Major League Lacrosse

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For the lacrosse league formerly known as the Major Indoor Lacrosse League, see National Lacrosse League.
Major League Lacrosse
Current season, competition or edition:
2014 MLL season
Major League Lacrosse logo.svg
MLL logo
Sport Field lacrosse
Founded 1999
Inaugural season 2001
No. of teams 8
Countries United States United States
Most recent champion(s) Chesapeake Bayhawks
Most titles Chesapeake Bayhawks (5)
TV partner(s) ESPN2, CBS Sports Network
Official website MajorLeagueLacrosse.com

Major League Lacrosse, or MLL, is a men's field lacrosse league that is made up of eight teams in the United States. MLL is a semi-professional league, with players generally earning annual salaries in the $10,000–$25,000 range.[1] Founded in 1999, the league's inaugural season was in 2001. MLL averaged 6,356 spectators per game during the 2013 season.[2]

History[edit]

The MLL was founded by Jake Steinfeld, Dave Morrow and Tim Robertson in 1998, and began regular season play in June 2001. Steinfeld is well known for creating the Body By Jake line of exercise equipment and videos. Morrow is a former All-American lacrosse player and the president of Warrior Sports.

The league was originally divided into the American Division — Boston, Bridgeport (moved to Philadelphia in 2004) and Long Island — and the National Division — Baltimore (moved to Washington after the 2006 season and to Annapolis after the 2008 season), New Jersey, and Rochester — from 2001 until 2005. The MLL played a 14-game regular season its first two years; in 2003, the schedule was cut to 12 games. The league's playoff format has the top teams in each division advancing to the New Balance MLL Championship Weekend, with two wild card playoff spots going to the teams with the best remaining records regardless of division.

MLL announced on March 9, 2005, that the league would expand to Los Angeles for the 2006 season, and that the team would play its home games at The Home Depot Center. AEG, Inc. was confirmed as the franchise's owner/operator. On July 2, 2005, MLL officials revealed that Denver, Colorado would also be home to an expansion franchise, with a team playing at Invesco Field at Mile High. The league subsequently added teams in the Chicago, Illinois and San Francisco, California markets, creating a western conference for these teams. MLL Western Conference play began with the 2006 season.

Major League Lacrosse Progression
Year Teams Games Played
2001 6 teams 14 games
2002
2003 12 games
2004
2005
2006 10 teams
2007
2008
2009 6 teams
2010
2011
2012 8 teams 14 games
2013
2014

In an effort to test markets as potential expansion/relocation candidates, the Philadelphia Barrage franchise played all of its 2008 "home" matches in other cities; Cary, North Carolina, Hillsboro, Oregon, Irving, Texas, St. Louis and Virginia Beach.[3][4][5] In addition the Barrage's "home game" against Boston was played in Boston.

At the end of the 2008 season four teams (Los Angeles, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and San Francisco) folded due to financial problems thus forcing the MLL to form one conference. At the start of the 2009 season, the Toronto Nationals were added to the MLL after they bought the rights to the Rochester Rattlers. The Toronto team thus gained the staff of the Rochester team as well as the players, but the Rochester name and the team colors were left in Rochester for the possibility of a future team.

The Chicago Machine played the entire 2009 season as a traveling team testing expansion markets for the league, before deciding in 2010 that the Chicago Machine franchise would be moving to Rochester, New York. The new Rochester franchise played at Sahlen's Stadium, the same stadium the older Rochester Rattlers used at the end of their tenure in Rochester before relocating to Toronto, Ontario.

Expansion (2011 - 2020)[edit]

On December 9, 2010, Commissioner David Gross announced that in February 2011, there would be two expansion teams created for the 2012 MLL Season. Also there would be two more expansion teams for 2013. The long term goal is to have 18 teams by 2020. There were nineteen sites identified as potential markets including Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.

On January 21, 2011, League Commissioner David Gross announced that Charlotte, North Carolina and Columbus, Ohio had been approved to host expansion teams to begin play in 2012. For the 2011 season, the MLL had an average attendance of 6,417.[6] Also in 2012, the commissioner stated the league would be adding two more games to the schedule for a total of fourteen games.

