What is the National Lacrosse League (NLL)?
The National Lacrosse League is North America’s professional indoor lacrosse league featuring the world’s best players. Founded in 1986, the NLL ranks third in average attendance for professional indoor sports worldwide behind only the NHL and NBA. The 2017-18 NLL season will mark the league’s 32nd year. The NLL has nine teams playing in the major markets of the United States and Canada. NLL teams each play an 18-game regular season schedule (nine home and nine away) that begins in December and runs through April, followed by the Champion’s Cup Playoffs. All games are played on the weekends.
Professional indoor lacrosse combines the physical play of hockey with the high scoring, fast pace and play-making style of basketball. Indoor lacrosse is played inside the confines of an ice hockey rink, with glass and rink boards intact. The playing surface consists of a green dieter turf carpet that is laid down over the hockey ice. The two teams combine to score a total of 25 goals on average during an NLL game.
Each team has five runners (forwards, transition players and defensemen) and a goaltender on the floor during the game. Each team dresses 18 players (16 runners and two goaltenders) per game, and the players rotate on and off the floor in shifts, similar to ice hockey. The game consists of four quarters, each fifteen minutes in length. A game that is tied at the end of regulation is decided in a sudden-death overtime. There are no tie games in professional indoor lacrosse.