As emerging sports become increasingly popular, governing institutions must step in to officially recognize the sports as official high school sports. Athletic Business has a new report that lacrosse has just become the newest sport to undergo full sanctioning from the Illinois high School Association. By legitimizing a sport such as lacrosse, many schools may see an additional increase in participation and interest among their students.
Primarily played on the east and west coasts, seeing lacrosse grow heavily in the midwest over the past few years is a promising sign for the health of the sport. An important factor to the growth is the large number of youth athletes who have grown up playing the sport are now old enough to compete at the high school level. Athletes also have an increased feeling of being “official” since gaining IHSA status which has transitioned lacrosse teams from the club to varsity level.
Lacrosse should expect to continue to grow, especially with the growing concerns and safety risks of playing football. Moreso, the sport is in a good place with the large number of girls teams competing. The first state series in Illinois will feature 78 boys teams and 59 girls teams to be exact.
With the growing popularity of lacrosse, specifically in the midwest, athletes are finding it tougher to find their own fields without having to split time with the soccer, football, and frisbee players. To combat problems of field scarcity, some programs are limiting themselves to a few “home” fields that will be exclusively used for lacrosse. If teams do not have the luxury of setting aside exclusive-use fields, they can employ GymDandy to simply search for a lacrosse field in their area, book the space, and play!