Like every official tournament game, lacrosse has a specific season for official leagues. You can play lacrosse whenever you have time or get the chance. But, each sport’s official boards choose a period for organizing annual leagues according to the playing convenience.
Usually, spring is the suitable season for any outdoor team sports, including football, soccer, golf, track, swimming, baseball, etc. Lacrosse is not an exception. All the professional lacrosse leagues were conducted during spring in the USA and Canada. As we know, spring in the USA starts from the beginning of March and continues for three months. So, professional lacrosse leagues begin in late February or early March and end in May. However, a practice season, also known as the primary season, is held before the main event. This practice season starts in January and continues till the beginning of professional leagues. Players use this period to get prepared for the upcoming leagues.
Various professional leagues take place each year regarding lacrosse. These different leagues are held according to the different levels of lacrosse. These levels’ ascending order is high school level, college level, youth level, professional level, national level, main level, etc. Like other sports, lacrosse also has some classes, and players of different levels get the chance to play leagues and promote themselves to the next level. Although significant lacrosse leagues are arranged in the spring season, the starting of other leagues differs slightly. Different levels can be started at different seasons, but the duration difference won’t be much. Additionally, the equipment used in the match and playing style is not the same for every level. Instead, you will find variations in accessories and the duration of the game according to your level.
Let’s now briefly discuss all the leagues of lacrosse and their seasons.
High School and College Lacrosse season
Lacrosse is growing in popularity rapidly among high school and college students. Every year, a national lacrosse tournament held in New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland since the 1930s is gravely encouraging high school-aged players to participate in this sport. This national lacrosse tournament is conducted annually in May, with about 70 teams participating. Any high school-aged player, whether a boy or girl, who tried out for regional teams, can participate in this tournament. This tournament gives the players significant opportunities, which leads them to pursue their careers in this field. The high school league’s duration is 48 minutes, whereas 50 minutes are reserved for girls.
College lacrosse is a great opportunity for crossers to build their career in this aspect. College or university students are allowed to participate in college lacrosse leagues. As the USA and Canada are the two countries that organize lacrosse leagues, they have specific associations for college lacrosse. Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association (CUFLA) and Maritime University Field Lacrosse League (MUFLL) are in charge of Canada’s college lacrosse. On the other hand, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) arrange men’s and women’s college lacrosse. The college lacrosse league takes place in February and ends in May annually. At the college level, boys and girls have 60 minutes duration for the round.
Youth Lacrosse season
Youth lacrosse league is a popular league for young players finding an opportunity to showcase their playing skills. Various local organizations and sports associations arrange leagues for young intermediate players annually. Usually, this league begins a bit late; youth lacrosse starts in mid-April and continues till late June. Players who win this league have a great chance open for promotion to a professional level. Both girls and boys can participate in this league. The girl’s youth lacrosse league’s duration is 24 minutes, and the boy’s period for the youth lacrosse league is 32 minutes.
National Lacrosse League
National lacrosse league, also known as NLL, is not field lacrosse; instead, this league is men’s professional box lacrosse in North America. The national lacrosse league was established in 1986 and arranged the first official season in 1987. Since then, professional crossers across the USA and Canada have participated in this league each year with great excitement.
Usually, summer is the season for playing box lacrosse. But, unlike general box lacrosse, NLL plays its games in winter and spring. This league regularly starts in December and ends in April. NLL games are always on weekends, which lets others enjoy the spectacular match. Currently, there are 13 teams in total as participants in this league. Among these 13 countries, eight teams are from the United States, and the remaining five are from Canada. Each team annually battles for the prestigious National Lacrosse League Cup. NLL’s regular season consists of eighteen games, and every team has to participate in at least nine.
Related Link: When was Lacrosse First Invented
Major League Lacrosse
Major League lacrosse is a renowned league for crossers as it is the first and oldest men’s semi-professional field lacrosse league in North America. Major League Lacrosse, shortly known as MLL, has organized its first season in 2001, and Jake Steinfeld, Dave Morrow, and Tim Robertson had founded this league in 1999. MLL consists of nine teams from the United States of America at present. Each game of this season is 60 minutes long. MLL rules follow the guide of men’s NCAA with various customizations.
Unlike most lacrosse leagues, MLL has a different period for starting this season. As I mentioned earlier, spring is the suitable season for outdoor sports, including lacrosse and most of the leagues happen in the spring season; MLL starts in late May and continues till late September. That means Major League Lacrosse occurs in the fall season or autumn.
Premier Lacrosse League
Premier lacrosse league or PLL has recently debuted its first inaugural season on 1 June 2019. Its American professional field lacrosse leagues consist of eight teams currently from the countries the United States and Canada. The famous American professional lacrosse player Paul Rabil and his brother Mike Rabil founded this league in 2018. It is the direct competitor to Major league lacrosse. PLL provides its player all the benefits such as salary, honor, health care, and league equality, which are the focal attraction of professional leagues. The rules and regulations of PLL are almost similar to Major league lacrosse. The duration of the gameplay is 60 minutes for this league.
The Premier lacrosse league’s regular season starts in the fall season from May to September as MLL.
United Women’s Lacrosse League
Known as UWLX, United Women’s Lacrosse League has opened opportunities for women in the post-collegiate sport of lacrosse. This is the first nationally competitive league for women looking for the scope to expand their skills in lacrosse. Established in 2015, this league unveiled its first season in May 2016. The regular season of the United Women’s Lacrosse League begins in late May and continues till late August.
All teams of UWLX travel to various large youth lacrosse tournaments for participating in regular season play instead of having a home venue. Currently, there are four teams in UWLX. These teams are the Baltimore Ride, Boston Storm, Long Island Sound, and Philadelphia Force, where Long Island won the first two championships.
Women’s Professional Lacrosse League
Considering the women’s crossers, the Women’s Professional Lacrosse league was founded in 2018. Known shortly as WPLL, it is the women’s first professional lacrosse league in the US to happen. The inaugural season of this league started in June 2018. Since establishing this league, seasons of this league are starting in June and resume in September. WPLL consisted of five teams, but later it was restructured, and teams were cut down to four. The active four teams of this league are Brave, Command, Fight, and Pride. Team Brave is the current champion of this league. Like men’s professional Major League Lacrosse, WPLL also has the same duration of 60 minutes for playing. This professional league for women has provided a path for women following their passion for lacrosse and representing themselves to a prestigious extent.
The leagues discussed above are all professional leagues in the United States and Canada. There is an international league of lacrosse known as the World Lacrosse Championship, or WLC is the platform where crossers from all over the world can participate. Although, globally, only some specific countries have been participating in the league most of the time. World Lacrosse is the organizer of this international event. Generally, the regular season of WLC sets about in June and ends approximately in September.
As one of North America and Canada’s popular sports, lacrosse is now steadily spreading worldwide with various professional and global leagues. However, some of the leagues start in fall or winter. Spring is the season of lacrosse.