[Editor’s Note: With the 2023 Premier Lacrosse League season set to start on Saturday, our resident lacrosse expert, Jared Buccola, has provided a full rundown of the PLL’s new uniforms, just like he did last year. Enjoy! — PL]
By Jared Buccola
Hello! I’m excited to be back here on Uni Watch for another PLL uniform breakdown. This is a big season for PLL uniforms, because the league’s outfitter, Champion (which took over for Adidas last year), has completely redesigned the entire league.
But before we get into the uniforms, I want to take a minute to address that photo of me at the top of the page. I’m wearing a Redwoods pinnie (which matches nicely with my custom Uni Watch helmet!). The reversible pinnie (which comes from the word pinafore) is a unique part of the lacrosse uniform. Lacrosse teams use pinnies to differentiate defense from offense when warming up before a game. Here are links to all of this year’s PLL pinnies:
- Archers: dark/white
- Atlas: dark/white
- Cannons: dark/white
- Chaos: dark/white
- Chrome: dark/white
- Redwoods: dark/white
- Waterdogs: dark/white
- Whipsnakes: dark/white
Okay, now let’s get to the uniforms. Since these designs are brand-new, we don’t yet have game photos. In addition, the league has so far provided one full-body photo per team, all of which show colored uniforms, not white, but the white kits will presumably have the same basic layout. Here we go, one team at a time.
Expect the Redwoods to remain consistent in their monochromatic uniforms, all-green or all-white. New for this year is that the chevron stripes fade away toward the top of the jersey. The gradient chevrons continue on the shorts, and the drop-shadow on the number was dropped, pun intended. Both the new green and white helmets add some gradient chevron stripes, yellow accents, and the “Roll Woods” slogan, but the chef’s kiss is the subtle tree line across the back.
The Cannons have streamlined their design, dropping the tie-dye “Cannon smoke” nonsense — a classic case of addition by subtraction. It also looks like they’ve dropped the white helmet, as they only unveiled grey and blue matte options. The helmet features cannon blast stripes over the top and the team slogan, “Boom Squad,” across the back. The jersey consists of the same cannon blast design on the sleeves, UCLA-style stripes on the shorts, and, in a unique move, just the team name and number on the front. My prediction is they could move toward this design when the teams go city-based in 2024. (More on that later in this piece.)
For this year, the Whips will have green and white helmets. Details include “WHIPS” on one side and the team logo on the other side, with snakeskin stripes over the top. The new Cascade XRS Pro helmet has a chin/ear design that really limits the space for a decal — a downgrade, in my opinion, as it is literally cutting the Whipsnakes logo in half. The jerseys have a colored shoulder yoke, with contrast stitching, and snake-patterned side panels. Yikes, quickly moving on….
The PLL’s defending champions, the Waterdogs Lacrosse Club have a win/win with their new headgear. Their chrome purple helmets have a beautiful “Dogs” script, while their white helmets have a paw print with a block “W,” giving it a throwback look. They also added a newly designed championship decal for the back of the helmet and jersey. Speaking of the jersey, it looks as though they removed last year’s water sublimation from the bottom but added a wave-shaped stripe to the shorts. They’ve also teased a third jersey, which looks to be black.
Does it make sense for a team called the Chaos to simplify its look? Whether it makes sense or not, that’s what they’ve done. The new helmets are chrome red with white/black text, and a matte black option with black/red text. Both helmets include a scorpion logo on the back. They nixed the black/red split, and went with a same-color sublimated design on both the jersey and shorts. For the white jersey, they’ve limited the sublimation to just the sleeves.
The Atlas Lacrosse Club is maintaining its simple design this year, with blue and white helmets both sporting horns along the side and a topographical map design over the top. Those same elements continue throughout the uniform, with horn stripes on the sleeves and shorts, with more topo map sublimation.
The Archers will have two helmets this year: a blue option and an orange option, both with a blocky chevron stripe over the top. Rather than keeping the full arrow decal, like on their old helmets, the new helmets just have an arrowhead, which does not fit the space as nicely. The blocky chevron stripe looks to continue down the side panel of the jersey and the shorts — a downgrade, as I preferred the full arrow as a stripe on the shorts as well.
As you’d expect, the Chrome Lacrosse Club will have chrome helmets — one with a white chin and facemask, and one with a black chin and facemask. Both helmets have a gradient stripe that goes from pink to teal, and a “tiwiaa” decal on the back, which stands for “this is what it’s all about.” They get teal shorts as an option with the white jersey and are going mono-black as the other. Both jerseys get gradient sleeve stripes as well as an angled gradient pattern down the side panel and shorts.
So those are the basics. Here two some additional things to keep in mind: First, the PLL did a throwback weekend last year with these porthole-mesh throwback jerseys. No word yet on whether that’s being done again this year, but I hope so!
Also, the PLL has also confirmed that the eight teams will be “assigned a city, state, or region” in 2024. In a recent interview, PLL co-founder Paul Rabil said that “it doesn’t necessarily mean the eight team names that are here, right now, will be the same eight in 2024.” I think this means they could replace some current PLL teams with some city/team names that previously existed in the MLL, which merged with the PLL back in 2020. So I’m confident there will be plenty to write about next year!