Montana, Idaho, Boise State, Gonzaga and Washington State in the East.

A 1A/1AA split puts Montana with the stronger teams in the West and Portland State with the weaker teams in the East.

2009pnclltournamentWe (Montana) were initially for a geographic split, as it seemed to make the most sense from a financial point of view. We were also a little wary of creating “strong” and “weak” subdivisions because the PNCLL sees a good bit of fluctuation in it’s teams from year to year, which could cause some traveling headaches in the future when, say, Boise surges and Washington falls off. We also didn’t think that there was a serious-enough issue with parity in the PNCLL (like there was in the GRLC, which served as a template) to make the 1A/1AA split necessary.

We (Montana) did however vote for the 1A/1AA split, mainly because it sets us up quite nicely this year. We are in the 1A subdivision which puts us with the teams that we have competed well with in the past and would have worked to schedule anyway if the split had gone East/West, and should reduce our in-conference travel to only one big trip out to the west coast, instead of the two or even three that we’ve had in the past. We will still schedule some teams from the 1AA like Idaho, Boise and Gonzaga with whom we’ve had great reciprocity over the last two years.

I think the split is going to be a great thing for the PNCLL. We have some seriously talented teams in the Northwest. Obviously SFU and Oregon are the conference’s flagships, but teams like Washington, Idaho and Montana are also playing high-level lacrosse and the increased resources to seek OOC competition that the split will free up will allow these teams to focus on expanding their name recognition throughout the MCLA.


Thanks to Will Moss for his candid thoughts and best of luck to everyone in the PNCLL this upcoming season.

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In other PNCLL news, our insider connections at the University of Oregon have passed along the most recent edition of BHSvideodad‘s annual “Top Lacrosse Goals 2009″ for the Ducks.

Just another reminder that Fall ball is kicking into high gear and the 2010 season is right around the corner.

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9 Comments

  • Coming from the 208, initially, like Montana, we were for the east/west split, but that Jason Stockton character has a way with words and the thought of possibly hosting a playoff game come April is too enticing not to pass up. P

    lus like Will said, this frees us up to schedule opponents that will really help push the program to new heights. We are still able to pick up the likes of UM, UW, and OSU if we want and now can schedule more OOC competition that will most likely be a more competitive match-up then say playing UO or SFU.

    Overall, I think this will help foster the growth and legitimacy of the PNCLL, making us into a conference like the RMLC, picking up several at-large bids every year.

    • Glad to hear it. Watching the Vandals program progress even with the current structure should give hope to all the teams looking to build a program.

      The first few years we played Idaho there was a distinct smell of a brewery wafting from a few players (even some admitting it). However, by my senior year you could tell that something had changed and we saw a much more competitive team on the field as a result. The W/L column has improved for you guys over the past few years as well if I'm not mistaken.

      I will be very interested to see how the schedules play out for all of the PNCLL with this new flexibility. How will everyone take advantage?

      BTW the brewery comment was not intended as a slight whatsoever.. I think every team in the MCLA has gone through the “beer league” phase. Well maybe not a certain group in Provo…

      • Ha, no worries, I've heard stories of such tales that occurred before my time.

        Here's a little gem from an Alum, “Sorry, I'm from the before time. A terrible/glorious time where coaches would drink mudslides at practice, we owned Garry's so hard that everyone almost missed the Oregon game, and 30-40 lax players disappeared into the ether. I speak truth youngin', Mr. **** will validate.”

        Yea… things have changed.

  • This is a great move for the PNCLL to FINALLY split the conference as it has been putting a very significant burden on teams travel costs, especially when they plan on booking out of conference games as Moss said.

    This should help improve the leagues overall play and prominence in the MCLA .

    My one question would be how the playoff structure will work out and if more than two teams from one division will be eligible for the PNCLL tourney?

    • The top four teams from D1A will make the playoffs, as well as the top two teams from D1AA.

      #1 and #2 from D1A get a first round bye.

      #1 from D1AA hosts #4 from D1A
      #3 from D1A hosts #2 from D1AA

  • This is a great move for the PNCLL to FINALLY split the conference as it has been putting a very significant burden on teams travel costs, especially when they plan on booking out of conference games as Moss said.

    This should help improve the leagues overall play and prominence in the MCLA .

    My one question would be how the playoff structure will work out and if more than two teams from one division will be eligible for the PNCLL tourney?

  • The top four teams from D1A will make the playoffs, as well as the top two teams from D1AA.

    #1 and #2 from D1A get a first round bye.

    #1 from D1AA hosts #4 from D1A
    #3 from D1A hosts #2 from D1AA

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