PHILADELPHIA — The National Lacrosse League will form a third division next season after adding two teams and relocating another franchise.
The 13-team league will have a North Division to go along with the East and West divisions. The Halifax Thunderbirds, who have relocated from Rochester, New York, will be in the North Division along with the Toronto Rock.
“The league has had unprecedented expansion over the last three years. With two more teams coming in this year along with a new market in Halifax, we felt the need to reexamine conference alignments, schedule and playoff formats to prepare for future expansion. We also wanted to create exciting rivalries for the fans, the best travel scenarios for teams and players and competitive match-ups for our 13 franchises,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “I want to recognize the great collaborative work between the Competition Committee, Board of Governors and League office who worked very diligently in making these challenging decisions.”
Saskatchewan, Vancouver and Calgary are in the West Division.
The NLL has adopted a regular-season schedule format in which each franchise will face the other 12 teams at least once during the 18-game season.
Each team in the West Division will play two division opponents twice and the other two division rivals three times, while facing each team in the North and East Divisions once.
The first two rounds of the playoffs will remain single-elimination and teams will not be re-seeded after the opening round.