National Lacrosse League – Professional Box Lacrosse

The NLL or National Lacrosse League is a 9 team professional Box Lacrosse league.  Four in Canada and five in the US. The NLL season consists of an 18 game regular season.  Half the games at home and the other half away. 3 teams from each division National Lacrosse Leaguequalify for playoffs. The 2nd and 3rd seed in each division meet in a divisional semi-final game and the winner meets the 1st seed in the division finals. The divisional champions then meet in the Champions Cup final for the league. The Champions Cup final is now a best of 3 series.

National Lacrosse League – History

You can check out the league on their web site and find a detailed history of the league. The roots of the league began in 1987 when 4 teams made up the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League. In 1988, the league changed names to the Major Indoor Lacrosse League (MILL). Then, in 2000 the league relocated to New York and became the National Lacrosse League (NLL).

National Lacrosse League 101

National Lacrosse League

Spectacular goals can be seen every week during the NLL season.

The National Lacrosse League is the highest level of Box Lacrosse in the world. The season is six months long (December-May).  Playoffs are from the beginning of May until June. All of the games are played on the weekend. Now if you have ever seen an NLL game you can see right away the quality and grit. Slashing, cross-checking off ball, it seems like no matter where you are on the turf you are taking a beating in one shape or form. You can also see that it combines the physicality of hockey and the fast pace of basketball making it a very entertaining game to watch.

The In’s and Out’s

The lacrosse court itself is the same size as a hockey rink with boards and glass all around. In the National Lacrosse League all rinks have a green turf carpet. Each team is allowed to dress 18 players per game (16 runners and two goaltenders). The players rotate on the fly like hockey with five runners and one goalie on the floor at all times. The game itself is played over four fifteen minute quarters with a two minute break between quarters and a twelve minute break at halftime. Teams are given two ‘TV timeout’s per quarter and are allowed to take one forty five second timeout per half.

During an offensive set, teams have 30 seconds to take a shot (if goalie or goal is hit it’s a reset) and if they are not successful then there is a change of possession.

Each team has 8 seconds to cross half court once gaining possession in their defensive end. It used to be 10 seconds a couple of years ago, just when you thought lacrosse couldn’t get any faster. Sudden death is in effect in the NLL, there are no ties.

Teams

  • Buffalo Bandits
  • Calgary Roughnecks
  • Colorado Mammoth
  • Georgia Swarm
  • New England Black Wolves
  • Rochester Knighthawks
  • Saskatchewan Rush
  • Toronto Rock
  • Vancouver Stealth

Past Champions

  • 2017 – Georgia Swarm
  • 2016 – Saskatchewan Rush
  • 2015 – Edmonton Rush
  • 2014- Rochester Knighthawks
  • 2013 – Rochester Knighthawks
  • 2012 – Rochester Knighthawks
  • 2011 – Toronto Rock
  • 2010 – Washington Stealth
  • 2009 – Calgary Roughnecks
  • 2008 – Buffalo Bandits
  • 2007 – Rochester Knighthawks
  • 2006 – Colorado Mammoth
  • 2005 – Toronto Rock
  • 2004 – Calgary Roughnecks
  • 2003 – Toronto Rock
  • 2002 – Toronto Rock
  • 2001 – Philadelphia Wings
  • 2000 – Toronto Rock
  • 1999 – Toronto Rock