Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) is an American professional field lacrosse league. The league's inaugural season debuted on June 1, 2019, and included a 14-week tour-based schedule taking place in 12 major-market cities. The league was founded by the American professional lacrosse player Paul Rabil and his brother Mike Rabil. Investors include The Chernin Group, The Raine Group and Joe Tsai.
In September 2018, Bloomberg reported that Paul Rabil would be launching a new professional lacrosse league. The PLL would be a direct competitor to the more established Major League Lacrosse. The new league will provide professional lacrosse players with salaries, health care, and league equity.
The league's media model radically differs from that of most North American professional sports leagues. A 2018 Sports Illustrated story on the then-prospective league pointed out that LeBron James' Instagram account "features virtually no clips of him playing basketball—those are the property of the NBA, meaning its owners." By contrast, the PLL open-sources its highlights, allowing players to freely use them to build their own personal brands. Additionally, PLL operates a full-time studio that produces other player-centered content.
The PLL features seven teams, each with a 26-player roster. As opposed to tying teams to a specific market, the league tours 12 different "major market cities". The season includes 14 weeks, comprising 10 regular-season weekends, 1 all-star weekend, and 3 playoff weekends, running from June 1 through September 21, assuring there is no overlap with the NCAA Lacrosse or National Lacrosse League seasons.
PLL's rules are the same as MLL, including the shot clock & golden goal periods.
By October 2018, 140 players had been signed by the PLL. Of the 140 players are 86 All-Americans, 25 members of the U.S. national team, and 10 former Tewaaraton Award winners. By December the league had signed 17 additional players.
For the League's inaugural season, the PLL had the 6 founding teams draft a player in each of the 4 rounds. For the first round there was a random draw and the reverse the order every round. Archers had the first draft pick in the newly formed league. Taking Pat Spencer making him the first player ever drafted in the PLL.
The IMG Academy is the official Preseason Training Facility.Adidas is the exclusive footwear and apparel brand.Capital One Bank will be the official bank sponsor for the entire PLL and the jersey patch sponsor for the Atlas LC. In February 2020, Ticketmaster signed a deal with the PLL to become the official ticket sales company of the league, as well as having their name added to the league’s name, making it “Premier Lacrosse League Powered by Ticketmaster”.
On December 16, 2020, the PLL and MLL announced that the two leagues would merge under the banner of the PLL. The PLL announced that they would accept the Boston Cannons as the 8th PLL team. The PLL has not formally announced whether or not the remaining MLL teams will fold or join the Boston Cannons as future expansion teams which leaves their futures undecided.
Below is a list of the MLL teams that have not announced whether or not they will fold or join the PLL.
The addition of the Waterdogs Lacrosse Club, a seventh team for the 2020 season, allows for natural bye weeks to occur for each team throughout the season. Paul Rabil first hinted at expansion in a post game interview after the 2019 Championship game and on January 1, 2020 the Premier Lacrosse League announced the Waterdogs identity. An expansion draft took place on February 12 and an entry draft occurred on March 16 to build the new roster with veteran players.
On December 16, 2020 it was announced that the PLL and MLL had merged under the banner of the PLL. The PLL would add the Boston Cannons for the 2021 season, rebranded as the Cannons Lacrosse Club, to bring the total PLL teams to 8. Small tweaks to the former Boston Cannons resulted in a PLL crest and logo reveal on January 12, 2021.