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Ranking the 2024 PLL Championship Series Uniforms

The 2024 PLL Championship Series is officially in the books. Over the past few months, the PLL has undergone a design overhaul, assigning cities to each team while updating individual team brandings and assets. Was this overhaul needed? Absolutely. Was the execution perfect? Far from it. However, I was excited to see these new team identities in action for this PLL Championship Series, and I was eagerly awaiting to see how each team would look on screen. It has been fascinating how the league has evolved over the past six years and how each team is seemingly trying to find its visual identity. With this visual overhaul, each team has found its consistent look for years to come. While we only got to see what four of the eight teams look like in this Championship Series, I walked away reasonably content with the direction the PLL is headed in visually. The overall look is a little too cartoony and tailored for kids, but it seems like the league may be finding a good balance on how to still cater its product for adults. With that being said, let’s break down the individual looks from the PLL Championship Series. 

4. Redwoods

There is much to say about the Redwoods, and there is simply not enough time. Man, this team has been through a massive identity overhaul with its new branding, for better and worse. One of the most important factors to sort out when going through an overhaul is the color balance, and I hope the league isn’t set on this shade of yellow. The green works great when paired with the right shade of yellow, but this banana shade of yellow is not really enjoyable to look at and I certainly would not want to wear it. A more “gold” shade would significantly alter my opinion on this look, but we are left with this banana shade of yellow. The helmet has more of that gold look I’m looking for, and I think the helmet has a really good balance overall. The white bask and chin with the occasional pop of green blend in very nicely. The bear logo on the side looks fantastic; I wish he was outlined in white instead of yellow, which blends into the helmet. My second biggest gripe with this uniform stems from how the design assets are used. This tree stripe pattern featured on the helmet, collar, sleeve, and shorts is not doing it for me. It feels a little too on the nose when there is so much opportunity to play around with this design. Even if the individual trees were a different shade of color underneath, instead of being the contrasting green/yellow, it would have been more subtle and classy.

I just don’t like how, from a distance, it just looks like little dots etched all over the jersey. Again, there is so much to play with here with a name like the Redwoods and having tree/nature elements at your disposal, just not a big fan of this execution here. I enjoy the team name font etched across the front as it feels uniquely Redwood and contrasts well with the backdrop. However, the number font just feels really out of place. It is too curvy, and the shade of green on the inside feels black, immediately disconnecting it from everything the Redwoods do for their designs. Overall, I think the yellow helmet and jersey combination can work! Yellow is one of the most fun colors to play around with, but you need to get the perfect shade to balance the overall look.

3. Cannons

With a few minor changes, this PLL Championship Series look from the Cannons easily could have jumped to the No.2 spot, and it pains me to put it at No.3, but I have no choice. I was stoked when the team’s helmet was revealed, as the plastic gray shell felt like a direct nod to the team’s history, and I was hoping the jersey set would follow suit. This helmet felt like a modern retelling of the team’s pass with a few minor twists while still keeping that throwback feel. The color balance on the helmet is great, with a contrasting chrome red mask paired with the white and red chin design. The Cannons logo on the side feels perfect, and the stripe decal across the top is the perfect size and execution. I’d give the helmet alone a near-perfect score! When I first look at the uniform, something just feels off. The triple mismatch club of a different color helmet, jersey, and shorts is a tough balance. I don’t hate the team in a red jersey, but gray shorts matching the helmet color would have been a truly unique fit and balanced out the look better. One of my biggest issues is all of the contrasting stripe patterns. There is a different stripe on the helmet, different from the sleeve, and different from the shorts. This category has no consistency, and it bothers me, as each stripe has varying degrees of thickness and color balance. I hate this collar design, where it ends abruptly around the neck, leaving the area under the chin exposed; it just looks incomplete. I don’t mind the font of the team name and player numbers on the front of the jersey. It seems like the PLL is starting to figure out how to make this font style work for the Cannons’ as time passes. This whole uniform set seems to be a few tweaks away from being a very sharp look! The Cannons have one of the best color schemes in the PLL and are the only team with real history to play with. I would love to see the team play with that history more as this new team branding is carried into the future. 

2. Archers

My Archers, my sweet, beautiful Archers. The branding shift this team has gone through over the past six years is truly something to be studied. This team has been through everything over the past few years, from their original navy and white roots to their orange explosion. Something I love about this new look is the overall color decisions. The Archers have had their identity crisis of which shade of orange and blue to use, but this is the perfect balance. The orange is very sharp but not too saturated like in years past, and the blue goes back to the team’s roots of being more navy compared to the bright blue from last year’s Championship Series. I love the orange helmet and orange short combination as it feels very uniquely Archers.

I can’t say I am the biggest fan regarding the helmet itself. The orange dome is great, but there must be a few hints of blue, as the orange feels a little overpowering. The league is making a big push towards promoting each team’s city/state, which can be seen here with “Utah” etched across the side panel. I feel like an oversized version of the team’s logo could have been used here, bringing a good balance to the overall look. Regarding design elements, there are some really enjoyable aspects of this uniform. I love the collar design stripe, but I still wish it just connected in the middle instead of ending abruptly at the sides. The mountain design on both the sleeve and shorts remains consistent, which is a plus, but it feels a little too “summer ball” themed. Very rarely can teams pull off adding mountain elements to their uniforms, and I’m not huge on the execution here. Would love to see the stripe on the collar featured on both the sleeve and the shorts. The fonts being used are tremendous. Having “Archers” across the front in blue provides such a nice contrast to the white, and the font is truly enjoyable. My only complaint is having the middle of the “A” being in the shape of Utah and orange. Just have this be a negative space, keeping it white. Right now, the orange color draws the eye a little too much for me. This number font is also great, with occasional sharp edges, nice color balance, and contrasting outlines. 

1. Waterdogs

The Waterdogs have the best look when compared to the other four teams in the PLL Championship Series. The biggest differentiating factor is the color balance. There is something about the black and purple combo that works so well, especially with the occasional hints of white. This can be seen firsthand with the team’s helmet. The matte black shell with the constant pop of purple makes this helmet stand out. Very rarely do you see a helmet with a purple face mask work as well as this one? The logo placement on the side of the helmet works as the dog itself looks like it was made to be slapped on the side of a helmet. Being primarily purple with a white outline ties the whole look together. This whole uniform set looks so consistent and sharp that it’s hard to find a flaw in color placement. Your eyes are immediately drawn to the contrasting purple and black, and you instantly know that this is the Waterdogs. They kept it simple for the design elements, which is rarely bad. Not having a collar design works for this look, especially when paired with the purple block stripe and white piping featured on the sleeves and shorts. I love it when the sleeves and short designs match; it just brings the whole look together. Speaking of shorts, the left side of the shorts features the team’s great Dane side profile logo, and I think this is a perfect execution of that logo. The team didn’t go for any gimmicks regarding logo placement and asset usage, which I greatly appreciate as simple is often better.

Regarding the front of the jersey, the font used here is clearly some of the best in the league. The “Waterdogs” name, slightly arched across the front, fits perfectly, and its white color provides a good pop, making it legible. The number font used is excellent, and it remains very clean and to the point while still feeling uniquely tied to the Waterdogs. My only main gripe with the uniform is the Dude Wipes sponsor on the sleeve. It feels far too big, and objectively, Dude Wipes is a funny sponsor, to begin with.