New school-centric curriculum and equipment endowment platform aims to introduce the NLL’s fun, sixes-style game play to a new generation of fans
National Lacrosse League unveiled NLL UnBOXed™, a next-gen, grassroots initiative for boys and girls across some 60 North American communities. Today’s launch is designed to promote sixes lacrosse as a means to fast-track the growing indoor activity before it returns as a medal sport at the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The game is similar to 6-v-6 box lacrosse, one of the two national sports of Canada, and was invented for elementary and middle school aged youth. The NLL UnBOXed At School roll out includes a lacrosse equipment endowment campaign by the league and its partners to provide an assortment of sticks, balls, and goals to participating schools’ physical education departments. The Sports Techie community blog encourages all elementary and middle school administrators, athletic directors, and/or physical education teachers to formally request the opportunity to join in as an inaugural participation school by registering at NLL.com/UnBOXed. This holistic, multi-national, two-phased activation has five years to implement the new program in time for the LA28 Games when lacrosse in an official sport for the first time since 1908.
“NLL UnBOXed is an innovative approach to introducing and fostering the love of box lacrosse’s unique style of play among young boys and girls across North America,” said Kurt Hunzeker, NLL Executive Vice President, Commercial Operations. “With NLL-style sixes lacrosse coming to the LA28 Summer Olympics, it is imperative that the League leads by example and establishes NLL UnBOXed to create meaningful connections with more communities from coast to coast.”
UnBoxed Is Coming
Nine new “NLL UnBOXed Lacrosse Communities” in Baltimore, Charlotte, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Montréal, Ottawa, Salt Lake City, Seattle, St. Louis, and the Tampa Bay area, will join the 15 existing NLL teams for the 2024 launch of the multi-tiered campaign.
The NLL will practice innovation and unique activations when engaging these non-franchise markets and grassroots participants, by creating community-relevant “team names” and brand identities to illustrate the League’s commitment to growing box lacrosse across Canada and the United States.
The first phase includes the NLL UnBOXed Lacrosse Communities’ brand identities unveiled tomorrow at 1pm ET, beginning the week-long rollout of the NLL’s nine new activation markets across the league’s social channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok.
NLL UnBOXed At School™
Phase two of the exciting initiative begins next year with the activation of “NLL UnBOXed At School™,” a physical education-centric lacrosse curriculum created by former number one draft pick and NLL Hall of Fame inductee Casey Powell and based on the successful SPEED Lacrosse® platform Powell developed after he retired from the NLL. Powell played professional lax from 1990-2016. He graduated from Syracuse University as a four-time USILA All-American and earned the NCAA Division I Most Outstanding Player award in both 1997 and 1998.
“I am thrilled to be a part of NLL UnBOXed At School,” Powell said. “The SPEED Lacrosse curriculum will not only introduce lacrosse to young students across North America but also provide them with a pathway towards a lifetime of enjoying the sport. I myself was introduced to lacrosse in my gym class, and SPEED Lacrosse offers the perfect format to sample the game, play it at its fundamental level, and accelerate the NLL grassroots initiative.”
NLL UnBOXed is an additional layer signifying the League’s commitment to growing youth participation. To further emphasize the league’s dedication, NLL joined other U.S.-based lacrosse properties last week to form Elevate28. The entities mission is to double lacrosse participation in the U.S. to 4 million annual players by the end of the decade.
For the latest NLL scores and developments, visit: NLL.com
Sports Techie, another NLL program dedicated to Native Americans and First Nations kids and teenagers is the Every Child Matters Indigenous Campaign.
The upcoming 2023-24 NLL season will commence with NLL Faceoff Weekend the first weekend of December.
The NLL is North America’s premier professional lacrosse league, with a record 1,165,528 fans attending games in 2022-23.
Founded in 1986, the NLL is comprised of 15 franchises across the United States and Canada: Albany FireWolves, Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, Halifax Thunderbirds, Las Vegas Desert Dogs, New York Riptide, Panther City Lacrosse Club (Fort Worth, Texas), Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, and Vancouver Warriors.
I propose the following name for the NLL UnBOXed Lacrosse Community in Seattle, my hometown and where I started playing lacrosse at Redmond High School in 1983, as the Seattle “ReignPeps.”
Here’s your help, NLL!
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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