The North American Lacrosse League intrigues me to no end, and I’m excited to see how this first full season plays out. The PLL turned into a bit of a disaster this fall, as teams were unable to finish the season, and the NLL hasn’t been taking off like gangbusters in recent years… so can a new pro box lacrosse league really work? How is the NALL different? And what can we expect to see this year, and in years to come?
Interview With The Commissioner
I was able to get on a call with the NALL’s Commissioner, Tony Caruso, and what I learned was enlightening! Expansion, fighting, arenas, and the league’s status were all discussed…
– The NALL is Already Looking to Expand
Right now there are four teams (Boston, Rhode Island, Kentucky, and Baltimore. I’ll count Lehigh Valley once they have a schedule.), and Rochester is being eyed as a potential spot for a new franchise.
Sure, the Knighthawks are there already, but if small cities in Australia can support multiple AFL clubs, I don’t see why more box lacrosse is immediately a bad thing. In fact, if a Rochester franchise loaded up with Cuse, RIT, Albany, and other Upstate school talent, they could bring a brand new group of fans to the game.
– Being Flexible With Stadiums
The NALL would love to see every team playing in a 10,000 seat stadium (or larger!), but they realize this might not be achievable in year one, or even year two, for many franchises. Instead of forcing teams to use larger arenas, they are giving teams a grace period, to build a base, and find a more permanent home, if needed. Instead of leaving large stadiums half empty, they want to pack smaller venues. Smart move!
– No Fighting = 3-Man Ref Crews
There is no fighting in the NALL. Guys certainly mix it up, but they can’t drop their gloves and throw down. To remedy the backside play that can cause/require fights, the NALL is using a three man referee crew. Expect games to be loosely refereed, but when the extracurricular stuff starts happening, the yellow laundry will fly.
– The NALL Wants To Compete
I asked the Commissioner if the NALL wanted to become a sort of minor league for the NLL, and to my surprise, the answer was a pretty effusive “NO.” The NALL wants to have a competitive product on the floor, and they want to compete with the NLL for the title of best pro box league in the world. I loved hearing this from the NALL, and believe that with an attitude like that, they are shooting for the stars.
Preview Video: Kentucky Vs. Boston
This game should be an instant classic. Can’t wait for the NALL to kick off this Saturday at Freedom Hall in Kentucky!
Interview with Brian Krol
Krol played at Cortland, and is now playing for the Rhode Island Kingfish. Looks like Rhode Island will be wearing white helmets this year:
Baltimore Training Camp Continues…
Tons of good stuff on Baltimore’s Facebook page. This scrimmage photo is one of over 300. Well worth a look.
We’ll be back soon with more info on the North American Lacrosse League.