Brampton headed for Major Series Lacrosse comeback in 2023


Published January 3, 2023 at 9:46 am

Major Series Lacrosse (MLS) says Brampton and Owen Sound could both play in the Ontario-based league in 2023, possibly ending a dispute that saw teams locked out of play last year.

The two clubs came to an agreement on Thursday over the issue of a player pool, paving the way for both clubs to compete in the senior men’s indoor lacrosse league this year.

MSL was limited to four teams last season after legal issues blocked Brampton and Owen Sound from having franchises. Those issues arose from the purchase of the Brampton Excelsiors in 2018 by Michigan-based businessman Joe Norton, who decided to move the team to Owen Sound.

Several parties tried to block the move, forcing both Owen Sound and Brampton to suspend operations in 2022, just as MSL resumed competition following the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: Appeal overturns transfer of Brampton Excelsiors lacrosse club to Owen Sound

The Six Nations Chiefs were Major Series Lacrosse’s regular-season points leaders, followed by the Peterborough Lakers, Brooklin Lacrosse Club, and Cobourg Kodiaks. Peterborough went on to win the league title and earn its fourth straight Mann Cup, Canada’s senior men’s lacrosse championship.

Lynn Withers, MSL commissioner, said in a statement that she is excited to see both Brampton and Owen Sound participating in the forthcoming season.

MSL and the Western Lacrosse Association also came into conflict with the Premier Lacrosse League, an American professional field lacrosse league, in the summer of 2022.

Many players from the two indoor leagues were also under contract to PLL but found they couldn’t compete in both because of a clause in the American league’s contracts designed to satisfy the PLL’s insurance provider.

Although the PLL issued waivers to players who also competed in the National Lacrosse League, North America’s professional indoor league, it was only possible because the PLL and NLL seasons don’t overlap.

Because MSL and WLA operate at the same time as the PLL, players under contract on both sides of the border would be alternating between the indoor and outdoor versions of the game on a nearly weekly basis.

Major Series Lacrosse and the Western Lacrosse Association have not yet announced their 2023 schedules, but those leagues’ regular seasons typically run from May to July.

The PLL announced its 2023 schedule on Sunday, with the touring league starting June 2 in Albany, N.Y., and holding its championship in Chester, Pa., on Sept. 22.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 2, 2023.

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