BALTIMORE (Feb. 7, 2019) – US Lacrosse announced today a strategic partnership with the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) and Women’s Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL) to support the newly minted US National Team Developmental Program.
The collaboration builds on the groundbreaking work that the PLL and WPLL have done in establishing a full time professional path for lacrosse players, and is a natural alliance given the crossover of players between the two leagues and Team USA. WPLL Founder Michele DeJuliis and PLL Co-Founder Paul Rabil both have a golden history with Team USA.
“In crafting our National Team Development Program, designed to serve as a conduit for aspiring U.S. National Teams’ players, it’s logical to enlist the players and coaches who have lived the experience,” explained Skip Lichtfuss, Director of National Teams and High Performance. “ The players of the PLL and WPLL, many of them National Team members, not only understand the skills required to compete at that level but additionally the habits, culture, character and other intangibles that set players of this caliber apart from others.”
The US National Team Developmental Program will provide a multi-stage tryout system to support a men’s and women’s “USA Select” team at the U15 and U17 age brackets. The result of the tryout process will be a single team for each gender and age group.
“It’s been an honor to play for Team USA for the last decade of my career. Over that time, I’ve witnessed the sport’s explosive international growth, and we’re thrilled to support that expansion by creating a partnership with US Lacrosse,” added Paul Rabil, CSO and Co-Founder of the PLL.
The regional trials will bring the best to the grassroots lacrosse communities, giving a face to the names of today’s lacrosse stars. The ultimate goal of the program is to create a conduit between young athletes, Team USA’s world-class performers, and the enriching experience of playing for one’s country.
“We’re excited to help pave the way for the next great Team USA star,” said Michele DeJuliis, Founder of the WPLL. “As a gold medalist in the 2009 World Championships, playing for my country remains the highest honor in my playing career, and I look forward to increasing the opportunity to that experience for young girls all across the country.”
With the IOC granting provisional recognition to lacrosse for the 2028 Olympics, this partnership lays the groundwork for who could represent Team USA on the largest stage that the sport has ever seen.
“We’re excited to partner with the PLL and the WPLL to help scale our mission and impact throughout the country,” said US Lacrosse CEO Steve Stenersen. “Our fundamental priority is to increase lacrosse participation and accessibility by providing resources and opportunities that strengthen community programs and leagues. Collaborations like this one are essential to achieving that goal.”
About the Premier Lacrosse League
The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) brings the sport of lacrosse to a national stage for the first time through a tour-based model, complete with the best players the game has to offer. Co-founded by lacrosse superstar, philanthropist, and investor Paul Rabil and his brother, serial entrepreneur and investor, Mike Rabil, the Premier Lacrosse League is backed by an investment group comprised of The Raine Group, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), The Chernin Group, and Blum Capital. The league was announced in October 2018, with an exclusive media-rights deal with NBC Sports Group. The PLL season will begin in June 2019, with six teams, embarking on a 14-week season that concludes with a playoff and PLL championship game. The PLL season will be distributed through an exclusive media-rights agreement with NBC Sports Group. For more information, visit PremierLacrosseLeague.com, and follow on social media: