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National Lacrosse League will wait until April to attempt to start next season

Last Updated Oct 28, 2020 at 12:27 pm MST

Calgary Roughnecks Rhys Duch, left, celebrates with Curtis Dickson, middle, and Jesse King, right, his overtime goal for a Champions Cup win over the Buffalo Bandits after NLL (National Lacrosse League) lacrosse playoff action in Calgary, Alta., on Sat., May 25, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal ORG XMIT: LMD102

PHILADELPHIA – The National Lacrosse League hopes to start its next season in April.

The NLL said Wednesday it is targeting the weekend of April 9-11 to begin play during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have been continuously working with our teams, Players’ Association, arenas, and health and government officials to prepare to play our 35th season. An April start date will give us sufficient time to have our protocols in place for players, coaches, staff as well as fans,” NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz said.

“We are working with all teams to provide the safest environment and an acceptable level of fans in the stands. We understand that current circumstances will dictate whether this plan is achievable, and we will be prepared to remain flexible and pivot as needed. We want to thank all our players, fans and partners who have supported our efforts to stay connected and engaged during this prolonged offseason and are looking forward to returning to play in April.”

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The season has traditionally started in December or January.

Training camps prior to the league’s 35th season would start in March, with some virtual and some in-person. The league has not announced how many games will be played.

The NLL said it is working on several scenarios to deal with regional and federal restrictions.

READ MORE: Roughnecks win NLL Championship for first time in a decade

The league has five Canadian teams — the Halifax Thunderbirds, Toronto Rock, Saskatchewan Rush, Calgary Roughnecks and Vancouver Warriors — and eight American teams.