Tag Archives: Growth of Lacrosse

NCAA Lacrosse: Impact Of Western And Canadian Lacrosse Players Has Increased Number Of Men’s Teams Competing For National Championship

“…this post-Stanwick/Canadian box inspired two-man era, teams just don’t necessarily need a premier Rabil-like midfielder, or a Powell-like attackman to draw slides and generate offense. Now, it’s all picking, re-picking, screening and big-little games from behind…”

Obviously, the spread of lacrosse has made more quality players available for more teams. And it’s not just raw athletes still trying to learn the sport. Slick-sticked offensive studs like Baum, Loyola’s Mike Sawyer (Waxhaw, N.C.), Hopkins’ Lee Coppersmith (Boca Raton, Fla.), Virginia’s Rob Emery (San Francisco, Calif.), Cornell’s Roy Lang (Mill Valley, Calif.) and North Carolina’s Thomas Wood (Dallas), all made an impact this season. And coaches continued to outsource various offensive duties to Canadians with alarming regularity.

Not only is there more talent, particularly offensive talent, to go around for more programs. Offensive sets have become smarter and more efficient and not as reliant on unique kinds of players.

In the early parts of the century, scoring goals in the post-season meant having premier athletes who could always run by their guy. Because those types of players are rare and generally easily identifiable in high school, they usually end up playing for a couple programs with history or warm weather or both. That’s why the Tewaaraton winner was almost always an offensive stud who just led his team to the championship. Ned Crotty, Mike Leveille, Kyle Harrison, Mike Powell and Matt Ward all fit the mold.

So a team like Denver can put the rest of the country on notice with a heavy dose of box influenced pick-and-rolls. Or Maryland– who relied on those grinding two-man games that could make paint dry — reached the final despite not having much of a bonafide offensive star. Loyola won the title when its two best offensive players, Eric Lusby and Sawyer, were of the planted-feet, catch-and-shoot variety.

The media-friendly “parity” meme has been hashed and re-hashed. Usually there hasn’t been much to pin it on other than some early-season upsets or a rogue school making some playoff noise. Whether Loyola’s win was just be a right mix of lock-down defensive midfielders, veteran leadership, and some slingers on offense, or the ushering in of a new era remains to be seen.

But as the nation’s talent base grows and early recruiting makes it even harder to identify who the best kids are; and as offenses continue to find ways to score settled goals without “Rabil-esque” midfielders, winning will likely be even harder to contain to the upstate New York, ACC or Homewood sightlines.

For more:  http://www.laxmagazine.com/college_men/DI/2011-12/news/061112_uncensered_parity_maybe_growth_definitely_in_division_i_mens_lacrosse

NCAA Lacrosse: Michigan Men’s Lacrosse Established The “Club Program To Varsity” Lacrosse Model; Will Other Schools Follow?

Michigan didn’t start a brand-new men’s program, but transitioned its supremely talented club squad to varsity.

With Michigan’s addition, the Big Ten now has three teams, which is not enough for the conference to officially add the sport, but enough to land men’s lacrosse on its television channel: on April 14, the Big Ten Network is expected to air the Michigan-Ohio State game. Will Michigan State, which has a well-developed club program, be spurred to action?

But as with most college sports, money talks. Lacrosse is not a revenue-generating sport, which doesn’t exactly compel athletic directors to support it. Besides financing the men’s team, new women’s teams are often added to comply with Title IX.

This isn’t unusual in college sports — most recently, Penn State moved its men’s and women’s club ice hockey programs to Division I, thanks to a single $88 million check. Lacrosse, however, has traditionally seen new Division I men’s programs build from the ground up, as at Marquette and High Point, which start play in 2013.

Michigan may be an anomaly now, but there are many more successful lacrosse clubs out there, especially at Football Bowl Subdivision universities like Arizona State, Brigham Young, Oregon and Texas.

“A lot of these big schools out west have the opportunity to build lacrosse tradition,” said Brian Myers, University of Texas’s club coach. “Hopefully, Michigan is just the first domino.”

These colleges are looking at Michigan and wondering, just how do we do this ourselves?

