The National Lacrosse League announced on Thursday that it will not stage its postseason and instead focus on the 2021 season.
The league announced the cancellation of the regular season due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on April 8, but there had been hope that the playoffs could be staged.
“After an exhaustive effort weighing all of the factors, including the health and safety of our players and staff, immigration challenges, and the resources required to execute a post-season tournament under the current circumstances, our senior leadership and Board have agreed to redirect our attention to planning for next season,” said NLL commissioner Nick Sakiewicz said in a statement. “We want to thank all those involved, especially our players, coaches, and league and team staff, and most importantly our fans and partners, for their continued support and engagement through this global pandemic. Communities are starting to open up, sports are beginning to return, and we look forward to our 35th season. We wish everyone continued health and safety as we navigate our way back to the game.”
Peter Schmitz, the president of the Professional Lacrosse Players's Association (PLPA), says the union respects the decision.
“The health and safety of our players is always paramount," Schmitz said in a statement. "The league office has kept us apprised of the efforts to try and find a reasonable solution and that the continued uncertainty of the many considerations needed to restart the season have made it virtually impossible to chart a course to a season finale. We regret that the players, fans and clubs won’t get to enjoy what was sure to be an exciting playoff series but in light of the current state of affairs, we agree a focus on next years’ season is the best use of the downtime. We are all are looking forward to resumption of play next season."
The NLL says information on the 2020 draft and start dates for the 2021 season will be made available in the fall.