National Lacrosse League

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The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is the professional indoor lacrosse league in North America, which operated under the name Major Indoor Lacrosse League (MILL) until 1997 . The league was founded in 1986 and currently (2018) consists of nine teams, four from Canada and five from the USA . Unlike other lacrosse leagues, whose seasons take place in summer, the NLL season begins in winter and ends in spring. The teams have been playing in the playoffs for the Champion's Cup since 1998 .

Lacrosse is only popular in certain regions in North America and is widely regarded as a rather insignificant sport. Associated with this are often closings and relocations of teams in the NLL.


The Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League was founded in 1986 and started its first season in early 1987. After the second season, the name of the league was changed to Major Indoor Lacrosse League (MILL), which lasted until 1997 when it was decided to change the structure of the league. Previously the teams were owned by the league, but from the 1998 season each team should be taken over by one or more investors. The franchises were now independent organizations from the league. The MILL also became the NLL in 1997 and five of the six teams in the old league switched to the new one. The NLL started its first season with seven teams. Over the years the league has been expanded to include more teams, and from the 2007 season a total of 13 teams will take part in the game.

League President Jim Jennings' plan provided for the league to be expanded to 24 teams by 2011 and the schedule to include 20 games per team.

The 2006 season was the league's most successful season to date, with an average of 10,804 viewers per game.


Surname Location NLL member since Stadion capacity
East Division
Buffalo bandits Buffalo , New York 1992 First Niagara Center 19,070
Georgia Swarm Duluth , Georgia 2016 Infinite Energy Arena 11,355
New England Black Wolves Uncasville , Connecticut 2015 Mohegan Sun Arena at Uncasville 7,700
Rochester Knighthawks Rochester , New York 1995 Blue Cross Arena 10,669
Toronto Rock Toronto , Ontario 1999 Air Canada Center 18,819
West Division
Calgary Roughnecks Calgary , Alberta 2002 Scotiabank Saddledome 19,289
Colorado Mammoth Denver , Colorado 2003 Pepsi Center 18.007
Saskatchewan Rush Saskatoon , Saskatchewan 2016 SaskTel Center 15,195
Vancouver stealth Langley , British Columbia 2014 Langley Events Center 5,276

Closed & inactive teams


The teams play a regular season, with each team having to play 16 games. The results are included in two tables. One for the west and one for the east division. The four best teams qualify for the playoffs .

Each team has to play 16 games in the 2007 season, eight home and eight away games. The distribution of the games differs from team to team, due to the different number of teams in each division.

Here is a simplified representation for understanding:

East Division

Five teams from the East Division play schedule A, two teams play schedule B. Each team must play at least two games against each team in its own division, as well as a total of three or four games against teams from the West Division.

A. B.
Interdivisional 12 13
against West Division 4th 3
Total number of games 16 16

West Division

Four teams from the West Division play schedule A, two teams play schedule B. Each team must play at least two games against each team in its own division, as well as a total of four or five games against teams from the East Division.

A. B.
Interdivisional 12 11
against West Division 4th 5
Total number of games 16 16


The top four teams in each division in the regular season qualify for the playoffs for the Champion's Cup . In the quarter-finals and in the semi-finals, the divisions compete separately. The best team in a division plays against the fourth-best team in the same division and the second-best against the third-best team. The winners of both games will meet in the semifinals. The team that was better placed in the regular season has home rights in both rounds. In the final, the winner of the East Division Playoffs will meet the winner of the Playoffs in the West. The winner of the final receives the Champion's Cup.

A clear difference to other North American sports leagues is that a team moves on to the next round of the playoffs after one victory, whereas in the National Hockey League , for example, four wins are necessary. In 1998 the final of the NLL was held in a similar system. Back then, the playoff winner needed two wins in the final.


Master of the MILL (1987 to 1997) and the NLL (since 1998). The Champion's Cup has only been awarded since 1998.


At the end of each season, trophies are awarded to the outstanding people of the previous season.

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