(New York, NY – October 22, 2013) - The National Lacrosse League has announced that the league has reached an accord with the Professional Lacrosse Players' Association for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) through the 2020 NLL season.
Highlights of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement include modifications to the Free Agency system designed to increase free agency. The modifications include:
- Lowering of the qualifying age for Unrestricted Free Agency from 32 to 30 years old.
- Reduction of Franchise Designations per team from two to one.
- Ability for veteran players with ages 34 or older to reject Franchise Designation.
Other highlights of the CBA include:
- Increase of regular season schedule from 16 to 18 games.
- Luxury Tax system inclusive of player salaries, bonuses and promotional consideration.
- Reduction of active rosters from 23 to 20 and increase of Practice Player rosters from three to four.
- Most players’ base salaries minimum and maximum limits will remain unchanged for the first two years of the agreement.
The league will also reduce the number of teams who qualify for the playoffs from eight to six teams, featuring the top three clubs in each division's standings. The two regular season division champions will earn a first-round bye as top seeds. The second seed will host the third seed in their respective division for the single-game elimination Division Semifinal in the first round.
New to the postseason format, the Division Finals and Championship both expand to a two-game series from the previous single-game elimination setup. The top seed from each division will play the winner of the Division Semifinal game between the second and third seeds, with the lower-seeded team hosting the first game and the higher seed hosting the second game of the series.
Teams who win both games shall win the two-game series. In the event of a series split with both teams winning one game, a 10-minute tiebreaker game will be played immediately following the conclusion of the second contest to determine the winner of the playoff series.
“The new CBA will allow us to improve our business model,” said NLL Commissioner George Daniel.
“This deal should foster a great era of growth for the league. I would like to thank everyone from both sides who worked on reaching this deal, but I would like to especially thank the players who participated in the bargaining sessions for their high level of professionalism during this process.”
"I too would like to thank all the players and advisers that participated in this process along with the GM’s, Owners and Commissioner Daniel at the table whom engaged in productive candid negotiation over the past 18 months," said PLPA President Peter Schmitz. "I applaud the players for their willingness to assist the clubs in stabilizing expenses for the next two years with the hopes that they and the league are rewarded with growth and expanded awareness of our great sport. The non-economic gains afforded the players were a welcomed improvement to current conditions and will be appreciated for many years to come."
The new Collective Bargaining Agreement was executed by both parties on Monday and is effective immediately. The 2014 NLL regular season opens on Saturday, Dec. 28 and President and General Manager of the Stealth Doug Locker is happy with the progress that’s been made,
“We are grateful for the hard work that Commissioner Daniel, and the other members of the committee, put into this effort,” said Locker.
“We are also very appreciative of the efforts of the Professional Lacrosse Players Association (PLPA) in working closely with the NLL to forge an agreement that assists in the long term upward growth of the National Lacrosse League. We are anxious to get the 2014 season underway.”
Stealth season tickets are still available and Stealth 3 & 4 game packs are set to be released in the next couple days. Keep up to date with all the latest on Stealth tickets at www.stealthlax.com