National Lacrosse League, Players Association reach agreement

New Collective Bargaining Agreement runs through 2020 season and comes after 18 months of negotiations

There will be labour peace in the National Lacrosse League through the 2020 season thanks to an agreement between the league and its players.

The two sides — the NLL and the Professional Lacrosse Players’ Association — came to an agreement earlier this week (Oct. 21) on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

The negotiations lasted the last 18 months.

“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 our league.”

Some of the highlights of the new agreement will see the lowering of the qualifying age for unrestricted free agency from 32 to 30; the reduction of the franchise designation per team from two to one; and the ability for veteran players (ages 34 or older) to reject the franchise designation.

Other highlights include increasing the regular season from 16 to 18 games; expanding the playoff format to include two game series in the divisional finals and the championship round from the previous single-game elimination; a luxury tax system inclusive of player salaries, bonuses and promotional consideration; and the reduction of active rosters from 23 to 20 players and the increase of practice player rosters from three to four.

Most players’ base salaries minimum and maximum limits will remain unchanged in the first two years of the agreement.

“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,” said PLPA president Peter Schmitz.

“The non-economic gains afforded the players were a welcomed improvement to current conditions and will be appreciated for many years to come.”

The Vancouver Stealth, who relocated this past off-season from Everett, Wash. will begin play in the 2014 NLL season out of the Langley Events Centre.