Box Lacrosse League

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Box Lacrosse League
BoxLacrosseLeague.png
Sport box lacrosse
Founded 2011
No. of teams 5
Most recent
champion(s)
St. Louis Centurions (2017)
Most titles Colorado & Cleveland (2 each)
Official website boxlacrosseleague.com

The Box Lacrosse League (BLL) is a senior men's semi-professional box lacrosse league in the United States. The league presently consists of five teams with a geographical footprint centered on the Midwest region of the United States and Ontario.

Formerly known as Midwest Indoor Lacrosse Association (MILA), the league was renamed the Continental Indoor Lacrosse League[1] due to expansion teams outside of the midwest region in March 2013. The league again changed their name in 2017 to Box Lacrosse League, citing the new commitment to following guidelines set by USBOXLA.

History

Minto Cup winning veteran goalie Dave Holding. Grand Rapids Dragonfish goaltender since team's inception.

2011

On August 27, 2011 Grand Rapids defeated Columbus 18-17 (OT) in the first-ever MILA game. Columbus went on to have the best record and were the top seed for the inaugural championship playoff, which Columbus withdrew from the day before the event. Second-seed Grand Rapids Dragonfish went on to claim the first league championship by defeating Chicago 13-7 on October 1, 2011. Chicago had advanced with a 26-1 semifinal win against Milwaukee.

2012

Columbus Brew player (white) sails past Detroit Coney Dogs' Owen Blank (yellow) as he attempts a dive shot on Coney Dogs goalie Devan Mighton (black) during 2012 season.

In the off-season, several expansion teams were announced for the second season of MILA. St. Louis Pride, Pittsburgh Octane, Southern Ohio Box Lacrosse, Cleveland Demons, Detroit Coney Dogs and Nebraska Fighting Perkins were all announced before the end of the calendar year. Three more teams (Madison Capitals, Minnesota Jaxx and Colorado Sabertooths) were also announced for the 2012 season. Nebraska never materialized and a group from Indiana took over the franchise rights, adding Indy Swagger to the league.

Colorado was crowned champion after the 2012 season, when 10 teams competed in league play. St. Louis and Nebraska/Indy failed to get their teams off the ground.

2013

Expansion was again on the off-season agenda as the Upstate Bears were named the 11th league member in February 2013. With the new geographical boundaries, the league again changed its name. In March 2013 MILA became the Continental Indoor Lacrosse League.

In May 2013 a league administration[2] was announced. Grand Rapids GM Russ King was named commissioner of the CILL. Detroit GM Owen Blank (secretary) and Ray Kincaid (treasurer) of Chicago were also appointed.

Seven teams made up the CILL in 2013, with Colorado going undefeated to win the regular season and #1 seed for the CILL Cup playoffs. The Sabertooths went on to defeat Chicago 14-11 in the championship game and were crowned CILL Cup champions.

Grand Rapids Dragonfish shooter (black and orange) and Detroit Coney Dogs defender (yellow) look on as Coney Dogs goalie Devan Mighton (black) traps ball (2012).

2014

Cleveland Demons announced that they will return to the CILL in 2014. The Demons competed in the league starting in 2012, but went on a 1-year hiatus. The CILL announced that the Lansing Hot Rods would join the league as full-time members after playing a limited exhibition schedule in 2013.

Just prior to the season the Colorado Sabertooths announced[3] that they would not play in 2014. Soon after, the Columbus Brew pulled out of the season after multiple cancelled games. Detroit Coney Dogs withdrew from league play after one game and a forfeit due to low player numbers.

Championship weekend took place September 27, 2014 in Chicago. Third place Milwaukee declined to participate so it became a three-team event. Second place Grand Rapids defeated Pittsburgh Octane 20-7 in the semifinal to advance. Later that evening, the Chicago Outlaws defeated the Grand Rapids Dragonfish 20-13 to win their first CILL Cup.

2015

Leadership change came in the spring when A.J. Collier II took over as league commissioner. A schedule was released in early July with nine teams set to compete.

Just before the regular season it was announced that the expansion Minnesota Ox would be joining the league as a probationary team. Minnesota would play exhibition games in 2015 then cease operations.

2016

At the 2016 Winter Meeting that took place on March 19, the CILL heard the application, and accepted, the expansion St. Louis Centurions.[4]

2017

During the Winter Meeting, the Board of Governors voted to rebrand as the Box Lacrosse League. Governors also accepted the expansion Wallaceburg Satans.

St. Louis would go undefeated during the season capturing the BLL Cup.

Teams

Team City/Area Arena Founded Joined Head Coach
Chicago Outlaws Palatine, Illinois Salt Creek Sports Center 2011 2011 Brian Larsen
Circle City Copperheads Indianapolis, Indiana Ellenberger Park 2015 2015 Ken Levinberg
Detroit Coney Dogs West Bloomfield, Michigan Inline Hockey Center 2011 2012 Owen Blank
St. Louis Centurions Ballwin, Missouri Midwest Sport Hockey 2016 2016 Troy Hood
Wallaceburg Satans Wallaceburg, Ontario Wallaceburg Memorial Arena 2016 2017 Chris Fox

Former teams

Pittsburgh Octane goalie Tom Roule in 2014.
  • St. Louis Pride - added 9/2011 **
  • Southern Ohio Box Lacrosse (2012)
  • Nebraska Fighting Perkins - added 11/2011 **
  • Indy Swagger - added 2/2012 **
  • Madison Capitals - added 2/2012 **
  • Minnesota Jaxx (2012)
  • Upstate Bears - added 2/2013 **
  • Colorado Sabertooths (2012-2013)
  • Columbus Brew (2011-2013)
  • Grand Valley State Lakers (2015)
  • Minnesota Ox - added 2/2015 **
  • Lansing Hot Rods (2014-2015)
  • Milwaukee Marauders (2011-2015)
  • Pittsburgh Octane (2012-2015)
  • Grand Rapids Dragonfish (2011-2016)
  • Cleveland Demons (2012-2016)

** = were added as expansion teams, but never competed in league play[5]

Cleveland Demons runner Hans Rydquist in 2014.

Champions

Year Champion Finalist Score
2011 Grand Rapids Dragonfish Chicago Outlaws 13-7
2012 Colorado Sabretooths Grand Rapids Dragonfish 13-6
2013 Colorado Sabretooths Chicago Outlaws 14-11
2014 Chicago Outlaws Grand Rapids Dragonfish 20-13
2015 Cleveland Demons Grand Rapids Dragonfish 13-7
2016 Cleveland Demons Chicago Outlaws 13-10[6]
2017 St. Louis Centurions Chicago Outlaws 12-7

References

  1. ^ "MILA becomes CILL "to reflect growing influence and geographical area"". ILindoor.com. 7 March 2013.
  2. ^ "League Administration". CILL. 31 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Sabertooths Will Not Play In CILL In 2014". Colorado Sabertooths. 2 September 2014.
  4. ^ "New Semi-Pro Team, the Centurions, Brings Box Lacrosse to St. Louis". Riverfront Times. 8 August 2016.
  5. ^ "CILL History". CILL. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Cleveland Demons: Back-To-Back CILL Champs". LaxAllStars. 19 October 2016.

External links

  • Official BLL website
  • BLL on Twitter @BoxlaLeague
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