For starters, it would help to have a dedicated club coach with deep community roots, like Michigan’s John Paul, and someone like Dave Brandon, the university’s receptive athletic director.

“Money doesn’t solve everything, but it’s an integral piece, especially at these big schools,” said Paul, who helped raise $5 million to make the varsity move.

For more:  http://thequad.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/where-michigan-goes-in-lacrosse-will-others-follow/

NCAA Lacrosse: University Of Colorado Women’s Lacrosse Elevated To NCAA Div I Status On Growth And Success Of State’s Club And High School Lacrosse Programs

CU Athletic Director Mike Bohn cites that trend, as well as the interest generated by organizations such as Team 180 Sports, the state’s premier club program, as making CU’s move toward lacrosse a natural. In last November’s early national signing period for the Class of 2012, 19 members of Team 180 accepted scholarship offers from schools that rank among the heavyweights of college lacrosse. When everything is in place, CU believes it can look in its backyard for many of its top prospects, competing only with DU in Division I for talent that wants to stay in-state.

For the first time in 16 years, the University of Colorado is adding a new sport – and from all indications, the fit will be as natural for Boulder as the Flatirons.

Women’s lacrosse is joining CU’s athletic lineup, with competition scheduled to begin in the spring of 2014. The addition of women’s lacrosse will push CU’s number of sports to 17, a figure that includes women’s competition in basketball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, golf, skiing, cross country and track and field.

Before briefing the school’s Board of Regents on Wednesday night, Athletic Director Mike Bohn said the presence of a “strong (lacrosse) club team on campus reflects a strong interest from students, but more importantly it’s the fastest growing sport within the state of Colorado amongst girls.”
Bohn added, “We recognize the importance of bolstering our participation numbers and meeting our Title IX obligations.”

For budgetary reasons, CU cut seven sports in 1980 and another (men’s tennis) in 2005. However, three women’s sports were added – volleyball (1986), golf (1994), and soccer (1996).

Why add women’s lacrosse and not another sport? Bohn and Associate Athletic Director Julie Manning said six or seven other sports were scrutinized before the department settled on lacrosse.

“We factored in the weather and the fact that it’s a spring sport and the existing facilities and infrastructure that exist within our program,” Bohn said. “All of that provides an appropriate fit for us to take advantage of the growth in the state and the popularity of the sport.”

And there’s no doubting that lacrosse’s popularity is on the rise at the NCAA level and higher. According to a US Lacrosse Participation Survey in 2010, men’s and women’s lacrosse were the fastest growing sports at the NCAA level over the past five years. In 2010, a total of 32,431 players competed on club and varsity teams, up 2.6 percent from 2009. The number of men’s programs had increased 22.4 percent during that span, with the number of women’s programs rising 30.3 percent.

Also, lacrosse at the professional level in Denver – the Denver Outlaws of Major League Lacrosse (outdoor) and the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League (indoor) – has surged beyond being merely well-received. Inside Lacrosse magazine named Denver the nation’s No. 1 lacrosse city in 2009, and attendance figures justify it.

The Outlaws averaged 12,331 in 2011 – their sixth consecutive season of leading the MLL in attendance – while the Mammoth’s 15,037 average last season was second only to Buffalo (16,605) in the NLL.

At the club level in Colorado, no one has monitored the sport’s burgeoning popularity like Sam Bartron, who eight years ago founded Team 180 Sports and now is considered the in-state matriarch of women’s lacrosse.

During last November’s early signing period, 19 senior members of Bartron’s Team 180 accepted college scholarships. The breakdown: 15 are headed to NCAA Division I schools, one to Division II, three to Division III.

Of those 19 players, Bartron said only one was staying in-state (Regis), and Bartron wondered aloud what the presence of another Division I women’s program (CU joins the University of Denver) would do toward keeping homegrown talent at home.

“If (CU) had a program up and running, many of those girls would have considered it,” Bartron said. “The growth of the sport has been so fast in Colorado, it’s just unbelievable how quickly it’s happened. In just 10 years, it’s like, ‘Wow, it’s completely blossomed.’

