The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, and USA Lacrosse, the governing body for lacrosse in the United States, today have announced a strategic partnership agreement to unify efforts to help the sport grow with a specific focus on box lacrosse.
“We’re committed to expanding our presence in the box game and this agreement is a significant step in that direction,” said Marc Riccio, president and CEO of USA Lacrosse. “We’ve enjoyed a long and healthy relationship with the NLL over the years. This new agreement formalizes that relationship and helps us align our efforts to ensure that we’re maximizing our value to the lacrosse community.”
“This partnership will help expand the scope and breath of every level of lacrosse and introduce thousands of people to the stories and skills of our athletes,” said Matt Hutchings, Chairman of the NLL Board of Governors and COO and EVP at Kroenke Sports & Entertainment “We want to thank Marc and his team for helping spearhead this partnership and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.’
Using its expertise in the box game, the NLL will assist USA Lacrosse in developing box coaches and officials by supplementing the curriculum in USA Lacrosse coach and official development programs with box-specific content. The league will also provide its coaches and players to present at the annual USA Lacrosse National Convention.
The two entities will also explore options related to talent identification and player development with the goal of expanding the player pool for U.S. national teams and increasing the number of Americans positioned to play in the NLL including opportunities such as the National Collegiate Box Series.
Diversity and inclusion initiatives are a central part of the agreement. The league will collaborate with NLL Indigenous athletes and the USA Lacrosse Native American Advisory Council to create ongoing historical and cultural Native resources. The NLL will also support additional USA Lacrosse efforts in diversity and inclusion, such as the “We Stand Initiative” and incorporate elements of the USA Lacrosse cultural competency course into its player and staff education program. The league will also look for opportunities to engage with USA Lacrosse Urban Lacrosse Alliance programs that are located in NLL home markets.
The agreement includes the opportunity for USA Lacrosse members to have access to discounted tickets from their local NLL franchises. That’s part of a robust effort between the NLL and USA Lacrosse to share marketing platforms and assets to generate additional interest in box lacrosse.
Under the agreement, USA Lacrosse will align its playing rules for box lacrosse to NLL rules as closely as reasonably feasible, with the mutual understanding that modifications to USA Lacrosse rules will be necessary due to varying facility requirements, age-appropriate development, player safety, and equipment. The two entities will evaluate potential rule changes on an annual basis.