New division alignment, fewer playoff teams, more playoff games on horizon for National Lacrosse League
There is change afoot for the coming season in the National Lacrosse League. For starters, the Minnesota Swarm will be switching divisions, leaving the West and joining the East. IL Indoor has learned that the playoff format will also be altered in 2014. Beginning next year, only three teams in each division will advance to the playoffs for a total of six, rather than the eight that have made it until now.
The team that finishes first in the division will receive a bye while the second and third place teams will meet in a one-game playoff to determine who faces the top seed in the division final. Those division finals will now be a two-game series, rather than a single game. They will begin with a game at the home of the lower seed. The following weekend–the third weekend of playoffs–the teams will meet again at the home of the higher seed. If one team wins both games, they win the series. If the teams split the games, they will have an intermission and will then play a 10-minute game to determine the winner. If they are tied after the 10 minutes, they will play sudden-death overtime.
The winner of each division will advance to the Champions Cup, which will follow the same two-game series format on the fourth and fifth weekends of the playoffs, with the first game being held at the home of the lower seeded team.
In order to incorporate the 18-game regular season, up from the previous 16, as well as the two extra weeks of playoffs, the season will have to be longer. It is expected to begin about December 28th and finish near the end of May.
None of the changes will become official until a new CBA is agreed upon by the league and players.Stamp is a TV sports announcer and lacrosse lover whose skill set made him a defender but who always dreamed of being a goal-scorer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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