“Hands down, this is one of the more exciting things that’s happened around here; it’s the best news I’ve heard in a long, long time. But the biggest piece of the news is the opportunity now for girls to play locally. This state produces a lot of top athletes; that’s good news for CU.”

And it should be for DU, she noted: “Competition breeds excellence. Having another Division I program ups the ante for everybody. It will be interesting to follow.”

Also, as pointed out by Danielle Bernstein – Inside Lacrosse’s Online Editor and a CU club lacrosse player and 2008 journalism graduate – the addition of another Division I lacrosse team in Colorado should benefit scheduling for both schools.

Wrote Bernstein: “Having two teams in the state gives teams traveling to Colorado more bang for their buck with the ability to get two games in over a couple of days versus making the trip and just getting a game against DU in.”

And like Bartron, Bernstein believes CU’s lacrosse staff will be able to take long satisfying looks in-state when the time arrives to begin recruiting. She believes the return looks from top Colorado prospects will be reciprocal.

“. . . a team at CU gives these (Colorado) players a place they can potentially continue their careers without having to look to the coasts in order to achieve their goals,” Bernstein wrote. “Should CU be able to capitalize on a strong talent pool within the state, while also pulling some players from more traditional hotbeds — which I would think is extremely feasible, have you seen the campus?! — they’ll be able to put together a competitive program from the beginning.”

The 15 members of Team 180’s Class of 2012 headed for Division I programs are bound for schools also boasting prestigious academics – Stanford, Duke, Princeton, to name three. Bartron is certain CU can offer competition on that front, too.

“What I’m seeing with lot of these athletes is that they’re headed to what you would call pretty good academic schools,” she said. “I think you could honestly say that Duke, Stanford and Princeton are on the high end academically . . . I think CU would be just as good a fit for them.”

A nationwide search for a coach will be conducted, said Bohn, adding CU already has had “significant interest from coaches across the country, which is certainly encouraging.”

Also, with a sport being added, there will be a trickledown effect in several areas of the CU athletic department. “We’re obviously evaluating the ability to enhance our strength and conditioning staff, our sports medicine staff, our sports information staff to accommodate this sport,” Bohn said. “(Lacrosse) will be a wonderful addition because many of those areas are stressed to the point where having additional help will be very beneficial.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for the university and for the lacrosse community to be able to work with us and be able to build something very special in the spring time that we’re very, very excited about.”


Q: When will competition begin?
A: Spring, 2014.

Q: Where will competition be held?
A: On campus, possibly at Kittredge Field, but the site is to be determined. Folsom Field’s current dimensions for football do not meet lacrosse specifications.

Q: Where will the lacrosse facilities, specifically locker rooms, be located?
A: Initially, the team is scheduled to use locker rooms/facilities at the Coors Events Center.

Q: How many scholarships are slotted for lacrosse?
A: 12.

Q: How large a roster will the lacrosse team have?
A: Typically, the roster numbers 25-28.

Q: How many coaches comprise a lacrosse staff?
A: Usually, a head coach and two assistants.

Q: What other in-state schools compete in women’s lacrosse?
A: The University of Denver on the Division I level, Regis and the Air Force Academy in Division II.

Q: Does the Pac-12 Conference include women’s lacrosse?
A: Yes. But only four schools – Stanford, California, Oregon and Southern California – have programs in place. USC announced in 2010 it would start a women’s program and begin competition in 2012-13.

Q: Does the Pac-12 crown a lacrosse champion?
A: No. The three Pac-12 schools that have women’s programs up and running for this spring compete in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with five other schools – DU, the University of California-Davis, Saint Mary’s, San Diego State and Fresno State. NCAA rules stipulate that a conference must have six participating teams to have an automatic tournament qualifier.

Q: How big is women’s lacrosse in Colorado?
A: Very – and it’s growing. CU Athletic Director Mike Bohn cites that trend, as well as the interest generated by organizations such as Team 180 Sports, the state’s premier club program, as making CU’s move toward lacrosse a natural. In last November’s early national signing period for the Class of 2012, 19 members of Team 180 accepted scholarship offers from schools that rank among the heavyweights of college lacrosse. When everything is in place, CU believes it can look in its backyard for many of its top prospects, competing only with DU in Division I for talent that wants to stay in-state.

