Warrior Weekly: PLL Launches Successful Inaugural Weekend


WSPN’s Aiden Chitkara discusses the PLL (Premier Lacrosse League) first games in league history.

Aiden Chitkara

The first ever NFL game was  in 1920, the first ever MLB game was in 1876 and the first ever PLL game was on June 1, last Saturday.

The PLL (Premier Lacrosse League) played its inaugural game in Boston last weekend. The league is made up of six teams, none of which have a “home” field. The league has decided that this year’s schedule will be a fourteen-week tour-based schedule where every team travels together to a neutral location each week. Although, it is unclear whether or not this scheduling method will be used in future years.

There will always be lacrosse haters in the world, but the bottom line is that it is the fastest growing sport in America, and nothing is going to stop that. I am not writing to say that lacrosse will take over the sports world, but I believe that in 50 years, the PLL has the potential to be America’s fifth major league alongside the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB.

The PLL first started when lacrosse superstar Paul Rabil and his brother, Mike Rabil, decided to branch out from the MLL (Major League Lacrosse) to form their own league. There had been a growing struggle between the MLL (which was not founded by a lacrosse player, but by a bodybuilder) and its players. The Rabil brothers announced the launch of the PLL in October, with ambitions to grow out the game of lacrosse and increase players low salaries.

Paul and Mike Rabil have already achieved one of their goals: to increase player’s salaries. The PLL minimum salary is $25,000 per season, whereas the MLL is only $10,000 (a 150% increase).

The running motto of the PLL has been “by the players, for the fans” and that could not be more accurate. The preseason social media coverage of practices from the International Management Group, or the IMG, was unrivaled. During training camp, there were new videos posted daily on YouTube of highlights, video logs and interviews.

The league has done a wonderful job enhancing the fan experience. The videos that have flooded twitter are really cool, and the league did a fantastic job creating a great experience for the fans, including all the swag that players wear, mini 3v3 lacrosse games and a radar gun to test shot speed.

Within its first week of play, the PLL has already started to revolutionize the sports world with modern technology. The PLL signed an exclusive media-rights with NBC Sports, and together they have made history by putting together the first in-game interviews in sports history (click here to see them). Now that the PLL has made this technological leap, it will only be a matter of time until the NFL or other major sports leagues start doing the same thing.

From a sheer lacrosse standpoint, the first weekend was excellent. Each of the first two games ended in overtime thrillers, so it was almost too fitting when local UMASS alum, Will Manny, scored the game-winning goal to help the Archers defeat Chrome in the first PLL game in league history.

The competition was great all weekend, and it was hard to tell that these teams had only practiced with each other for a one week training camp down at the IMG Academy in Florida. The league put together an unforgettable first week and PLL fans should expect thirteen more weeks of top tier lacrosse.