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NLL ADOPTS UNIFIED STANDINGS FORMAT, UPDATED PLAYOFF STRUCTURE

Balanced Schedule Plus New Flex Matchups Highlight Rivalries, Star Power; Top Eight Teams Qualify for Playoffs

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced several new structural formats, most prominently a single-table, “Unified Standings,” in which teams are ranked regardless of geography, debuting with the 2023-24 season.

It is the most significant and impactful change to the NLL schedule format in League history.

The revamped standings, schedule and playoff formats provide a streamlined, easy-to-follow, and fiercely competitive method of determining our playoff teams and, ultimately, our champion,” said Brett Frood, NLL Commissioner. “This also affords us flexibility in matching up teams to sustain lasting rivalries, create new ones, and maximize fan and partner engagement across the league.”

In addition to the Unified Standings model, notable features of the transition include:

  • Scheduling will be rooted in competitive equitability and schedule parity, with each team playing every other team once, plus four additional “flex” games that preserve established rivalries and fan interest, showcase games with impactful storylines, and highlight star player matchups.

  • The schedule and standings format allows the NLL to definitively showcase its continental reach as a truly North American league; for example, teams in San Diego and Vancouver competing against Toronto and New York for regular season superiority.

  • Every single game, every weekend, will have a playoff atmosphere and implications on the path to the Championship, while guaranteeing that the best eight teams at the end of the regular season have an opportunity to win the NLL Cup.

  • Each fan base in every city will have the opportunity to see every team and player visit their home arena at least once every other year.

  • The “NLL March to May” playoff format will feature the regular season #1 seed vs. #8; #2 vs. #7; #3 vs. #6; and #4 vs. #5 in the Quarterfinals, with a “bracket” style advance through to the NLL Finals. The Quarterfinal round will be single elimination. The Semi-finals and Finals will continue to be best-of-three series.

  • NLL Faceoff Weekend is set for December 1-2, 2023. Buffalo will begin its defense of its 2022-23 NLL title on Saturday, Dec. 9 at Albany, then will raise its Championship banner at home on Dec. 16.

  • For the third consecutive year, every NLL game will be distributed on ESPN+ and TSN+. The schedule of national broadcast games on TSN and ESPN linear networks will be announced soon.

The complete 2023-24 National Lacrosse League schedule can be found here.

NLL