After the success of it’s first season, the tour-based league becomes the first U.S. professional sports league to announce its intention to play games under a so-called “bubble’’ scenario during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It’s been 326 days since a Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) lacrosse game has been played. In exactly 40 days, the Prior Lake High School boys and girls varsity lacrosse teams should be celebrating their one year anniversary of capturing state championships. The boy’s team is looking for a three-peat in 2020. Unfortunately, with the announcement of the cancellation of spring sports, there’s not too much to be celebrating in the lacrosse world right now.
Paul Rabil tried to change that mindset on Tuesday morning announcing that instead of traveling to Minneapolis July 11-12, due to Covid-19 restrictions; the Premier Lacrosse League will instead hold a two-week tournament in lieu of full season.
20 games, 16 days and 1 location. The launch of the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) Championship Series is a two-week quarantined and fanless tournament scheduled to run from July 25 -August 9. The announcement was first made on NBC’s “Today” by PLL Co-Founder, CMO and Atlas LC midfielder Paul Rabil.
“The Premier Lacrosse League is excited to be a leader in the return of pro sports this July,” Rabil said. On the “Today Show” this morning, Rabil added: “We’re hoping that other pro leagues can use this model as an indicator to do something where we can bring sports back that’s medically safe.”
The PLL Championship Series will take shape in two parts during the summer. Games being played in the first week, will have the league’s seven teams competing in a 14- game group play format to determine seeding for the following week’s single- elimination tournament. The winner of the tournament will be crowned the 2020 PLL Champion.
The PLL’s 2020 league season was originally scheduled to start May 29 in Foxborough, Mass. Minnesota was the sixth location chosen to host the PLL’s traveling lacrosse league before Rabil made the decision to postpone the 2020 season to ensure the well-being of players and fans last month.
Rabil’s PLL has pivoted his originally scheduled season to a fully quarantined, fanless mode he thinks other leagues can follow. To guarantee the safety of tournament participants and staff, the PLL has formed a COVID-19 Medical Committee that will consist of multiple physicians, including infectious disease experts. Throughout the duration of the tournament, the PLL will implement regular COVID-19 preventative measures and restrict all travel in and out of the selected location (venue to be announced at a later date).
While fans await the PLL Championship Series, they can stream every action-packed game of the 2019 inaugural season with the NBC Sports Gold League Pass. The PLL gained tons of traction after it’s inaugural season TV deal with NBC. Adidas, Gatorade and Capital One have all come on as official league partners due to the success in streaming and engagement the league is having. The PLL had the highest social engagement of any professional leagues in 2019 at 7%. The success of the PLL couldn’t have been possible five years ago, but it’s helped now by the rise of live sports streaming.