Lacrosse has multiple pro leagues for both men and women. Currently, there are three pro men’s lacrosse leagues – Premier Lacrosse League, Major League Lacrosse (till 2020), and National Lacrosse League and two pro women’s leagues – United Women’s Lacrosse League and Women’s Professional Lacrosse League.
Let’s have a look at the prominent men’s lacrosse leagues in detail:
Major League Lacrosse (till 2020)
Major League Lacrosse has been one of the more successful lacrosse leagues on this list. Established in 1999, the MLL has been around for quite some time compared to other pro leagues.
The league’s inaugural season was in 2001. Teams played anywhere from ten to 16 games in a summertime regular season. A four-team playoff follows this for the championship trophy, the Steinfeld Trophy, named after founder Jake Steinfeld. League attendance peaked at 6,417 in 2011, and the 2019 average was 4,587.
On December 16, 2020, the league announced that it would be merging with the Premier Lacrosse League. At the time of the announcement, the 2020 MLL champion Boston Cannons were announced as the only team continuing play in the 2021 season as members of the PLL. Their roster would be set via expansion draft, and, following PLL style, they would drop Boston from their name and become the Cannons Lacrosse Club.
Premier Lacrosse League
Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) is an American professional field lacrosse league. The league’s inaugural season debuted on June 1, 2019, and included a 14-week tour-based schedule taking place in 12 major-market cities. The league was founded by the American professional lacrosse player Paul Rabil and his brother Mike Rabil. Investors include The Chernin Group, The Raine Group and Joe Tsai.
The PLL features eight teams, each with a 26-player roster. Instead of tying teams to a specific market, the league tours 12 major market cities. The season includes 14 weeks, comprising ten regular-season weekends, one all-star weekend, and three playoff weekends, running from June 1 through September 21, assuring there is no overlap with the NCAA Lacrosse or National Lacrosse League seasons.
National Lacrosse League
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is a professional box lacrosse league in North America. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the NLL currently has fourteen teams: nine in the United States and five in Canada. The NLL ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA. Unlike other box lacrosse leagues, which play in the summer, the NLL plays its games in the winter and spring, from December to June. Each year, the playoff teams battle for the National Lacrosse League Cup. The NLL has averaged between 8,900 and 10,700 spectators per game each year since 2004.