NEW YORK — Athletes Unlimited announced on Tuesday that its third professional sports league will be women’s lacrosse. The new league will be played from July 19-August 22 following the 2021 World Cup at a site to be determined.
Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse will play a short-form, fast-paced format consisting of eight-minute quarters, 9-v-9 gameplay and a 60-second shot clock, all housed on an 80-yard-by-50-yard playing field. Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse will be comprised of 56 players who will roster four teams of 14 players each. Play will begin with draws at the beginning of each quarter and after every goal.
Twenty-two athletes are confirmed to play. They include:
|Emily Parros||M||North Carolina|
|Caylee Waters||G||North Carolina|
|Haley Warden||M||James Madison|
|Sammy Jo Tracy||M||North Carolina|
|Amber McKenzie||D||North Carolina|
|Cortney Fortunato||A||Notre Dame|
|Charlotte Sofield||D||North Carolina|
|Taylor Van Thof||M||Loyola|
In addition, former CEO and founder of the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League, Michele “DJ” DeJuliis, will also join Athletes Unlimited as a Senior Director of Lacrosse to help run the league. DeJuliis was a four-time All-American lacrosse player at Penn State, is a member of the U.S. Lacrosse National Hall of Fame and won a World Championship as captain of the U.S. national team in 2009.
“We are thrilled lacrosse has been selected as the third pro sports league for Athletes Unlimited,” said Michelle Tumolo, player and member of the Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse Player Executive Committee. “We look forward to competing and showcasing our skills for fans of Athletes Unlimited around the world.”
“Women’s lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States and incredibly popular among young players and fans,” said Jon Patricof, CEO and co-founder of Athletes Unlimited. “Our leagues are all about excitement, storytelling and fan engagement, so lacrosse is the perfect addition to our network of pro sports leagues, which already includes softball and indoor volleyball.”
Athletes Unlimited leagues will feature a range of innovations to bring athletes and fans a unique and intense version of the sport. Individual athletes earn points based on team wins and individual performances. Points can be earned on every play, and the leaderboard changes constantly. Teams will change each week, with the top four athletes in the standings serving as captains to draft their teams.
Athletes Unlimited successfully completed its inaugural softball league in Rosemont, IL, on September 29 and is set to start its inaugural pro indoor volleyball league in February 2021 in Nashville, TN. In addition to an innovative new approach to sports, Athletes Unlimited will also offer professional development resources to help players expand their career opportunities, as well as engage in civic leadership initiatives that include supporting a number of non-profit partners through the Athletes Causes program.
Athletes Unlimited was co-founded by Patricof and Jonathan Soros and is supported by its Advisory Board of high-profile contributors from sports, business and entertainment. Members include U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team icon Abby Wambach; two-time NBA champion and entrepreneur Kevin Durant; Grand Slam champion and former world number one tennis star Caroline Wozniacki; ESPN broadcaster and four-time first-team AllAmerican softball standout Jessica Mendoza; two-time Olympic medalist and captain of the USA Women’s National Volleyball team Jordan Larson; Thirty Five Ventures co-founder Rich Kleiman; USA Volleyball Women’s National Team head coach Karch Kiraly; International Olympic Committee member and four-time hockey Olympian Angela Ruggiero; Bleacher Report journalist Taylor Rooks and former player and past President of the United States Tennis Association Katrina Adams.
For more information about Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse, our volleyball or softball leagues and additional announcements, please sign up at www.auprosports.com or follow us @auprosports on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. About Athletes Unlimited Athletes Unlimited is a new model of pro sports where athletes are decision-makers and individual players are champions of team sports. We literally change the game with faster play, and a new draft and team rosters every week, delivering next-level competition and engagement in which every moment counts. Athletes Unlimited, which seeks to build the next generation of both athletes and fans, completed its inaugural softball league in September of this year and will follow with women’s indoor volleyball in February 2021 and women’s lacrosse in May of 2021.