The Women’s Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL) announced the cancellation of their 2020 season today due to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. It would have been the league’s third season.
The cancellation comes on the heels of the MLL and PLL announcing delays to their summer seasons, and the NLL announcing the cancellation of the remainder of their 2020 regular season. The cancellation also comes following a successful second season for the WPLL that featured national attention through its partnerships with ESPN and Gatorade.
“We will always put the health, safety, and well-being of our athletes, fans, partners and staff first,” WPLL CEO and Founder Michele DeJuliis said in a statement released Tuesday. “A primary challenge we are facing as a league with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is the uncertainty of when the CDC, local governments and our host venues will allow for a full return to normalcy.”
The league had previously announced they would restructure in 2020, which included eliminating the WPLL Fire and reducing the number of teams to four.
While the league will not compete in a season format this summer, they still will maintain a presence with the WPLL Futures and will still maintain a presence at the IWLCA’s President Cup.
“While we are very disappointed, we remain hopeful for all that lies ahead. We made incredible progress during this offseason solidifying numerous multi-year partnerships that support our vision and passion for this league, and our dedication to driving women’s lacrosse forward at the professional level,” Michele DeJuliis said.
The league also announced it will has cancelled its 2020 draft, and will instead host a “Disbursement Draft” that will draft college seniors and players not currently rostered onto the leagues four protected rosters.
“Our focus will now turn towards ensuring an even bigger 2021 season,” DeJuliis said. “We look forward to staying in touch with our fans and partners via our social channels.”