Q: Is it common for Pac-12 schools to compete in different conferences in such instances?
A: Yes; there are many examples of this.  The Pac-12 doesn’t sponsor an indoor track championships, and those with programs compete in the MPSF.  The ski team competes in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA).  So it is quite common.

Q: Will CU immediately compete on the Division I level?
A: Yes; the inaugural game is a little over two years away as the NCAA lacrosse season begins in mid-February and runs through mid-May, with teams allowed 17 days of competition; most schedule 15 or 16 regular season games plus one or two exhibitions. 

Contact: BG.Brooks@Colorado.EDU

Growth Of NCAA Lacrosse: Colleges Added 232 Womens Lacrosse Programs Since 1989 (48 Div I); 115 Men’s Lacrosse Programs Added (3 Div I)

For more: http://ncaachampionmagazine.org/


Growth Of Lacrosse: “Lacrosse Magazine” Recognizes “Booming” Growth In Houston And Throughout The Lone Star State

Lacrosse arrived in the Lone Star State in 1971, when Navy upset Johns Hopkins in an exhibition at the Astrodome. It was a big win for the Midshipmen, a bigger win for Houston.

The Houston Astrodome looks like it was plucked out of Tomorrowland, Disney’s 1950’s vision of what today might look like. The UFO-shaped stadium is somehow both futuristic and old-fashioned, a throwback to a time when Houston would be a logical staging ground for trips to the moon.

Today, Houston is America’s fourth-largest city and its busiest shipping port, but those moon vacations never materialized. The Astrodome hosts presidential conventions, rodeos and, in 2005, thousands of refugees from Hurricane Katrina. The one-time symbol of the future has become a part of American history.

It’s also the historical birthplace of lacrosse in Texas, a state essential to the sport’s future. Four decades later lacrosse is booming in Texas cities and Houston, where it all began, fields 74 high school teams and more than 80 youth teams. That number is growing.

“It’s incredible,” said Stacie McKay, president of the Houston Chapter of US Lacrosse. “Especially in our inner cities, they’re really started to get excited about it.”

For more:  http://www.laxmagazine.com/zipit/120611_zip_it_houston_texas_77054

NCAA Lacrosse: Denver Men’s Lacrosse Declares Itself The “Lacrosse Capital Of The West”

The University of Denver has positioned itself to leverage its recent lacrosse success for the expansion of the game's popularity in the Western United States. Situated in one of the sport's emerging hotbeds, DU secured the intellectual property rights to the name "Lacrosse Capital of the West," formally depicted in the trademarked logo, as a symbol of the institution's commitment to the game's development.

Since Coach Tierney’s arrival in the summer of 2009, the Pioneers have compiled an impressive 27-8 overall record, a 13-0 ECAC mark and a 17-2 home record in just two seasons. Denver has also advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last two seasons, including recording its first-ever tournament win with a 13-10 decision over Villanova in the first-ever NCAA Tournament game West of the Mississippi River.

Tierney’s impact on the student-athletes at Denver has already resulted in one USILA Second Team All-American, five USILA All-America Honorable Mention selections, two USILA Scholar All-Americans, one ECAC Offensive Player of the Year, one ECAC Rookie of the Year, one ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, seven All-ECAC First Team selections and five All-ECAC Second Team selections.

Tierney has also been named the ECAC Coach of the Year twice. Prior to the start of the season, Tierney was honored as US Lacrosse Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2009.

The Pioneers will face the U.S. National Team in an exhibition action at the 2012 Champion Challenge in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 11:30 a.m. MT. The Pioneers open the 2012 season against Ohio State in the Sunshine Classic on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 12 p.m. MT at EverBank Field, home of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.

Visit www.DenverPioneers.com for comprehensive coverage of the DU men’s lacrosse program.

