PHILADELPHIA, November 8, 2021 – The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, announced a partnership with the Ontario Junior Lacrosse League (@TheOJLL) of the Ontario Lacrosse Association, focusing on game-related matters, from coaching and officiating development to marketing and sponsorship initiatives.
Although details of the partnership are being formalized now, the NLL and the OJLL have been working together informally for the last several months as the OJLL adopted nine rules from the NLL ahead of their 2021 season, providing players, coaches, and officials with enhanced opportunities to elevate themselves to the next level. Many members of the NLL were involved in OJLL Commissioner Mark Grimes’ recommendation to implement the rules, including NLL head coaches Ed Comeau (Georgia Swarm), Paul Day (Philadelphia Wings), general manager Derek Keenan (Saskatchewan Rush), and NLL referee Ian Garrison.
“We have been very impressed with what the Ontario Junior Lacrosse League has been able to accomplish under the leadership of Mark Grimes since he took over in April of 2021,” said Nick Sakiewicz, NLL Commissioner. “We want to continue to grow and unify the game of lacrosse under a consistent rulebook and serve as an inspiration to the players, coaches, and officials who are currently and will eventually go through the OJLL.”
“We have some of the best minds in the National Lacrosse League behind the Ontario Junior Lacrosse League right now,” said OJLL Commissioner, Mark Grimes. “The OJLL is committed to remaining the NLL’s number one source for talent and this partnership brings together two leaders in the sport to provide a continuous pathway of development for players, coaches, and officials.”
“The NLL is very excited about continuing our work with the OJLL,” said Brian Lemon, EVP of Lacrosse Operations for the NLL. “The ability to have OJLL playing NLL rules will benefit players, coaches, and officials for the future. Now is the time to establish these relationships with the lacrosse organizations as the NLL continues to grow, needing the next crop of talent and to unify the game.”
The OJLL has perennially provided top level talent to the NLL and 2021 was no exception— 48% of all selections in the 2021 NLL Entry Draft were developed in the OJLL, including 12 first-round picks. Heading into the 2021-22 NLL season, three officials were onboarded to the NLL after demonstrating standout performances in the 2021 OJLL season. These three officials will join 24 others as members of the NLL staff who began their careers in the Ontario Lacrosse Association and are veterans of the OJLL.
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About the National Lacrosse League
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier professional lacrosse league. Founded in 1986, the NLL ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA. The League is comprised of 15 franchises across the United States and Canada: Albany FireWolves, Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, Halifax Thunderbirds, Las Vegas NLL, New York Riptide, Panther City Lacrosse Club (TX), Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, and Vancouver Warriors.
For more information, visit NLL.com and find @NLL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For more information visit NLL.com.
About the Ontario Junior Lacrosse League
The Ontario Junior Lacrosse League (OJLL), founded in 1933, is a Canadian Junior A men’s box lacrosse league based in Ontario, Canada sanctioned by the Ontario Lacrosse Association. The OJLL currently consists of 11 teams located in southern Ontario and is widely considered the most competitive junior men’s box lacrosse league in the world. For more information, contact the Ontario Junior Lacrosse League at [email protected]