On Wednesday, Feb. 3, The National Lacrosse League (NLL) announced that they would be cancelling the rest of the 2020-2021 lacrosse season, set to re-start in April. Like many sports teams and organizations, the NLL paused their past season in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NLL’s decision to cancel the season comes as a surprise to some, but in many ways is seen as inevitable. The NLL has teams both in the United States and in Canada and with the additional travel restrictions placed on both countries’ residents, it has been made even more difficult to travel between the two countries. The League has spent the past few months trying to come up with a viable way for teams to play the remainder of the 2020-2021 season; however, they have decided to move on and focus their full attention and efforts on the upcoming 2021-2022 season starting this fall.
NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz released a statement announcing that they “… had gone through many scenarios, including playing a bubble season in Canada in April, but the logistical challenges, including the recently announced tighter travel and quarantine restrictions across the Canadian border, have required us to pivot.”
Additionally, Sakiewicz remarked that the League has “…decided to focus on playing a full season in our markets, starting in the fall of this year. While many of the factors we can control were moving along well, those outside of our control, especially pertaining to obtaining government approval as far in advance as we would have needed, are no longer feasible. All the efforts and innovations we were planning will now go towards a full season starting this fall and into next year.”
The National Lacrosse League was founded in 1986 and “is the longest running and most successful professional lacrosse league, ranking third in average attendance for pro indoor sports behind only the NHL and NBA.” The League has a roster of 14 teams, with the Panther City Lacrosse Club set to begin playing in the 2021-2022 season. The League and all of its fans, supporters, and players are looking forward to the upcoming fall season ahead and are excited to get back to the floor and play lacrosse soon.