The Premier Lacrosse League has already proven to be a galvanizing force in the lacrosse community. That reach now includes the women’s game.
The PLL is partnering with the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League to stage WPLL games in conjunction with select PLL events, the leagues announced Monday morning. That means on certain weekends during the PLL’s 14-week tour, fans will be able to watch their favorite players — men and women — on the same stage.
The message? Saturdays are no longer just for the boys.
“We’re honored and excited to work with the WPLL, locking arms with the game’s greatest players, and showcasing the best competition in the world,” PLL co-founder Paul Rabil said in a press release issued by the league. “Like us, the WPLL is a league founded by the players, and we’re eager to share those stories with the lacrosse community and sports fans everywhere.”
The two leagues also will collaborate on youth events, share content and exchange best business practices as part of “an effort to unify the sport,” the press release states.
The WPLL held its inaugural season in 2018, with the goal of advancing lacrosse by providing professional opportunities for women in the sport. The league is comprised of five teams with 125 players, and will begin its second season in June.
The Philadelphia Fire and New England Command played a game at Harvard Stadium prior to the Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game on June 28, but until now the WPLL did not have a formal partnership with any of the professional men’s leagues.
“By working together with the PLL on this collaborative initiative, we’re aiming to create heroes for young lacrosse players everywhere,” said Michele Dejuliis, the WPLL’s founder and CEO. “It’s rare to find gender unification at the league level in sports. We’re excited to break that mold, grow together, as well as increase lacrosse’s visibility and participation.”
The PLL’s inaugural season starts in June and will feature six teams that will compete in a tour-based model. The league has not yet announced its schedule, rosters or venues, but it has an exclusive media rights agreement with NBC Sports Group. Most of the sport’s most recognizable players have joined Rabil in his new venture, which is backed by an investment group comprised of The Raine Group, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), The Chernin Group and Blum Capital.