Have you heard about the PLL? NO?!?!? It’s short for the Professional Lacrosse League, it’s box lacrosse, and it’s going on right here in the ol’ USA. LaxAllStars will be providing weekly interviews with PLL players, coaches and staff during the season, and I can’t wait to talk to some of these players as I know (and play with some of) them personally!
Right now, the league is made up of 4 teams: the Jacksonville (FL) Bullies, the Charlotte (NC) Copperheads, the Reading (PA) Rockets and the New Jersey Rascals, and they will play their games this fall, when no other pro lacrosse league is playing. Many of the players in the league will be Americans, and at first glance, it looks like the PLL wants to provide a platform for many of the players to train, and prepare, for NLL tryouts and play. For now, it is truly a minor, or developmental, league.
In this vein, it makes the PLL somewhat hard to distinguish from the North American Lacrosse League (NALL, with franchises in Boston, Kentucky and the Lehigh Valley) or even the Midwest Indoor Lacrosse Association (with teams in Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, Madison, Cleveland, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Ohio, Colorado and Indiana), which is an amateur league that is quickly making big strides. In fact, you will probably see some of the same players in the PLL as you have in the NALL or MILA.
So what makes the PLL different? Well, other than the fact that they have yet to play a game, NOTHING really! The fact is, all of the franchises in all three leagues are very young and very new. None of them are firmly established, and so much is still going to change. Some will see that and say, “then why do we need another league?” My response to that is, “why DON’T we need another league?”
The PLL will provide another way of doing things, another set of best practices to look at, another opportunity for aspiring box lacrosse players to improve and play the game, and another place for US fans to get exposed to box lacrosse. Even if the NALL and PLL entered the lacrosse world amid controversy, I still think we should welcome them, and give them both another shot.
Years down the line, the PLL, NALL and MILA might not exist. Maybe they will just die off, maybe they’ll combine to form a larger league or maybe the Can-Am league with truly expand South of the Canadian border and snag up the best teams. But in the meantime, the PLL provides another opportunity for lacrosse to thrive and be played by people who love it.
As we get ready for the Fall, I’m excited to see what the PLL has to offer, and I’m excited to track the progress of all three of these leagues. I’ll certainly be watching, will you?
LACROSSE IN OTHER NEWS:
– Penn State sanctions will not affect lacrosse teams | Lacrosse Magazine
– Are concussions not enough of an issue already? Box fight. | Bob’s Blitz
– Jon Basti named Head Coach at Hartford | Laxpower
LACROSSE VIDEO OF THE WEEK:
That’s some FLUID longstick action right there! Nice goal by Denver’s Mike Riis! And thanks to The Lacrosse Network for getting it up!