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The National Lacrosse League and its local affiliate, the San Diego Seals, announced Thursday the NLL Board of Governors has officially approved the start of the 2021-22 season for the first weekend of December.

The schedule will call for 18 regular season games, followed by playoffs and a Championship Series.

“This is exciting news for our fans, partners, players, staff and community,” said Seals President Steve Govett. “We are counting down the days until we can get back on the field at Pechanga Arena.

“We’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and can’t wait get back to doing what we love. Our commitment to the San Diego community is stronger than ever and the countdown to face-off weekend is officially on,” he said.

The full schedule and information about key dates, including the NLL Draft and free agency, will be released at a later date. Details surrounding player contracts, transactions and eligibility will also be announced in the coming months.

“This announcement is the start of our 2021-22 quest for an NLL Championship,” said Patrick Merrill, Seals general manager and coach. “We have one goal, and it is to bring the NLL Cup to San Diego. We’ve all really missed the game and I know our team will be ready and eager when it’s time to hit the floor in December.”

Information about player training camps, player combine, broadcast partners, the relaunch of the NLL Hall of Fame and other league and team information will also be coming in the next few months.

In February, the NLL announced it had canceled plans for an abbreviated season this spring due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and was instead aiming for a fall start.

The 2020 lacrosse season was suspended March 12 before being canceled April 6. In June, the league announced it would not make up the 2019-2020 season and was focusing on an April 2021 start.

The San Diego Seals concluded their second season in 2020 with a 6-6 record, winning five of their last six games. The team was led by forward Wesley Berg, who finished with 58 points — 19 goals, 39 assists — and forward Zack Greer, who finished with a team-high 21 goals.

The Seals play in Pechanga Arena in the Midway District.