BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The National Lacrosse League announced the target start date for the 2021 season will be the weekend of April 9th to 11th. A full schedule will be released at a later date.
“We have been continuously working with our teams, Players’ Association, arenas, and health and government officials to prepare to play our 35th season. An April start date will give us sufficient time to have our protocols in place for players, coaches, staff as well as fans,” NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz said. “We are working with all teams to provide the safest environment and an acceptable level of fans in the stands.
“We understand that current circumstances will dictate whether this plan is achievable, and we will be prepared to remain flexible and pivot as needed. We want to thank all our players, fans and partners who have supported our efforts to stay connected and engaged during this prolonged offseason and are looking forward to returning to play in April.”
With the current plan, teams would report to training camp, some virtual and some in person, under strict guidelines in mid-March. The NLL says their plan will remain fluid with options for best case scenarios for teams, officials, players, fans and coaches closer to April.
With many Canadian players, the league is in the process of figuring out scenarios which factor in current and longer-term restrictions in both the US and Canada with regard to immigration and facility use.
Under the current plan, it will be 11 months between when COVID-19 shut down the 2019-20 NLL season and the start of the 2021 season.