SPARKS, Md. — US Lacrosse announced today a strategic partnership with the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) and Women’s Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL) to support its newly minted U.S. National Team Development Program (NTDP).

The NTDP was designed to serve as a conduit for aspiring national team players. US Lacrosse will work with the PLL and the WPLL on the first phase of a multi-stage trials system that will ultimately support “USA Select” teams for high school-aged boys and girls.

The collaboration is a natural alliance given the crossover of players between the two leagues and the U.S. national teams. WPLL Founder Michele DeJuliis and PLL Co-Founder Paul Rabil both have a golden history with the U.S. national team program.

“In crafting our National Team Development Program it’s logical to enlist the players and coaches who have lived the experience,” explained Skip Lichtfuss, US Lacrosse 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.”

“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 NTDP regional trials, held in conjunction with PLL and WPLL events, will bring the best players in the game to the grassroots lacrosse communities, creating a connection between young athletes, the U.S. teams’ 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 stars,” said Michele DeJuliis, Founder of the WPLL. “As a gold medalist in the 2009 World Championship, playing for my country remains the highest honor in my playing career, and I look forward to increasing the opportunity to have that experience for young girls all across the country.”

With the International Olympic Committee granting provisional recognition to the Federation of International Lacrosse, this partnership lays the groundwork for who could represent the U.S. 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 US Lacrosse

US Lacrosse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is the national governing body of lacrosse and the home of the nation’s fastest-growing team sport. US Lacrosse has nearly 450,000 members across the country. Through responsive and effective leadership, US Lacrosse provides programs and services to inspire participation while protecting the integrity of the sport.

Instagram: @uslacrosse
Twitter: @uslacrosse
Facebook: @uslacrosse
YouTube: YouTube.com/uslacrosse

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:

Instagram: @PLL
Twitter: @PremierLacrosse
Facebook: @PremierLacrosseLeague
YouTube: YouTube.com/PLL

About the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League

The WPLL is a two-part operation: it is both a professional lacrosse league and a development program for the rising talent in our sport. We will prioritize character development as a means to excelling in life on and off of the field. We will provide training for professional and personal development, which includes training for lacrosse, fitness, non-cognitive skills, leadership and even personal branding. The WPLL and our programs are designed to support the growth of girls and women to excel in life, which includes encouraging their dreams, supporting their pursuit of them and fostering an environment in which they can practice creativity and innovation. In short, teaching how life skills can be learned during lacrosse team participation--such as all-important interpersonal / emotional intelligence competencies.

Instagram:@prowomenslax
Twitter: @prowomenslax
Facebook: @prowomenslax
YouTube: YouTube.com/prowomenslax