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Lacrosse in the United States : Professional lacrosse


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Major League Lacrosse
Major League Lacrosse (MLL) is a semi-professional field lacrosse league started in 2001 with six teams in the Northeastern United States. The league currently has nine teams in the Eastern United States and Denver playing a 14-game season from April to August. MLL rules are based on NCAA men's rules with several exceptions, such as a 16-yard 2-point line and a 60-second shot clock.

MLL venues range from small stadiums with under 10,000 capacity to an NFL stadium in Denver that seats 76,000. Overall league average attendance is around 4,000 per game, but Denver has averaged around 10,000 per game since its founding in 2006. The rookie salary is $7,000 per season and most players make between $10,000 and $20,000 per season. Therefore, players have other jobs, often non-lacrosse related, and travel to games on the weekends.

The Chesapeake Bayhawks, who have played in the Annapolis–Baltimore–Washington, DC area since 2001, are the most successful franchise with five championships.

National Lacrosse League
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is a men's semi-professional box lacrosse league in North America. The NLL currently has nine teams, five in the United States and four in Canada. The 18-game regular season runs from December to April; games are always on the weekends. The champion is awarded the National Lacrosse League Cup in early June.

Games are played in ice rinks with artificial turf covering the ice. Venues range from NHL arenas seating 19,000 to smaller arenas with under 10,000 capacity. In 2017, average attendance ranged from 3,200 per game in Vancouver to over 15,000 in Buffalo. Overall, the league averaged 9,500 people per game.

With an average salary around $20,000 per season, players have regular jobs, mostly non-lacrosse related, and live in different cities, flying into town for games. Canadians and Native Americans make up over 90% of the players.

The NLL started in 1987 as the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League. Teams in Philadelphia, New Jersey, Baltimore and Washington, DC, played a 6-game season. The league operated as the Major Indoor Lacrosse League from 1989 to 1997, when there were six teams playing a 10-game schedule. The current NLL name began in the 1998 season, which included the first Canadian team.

The most successful franchises have been the Toronto Rock and the now-defunct Philadelphia Wings, each has won six championships.

Premier Lacrosse League
In October 2018, former MLL player Paul Rabil branched away from the MLL and created the Premier Lacrosse League. The PLL focuses on being a traveling lacrosse league that will bring the best players in the world to different cities in the United States.

United Women's Lacrosse League
The United Women's Lacrosse League (UWLX), a four-team women's lacrosse league, was launched in 2016. The teams are the Baltimore Ride, Boston Storm, Long Island Sound and Philadelphia Force. Long Island won the first two championships.

Women’s Professional Lacrosse League
The Women's Professional Lacrosse League is a professional women's lacrosse league with 5 teams that started in 2018.

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