Growth Of High School Lacrosse: “What Is Wrong With Michigan Lacrosse?” Speaks To Problems Affecting Coaches, Players And Parents That Are Holding Lacrosse Back Nationally

What is wrong with Michigan lacrosse?

By Mike Costello, , Ann Arbor Lacrosse Examiner

Apathetic Coaches

The good ones try to improve their knowledge, their technique and do their best for their student / athletes. They think of themselves as teachers – they teach the game and more importantly, teach the kids how to be responsible adults.  Well, I have seen a lot of apathy lately. Coaches who are not trying to be the best they can be. There are many coaches who do not join the coaches association; who do not show up for the year end meetings or the coach’s clinic. Many don’t teach sportsmanship and clean play. I have seen an increase in butt ending, slashing at the knee, helmet to helmet hits, and punches when an official is not looking.  If we want to clean up the game; take away the cheap shots, the fights and the bad behavior, the coach has to be the point person. If a kid acts up and is disrespectful – sit him down. A coach owes it to the player, the school and the game.

And for the good kids, there are many coaches do not nominate their players for anything – not for All State, not for Academic All State – nothing. Coaches owe it to their players to be on the ball and recognize the kids that deserve some recognition. There has to be at least one player in their program that is deserving of some kind of athletic or academic recognition – if not, maybe it’s the coaches fault.

 Lack of Personal Responsibility by the Players

Players, it is not classy to take a cheap shot at an opponent, taunt an opponent, hoot and holler when you are up by 20, to perform a team organized dance to belittle an opponent, or curse at a referee, opponent, fan or your own coach, it’s disgraceful.  It shows a lack of self control and a sense of entitlement.  Playing lacrosse at your school is a privilege, not a right. You need to display some character, humility and honor the game. Don’t blame anybody else – don’t blame your parents or your coach or your environment. You have control of many situations, especially in how you react. An opponent calls you a name – you don’t have to react. You are not “less of a man” if you don’t retaliate.  High school athletics are not war, they are not movies – they are games. This whole “he disrespected me” stuff has to go. Take ownership and responsibility and clean it up. Clean hits and fast stick work are what this game is about.

 Parents who lack backbone

I may get into trouble, but so be it. Parents, you have to be parents and not enablers. If little Johnny mouths off to a coach or an official – YOU had better have a talk with him. He should not be doing that, and if a caring coach rips into little Johnny about his behavior, it’s your fault – you are letting him do your job. Don’t yell at the coach – he’s trying to do what is right. Parents need to set parameters, and if their child steps out of those boundaries, there should be consequences. This sense of entitlement and lack of respect has GOT to go. Let’s put and end to the “boys will be boys” mentality.

 Maybe the root is in the expensive equipment. I understand that lacrosse is an expensive sport – sticks, gloves, travel teams, gear and maybe some kids are getting spoiled.

Parents – keep things in perspective, make the kids earn it, don’t just give them everything. You will be better off in the long run. 

Continue reading on Examiner.com What is wrong with Michigan lacrosse? – Ann Arbor Lacrosse | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/lacrosse-in-ann-arbor/what-is-wrong-with-michigan-lacrosse#ixzz1dJjuyo6b

NCAA Lacrosse: “Fall 2011 Champion Magazine” Features “Tremendous” Impact Of Michigan Men’s Lacrosse Elevation To Varsity Status

Growth Of Lacrosse: Ancient Sport Of “Hurling” Promotes Similarity To Lacrosse To Increase Popularity And Participation In America (Video)

From a promotion: “Hurling combines the skills of baseball, hockey, and lacrosse in one high speed, high scoring, high octane sport that will blow you away. It’s taking off in North America. Try it!”

NCAA Lacrosse: Marquette Men’s And Women’s Lacrosse Are Building Varsity Programs In 2011-12 For Inaugural Season In 2012-13 (Video)

 Marquette Wire reporter Alex Busbee introduces us to the men and women’s lacrosse teams that are fervently practicing this fall to be ready for competition next year. Meet the players, the coaches, and learn what draws them to this fast paced, high-energy game. From the looks of these Division I teams in training, Marquette will have a new sport powerhouse in the coming years.