Balanced Schedule Plus New Flex Matchups Highlight Rivalries, Star Power; Top Eight Teams Qualify for Playoffs
PHILADELPHIA, September 26, 2023 – The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced several new structural formats, most prominently a single-table, “Unified Standings,” in which teams are ranked regardless of geography, debuting with the 2023-24 season.
It is the most significant and impactful change to the NLL schedule format in League history.
“The revamped standings, schedule and playoff formats provide a streamlined, easy-to-follow, and fiercely competitive method of determining our playoff teams and, ultimately, our champion,” said Brett Frood, NLL Commissioner. “This also affords us flexibility in matching up teams to sustain lasting rivalries, create new ones, and maximize fan and partner engagement across the league.”
In addition to the Unified Standings model, notable features of the transition include:
- Scheduling will be rooted in competitive equitability and schedule parity, with each team playing every other team once, plus four additional “flex” games that preserve established rivalries and fan interest, showcase games with impactful storylines, and highlight star player matchups.
- The schedule and standings format allows the NLL to definitively showcase its continental reach as a truly North American league; for example, San Diego and Vancouver competing against Toronto and New York for regular season superiority.
- Every single game, every weekend, will have playoff atmosphere and implications on the path to the Championship, while guaranteeing that the best eight teams at the end of the regular season have an opportunity to win the NLL Cup.
- Each fan base in every city will have the opportunity to see every team and player visit their home arena at least once every other year.
- The “NLL March to May” playoff format will feature the regular season #1 seed vs. #8; #2 vs. #7; #3 vs. #6; and #4 vs. #5 in the Quarterfinals, with a “bracket” style advance through to the NLL Finals. The Quarterfinal round will be single elimination. The Semi-finals and Finals will continue to be best-of-three.
- NLL Faceoff Weekend is set for December 1-2, 2023. Buffalo will begin its defense of its 2022-23 NLL title on Saturday, Dec. 9 at Albany, then will raise its Championship banner at home on Dec. 16.
- For the third consecutive year, every NLL game will be distributed on ESPN+ and TSN+. The schedule of national broadcast games on TSN and ESPN linear networks will be announced soon.
About the National Lacrosse League
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier professional lacrosse league, with a record 1,165,528 fans attending games in 2022-23. Founded in 1986, the NLL is comprised of 15 franchises across the United States and Canada: Albany FireWolves, Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, Halifax Thunderbirds, Las Vegas Desert Dogs, New York Riptide, Panther City Lacrosse Club (Fort Worth, Texas), Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, and Vancouver Warriors.
Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.
An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.
Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.
In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.
Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).
Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.
Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.