The National Lacrosse League, the longest running and most successful professional lacrosse league in the world, today announced that the 2020 Entry Draft will be held on September 17th at 7:00 ET. For the first time in league history, the Entry Draft will be done virtually.
Following the recent NFL, MLB, and WNBA Drafts, the NLL is just the fourth professional sports league to produce a fully live virtual draft. The NLL will transmit live feeds to B/R Live, NLL’s YouTube channel, and Facebook . With real-time coverage expected from over 30 virtual contributors, the production will leverage a combination of technologies from vendors AviWest, VMix, TVU Anywhere, Zoom, and LTN. The production will also use the new Clearcom IP based intercom app called Agent IC to handle the complex communications required to execute a virtual live draft.
“As a league that always thinks digital first, we are excited to be able to use state-of-the-art technology to hold the 2020 Draft online for all fans to watch and participate in,” said Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “As we continue to wade through the challenges, we are all facing today we would have liked to offer the newest rising stars a live experience. But we know that the entire event and team, player, and fan experience will be first class.”
The NLL will be using Telescope Inc.’s interactive platform, CONNECT Live, to enable real-time on-air integration of Twitter fan comments and high capacity hashtag poll results powered by at-home users across the nation.
Commissioner Sakiewicz is scheduled to announce the first pick, which belongs to the New York Riptide. Returning from last year’s coverage that garnered hundreds of thousands of viewers, the broadcast team for the draft will include Devan Kaney as host, joined by Teddy Jenner (voice of Colorado Mammoth ), Stephen Stamp (NLL Draft Expert) Tabitha Turner, (floor reporter for the Georgia Swarm). Additional participants and contributors to the 2020 NLL Draft Selection Show will be announced at a later date. The 2020 Draft Selection Show will be produced by the NLL in association with Joel Kitay Productions, show runners for the 2019 NLL Draft.
“We are all looking to the future and the start of the 35th season of the NLL and the Draft will be a great next step towards that point. The level of young talent coming into the league is unprecedented and The Draft will be the first time many of these athletes get a chance to be recognized on such a platform. It will be a great night for the players, the NLL, and our sport.” said Peter Schmitz, President, Professional Lacrosse Players’ Association (PLPA).
In terms of eligibility, all players 21 and older who have never participated in NCAA lacrosse are eligible to be selected in the Entry Draft. Additionally, all players who have either exhausted or forfeited their NCAA eligibility are draft-eligible. For the 2020 NLL Entry Draft, all NCAA players who have exhausted four seasons of eligibility and may return to play a fifth NCAA season are eligible to be selected.
Draft Order (as of August 5th, 2020)
First Round (as of August 5th, 2020)
Georgia (from Colorado)
Saskatchewan (from Philadelphia)
Georgia or Buffalo (from Toronto)*
Georgia (from New England)
*Conditional pick – Georgia has until September 1, 2020, to opt to choose this pick (10th in 2020) or receive Toronto’s first round selection in the 2022 Entry Draft. After Georgia chooses, Buffalo will receive the remaining Toronto first round pick.
Dates for the start of the 35th NLL season will be announced in the Fall.
About the National Lacrosse League
Founded in 1986, the National Lacrosse League (NLL) is the longest running and most successful professional lacrosse league, ranking third in average attendance for pro indoor sports behind only the NHL and NBA. The League is currently comprised of 14 franchises across the United States and Canada: Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Fort Worth (to begin play in 2021-22), Georgia Swarm, Halifax Thunderbirds, New England Black Wolves, New York Riptide, Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, and Vancouver Warriors.
According to recent research, the NLL fan is younger (average age 46) than almost every North American professional sports league. Almost sixty percent of its fans come from a non-lacrosse fan base, while the general lacrosse fan has become more engaged than at any point in the history of the league. Most importantly, NLL fans are extremely passionate and engaged, with 58% of NLL fans identifying their favorite NLL team as their favorite sports team. Focusing on a digital first strategy, every NLL game is distributed on Turner’s B/R Live streaming service available on desktop, iOS, Android, and connected devices. The NLL Game of The Week broadcast is also available on Facebook and Twitter, and averages over 160,000 unique viewers per game this season.
For more information, visit NLL.com