Robinson Sports is bringing the Little League World Series model to girls’ lacrosse, as NGLL Champions will be crowned over Memorial Day Weekend
This Memorial Day Weekend, youth national champions will be crowned. The National Girls Lacrosse League’s National Tournament will bring together champions from s 11 regions—spanning 22 different states and the District of Columbia—to compete for ultimate bragging rights in each of the NGLL’s five age divisions, spanning grades 4-8. The tournament will take place at St. Paul’s School in Brooklandville, Md., a stone’s throw from where the Division I women’s NCAA Championships will be underway at legendary Homewood Field.
“We wanted to make the Championships something special and bigger than just any other summer weekend,” says NGLL President Chris Robinson. “The NGLL Championships is as special as it gets on its own merits, but why not make the weekend a blockbuster? The regional directors all thought it would be a great idea to align our league with the NCAA championships and give the families from all over the country the opportunity to have a memorable Memorial Day Weekend. The kids can play in their tournament games, and then go to see the best collegiate players in the country. For a lacrosse weekend, it does not get any better than that.”
The NGLL season will first kick off regionally, with competition in the Carolinas, Florida, Long Island, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, New England, PA/CT/NJ, Southeast, Southwest, Upstate New York and Virginia. Each region will consist of multiple club and local lacrosse teams going head-to-head in a regular season format. The top six teams in the 2023 and 2024 (A & B divisions) and the top four in the 2025, 2026 and 2027 age groups will advance into the playoffs. Each regional champion will advance into the NGLL National Tournament bracket.
“The Little League World Series model has obviously been very successful in its execution,” says NGLL Director Michael Lynch. “We looked at two ways to run a national level league: one being with a national schedule and the second by operating in regions. Having teams play a truly balanced national schedule would have placed a tremendous burden on time and finances on our families. We also took into consideration that club teams operate throughout different times of the year; it’s hard to play February games in Chicago. Allowing teams to compete within a region and eventually having the winners come together at a central location seemed like the best fit for our participants, both for competition and growth.
“This league is different in that it is really promoting the growth of the game throughout the country,” Robinson says. “For so many areas like the Midwest, the far West, and the South, the kids had to travel to the East Coast to get good competition. It became very costly for clubs and cumbersome for the growth of the game. With 11 different regions in the country, everyone can play their local schedule in their home areas and not incur the huge travel costs that are associated with only playing in tournaments. The other difference is that the winners of all of that regional play will get to go to a true national championship.”