On November 19, 2013, MLL announced that a new team, the Florida Launch, would be awarded to Palm Beach County, Florida.

The list of 19 markets identified by Gross in December (not including North Carolina and Ohio where the 2012 teams already joined) include, in alphabetical order: Atlanta; Dallas; Houston; Indianapolis; Miami; Minneapolis; Nashville; Orange County, California; Orlando; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City; and Virginia Beach. The league has also examined the possibility of a team in either Portland, Oregon or Seattle. Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, former homes of MLL franchises, are also on the list.

LXM Pro Tour[edit]

On February 14, 2014, MLL announced a partnership with Adrenaline and the LXM Pro Tour, a week after the league announced their new equipment deal with STX.[7] The LXM Pro Tour is a lacrosse showcase, hosting events usually in non-traditional lacrosse markets. The deal moves LXM to the MLL off-season and allows players to participate in both MLL and LXM.

In the past the LXM had been known to lure some players away from MLL, including former Ohio Machine first overall pick Peter Baum and New York Lizards draft pick Sam Bradman.[8][9] Many of these players were signed on with STX, which led to their decision to play LXM instead of MLL.

Format and rules[edit]

The season runs from April to August. MLL rules that differ from traditional lacrosse rules include a two-point goal line 16 yards (15 m) from each goal, a 60-second shot clock, and the elimination of the restraining box. From the inception of the league in 2001 to 2008 there was a limit of three long-stick defensemen per team. Beginning in 2009, the league conformed to high school and college lacrosse rules and allow four long–stickman per team on the field at any one time.[10] The shot clock was originally 45 seconds before it was changed to 60 seconds for 2005.

Television coverage[edit]

ESPN2 has televised MLL games since the 2003 season, and in 2007, MLL and ESPN agreed to a television contract that will run until the 2016 season. In 2012, ESPN2 televised three regular season games, the All-Star Game, one semifinal, and the MLL Championship game. All 42 regular season games also aired on ESPN3. CBS Sports Network televised thirteen regular season games and one semifinal. In 2013, CBS Sports will show 20 live games. Also in 2013, the MLL and YouTube agreed to an exclusive fifteen-game schedule.[11] Despite these contracts with ESPN and CBS Sports, MLL does not receive any money from the networks for these deals.[12]

Previously, Fox Sports Net televised games in 2001 and 2002. Universal Sports broadcast playoff games not on ESPN in 2009, and carried a Game of the Week in 2010.

Teams[edit]

Current teams[edit]

Team City/Area Stadium Joined Head Coach
Boston Cannons Boston, MA Harvard Stadium 2001 John Tucker
Charlotte Hounds Charlotte, NC American Legion Memorial Stadium 2012 Mike Cerino
Chesapeake Bayhawks Annapolis, MD Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium 2001 Dave Cottle
Denver Outlaws Denver, CO Sports Authority Field at Mile High 2006 B.J. O'Hara
Florida Launch Boca Raton, FL Florida Atlantic University Stadium 2014 Stan Ross
New York Lizards Hempstead, NY James M. Shuart Stadium 2001 Joe Spallina
Ohio Machine Delaware, OH Selby Field 2012 Bear Davis
Rochester Rattlers Rochester, NY Sahlen's Stadium 2001 Tim Soudan

Inactive teams[edit]

Team City/Area Joined Inactive Year(s)
Hamilton Nationals Hamilton, ON 2009 2014[13]

Former teams[edit]

Team City/Area Joined Defunct Notes
Chicago Machine Chicago, IL 2006 2010 Played final season as a traveling team
Philadelphia Barrage Philadelphia, PA 2001 2008 Originally Bridgeport Barrage, 2001–2003; played final season as a traveling team
New Jersey Pride Piscataway, NJ 2001 2008 Also played in Montclair, NJ and Bridgewater, NJ
Los Angeles Riptide Carson, CA 2006 2008
San Francisco Dragons San Jose, CA 2006 2008 Played final season in San Jose, CA

Championship games[edit]

