WESTERN LACROSSE ASSOCIATION & MAJOR SERIES LACROSSE STATEMENT REGARDING PLL
Lacrosse occupies a truly unique and historical place in Canadian sport. Identified as the Creator’s Game, Lacrosse is wholly a product of North American Indigenous peoples, and as Canada’s official national summer sport, Canadian athletes of all races and origins play lacrosse with passion and pride. For the past 110 years, the best box lacrosse teams in Canada have battled for the Mann Cup, one of the most significant and prestigious championships in Canadian sport.
Unfortunately, the US-based Premier Lacrosse League (the “PLL”) has recently taken steps that would prevent certain Canadian players from competing for the Mann Cup. More specifically, the PLL has added a provision to its standard player agreements that would prohibit any PLL player from competing in non-PLL sponsored lacrosse events and other sporting events during the PLL season.
Given the considerable overlap between the seasons of the PLL and Canada’s two major summer lacrosse leagues (Ontario’s Major Series Lacrosse and British Columbia’s Western Lacrosse Association), this new provision in the PLL standard player agreement unfairly restricts the ability of Canadian players to play in both the PLL and the Canadian Leagues. Over the past several seasons, approximately 50 Canadian players played in both the PLL and the Canadian summer leagues, and if this restriction is put in place this season, they will be unable to do so. American PLL players are not similarly affected because the US lacks comparable summer lacrosse leagues in which they could play, although, some US players have benefitted from their participation in the MSL and WLA.
Major Series Lacrosse and the Western Lacrosse Association respectfully ask that PLL leadership engage in good-faith discussions with its Canadian players and our leagues to find a solution to this situation that is preventing Canadian players from playing with their hometown amateur teams and competing for the Mann Cup, one of the most iconic and prestigious championships in all of Canadian sports.
Paul Dal Monte - Commissioner, Western Lacrosse Association
Doug Luey - Commissioner, Major Series Lacrosse