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Hershey Haymakers Get Suspended and NALL Appears to Falter
The North American Lacrosse League appears to be in chaos. With just weeks to go before the already scheduled season was to begin, NALL is suspending teams, changing leadership and potentially pushing back the starting date for the indoor lacrosse league. Reportedly, the league is also working to secure a deal to televise some or all of the games, which may be a little premature given the turmoil.
The Hershey Haymakers were expected to be suspended because NALL had required the organizers of teams to have agreements in place with their home arenas. The Haymakers were to be playing at the Giant Center in Pennsylvania, also home to the AHL Hershey Bears. However, the Haymakers allegedly missed the deadline for compliance. The Haymakers are not the only central Pennsylvania team with a future that is up in the air. The Wilkes-Barre Shamrocks reported that due to the turmoil, team officials offered season ticket holders their money back. Few took the team up on the offer, however. The Shamrocks had been scheduled to play the first game of the new league's inaugural season, which was supposed to be held on January 19, 2012.
That is not the only reason for the delay. There are also issues with the leadership in the NALL. The commissioner and several advisors to the league have been fired. This has led to a lawsuit against NALL. One of the initial signs that the fledgling league was in trouble occurred in late December of 2011, when the league cancelled a previously planned draft. It remains to be seen what will happen with those players already signed to a contract to play with a team in the NALL for the 2012 season.
With four of the six teams seeming to want to go to a fall and winter schedule and two of the teams still gearing up for the home opener taking place in a few weeks, there seems to be a serious failure of communication going on. It remains to be seen what will happen with the new league and whether the Hershey Haymakers will be forced out if the league does in fact survive. It currently seems that the future of indoor lacrosse in the Hershey, Pennsylvania region is looking dark.
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