See also: Steinfeld Cup
Season Date Champion Score Runner-up Venue Location Attendance Game MVP
2001 September 3, 2001 Long Island Lizards 15-11 Baltimore Bayhawks Kennedy Stadium Bridgeport, CT 6,745 Paul Gait (Long Island)
2002 September 1, 2002 Baltimore Bayhawks 21-13 Long Island Lizards Columbus Crew Stadium Columbus, OH 5,596 Mark Millon (Baltimore)
2003 August 24, 2003 Long Island Lizards 15-14 (OT) Baltimore Bayhawks Villanova Stadium Villanova, PA 6,593 Kevin Lowe (Long Island)
2004 August 22, 2004 Philadelphia Barrage 13-11 Boston Cannons Nickerson Field Boston, MA 8,279 Greg Cattrano (Philadelphia)
2005 August 21, 2005 Baltimore Bayhawks 15-9 Long Island Lizards Nickerson Field Boston, MA 6,829 Gary Gait (Baltimore)
2006 August 27, 2006 Philadelphia Barrage 23-12 Denver Outlaws The Home Depot Center Carson, CA 5,374 Roy Colsey (Philadelphia)
2007 August 26, 2007 Philadelphia Barrage 16-13 Los Angeles Riptide PAETEC Park Rochester, NY 5,288 Matt Striebel (Philadelphia)
2008 August 24, 2008 Rochester Rattlers 16-6 Denver Outlaws Harvard Stadium Boston, MA 8,481 Joe Walters (Rochester)
2009 August 23, 2009 Toronto Nationals 10-9 Denver Outlaws Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium Annapolis, MD 7,003 Merrick Thomson (Toronto)
2010 August 22, 2010 Chesapeake Bayhawks 13-9 Long Island Lizards Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium Annapolis, MD 6,445 Kyle Hartzell (Chesapeake)
2011 August 28, 2011 Boston Cannons 10-9 Hamilton Nationals Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium Annapolis, MD 5,027 Jordan Burke (Boston)
2012 August 26, 2012 Chesapeake Bayhawks 16-6 Denver Outlaws Harvard Stadium Boston, MA 7,384 Ben Rubeor (Chesapeake)
2013 August 25, 2013 Chesapeake Bayhawks 10-9 Charlotte Hounds PPL Park Chester, PA 3,892 John Grant Jr. (Chesapeake)
2014[14] August 24, 2014 TBD TBD TBD Fifth Third Bank Stadium Kennesaw, GA TBD TBD

League officials[edit]

Name Years Title
Gabby Roe 1999–2002 Executive Director
Matthew Pace 2002–03 Executive Director
David Gross 2003–04 Chief Operating Officer
2004–present Commissioner

Main League offices[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lacrosse Doesn't Pay the Rent". The Wall Street Journal. May 31, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ "A look at the numbers behind The Major League Lacrosse League and National Lacrosse League attendance debate". laxdirt.com. December 21, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  3. ^ May, Shaun (2006), Slash Magazine, pp. 5
  4. ^ "MLL Expansion". Major League Lacrosse. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  5. ^ "Overview". Major League Lacrosse. Retrieved 2006-12-02. 
  6. ^ "Major League Lacrosse - attendance | Pointstreak Sports Technologies". Pointstreak.com. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  7. ^ "MLL Partners with Adrenaline, LXM Pro Tour". Lacrosse Magazine. 2014-02-13. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  8. ^ "Former Tewaaraton Trophy Winner Peter Baum Signs With LXM". Inside Lacrosse. 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  9. ^ "Bradman Signs Three Year Deal with LXM". In Lacrosse We Trust. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  10. ^ "League announces expansion of rosters to 19 and addition of fourth long pole for 2009". Inside Lacrosse. October 22, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  11. ^ "MLL and YouTube Announce exclusive fifteen-game schedule". majorleaguelacrosse.com. Major League Lacrosse. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Major League Lacrosse Commissioner Says Pro Ultimate Has A College Problem". Ultiworld. 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  13. ^ "Florida Launch Set For 2014 MLL Debut; Hamilton Nationals Not Competing in '14". InsideLacrosse.com. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  14. ^ http://www.ticketalternative.com/Events/25973.aspx

External links[edit]