Popularity of Lacrosse in the USA
Amelia Johnson explains why Lacrosse is the new booster in high school athletics.
According to the Wall Street Journal, there has been exponential growth in the number of kids opting to play lacrosse over other sports in the last decade in the United States. The report indicates that the number of children playing other traditionally significant sports like basketball and football is declining substantially.
To those new to the game, Lacrosse is a team sport played by kids, men and women. It is performed using a lacrosse stick and a lacrosse ball. Players use the head of the lacrosse stick to pass, carry, catch and shoot the lacrosse ball into the goal. Lacrosse is both an indoor and outdoor game.
United States Lacrosse estimates that above 750,000 thousand people played lacrosse in 2014. Due to its many advantages, the number of children opting to play lacrosse has increased over the last decade. High schools are recording high numbers of students participating in the competition. NCCCA reports that lacrosse is the fastest-growing sport, with over 36,000 students playing the game at a collegial level. Most of these students hone their interests and expertise in high school.
Data obtained from United States Lacrosse body suggests that the number of boys joining lacrosse grew by 47%. The number of girls playing the sport rose closer to that of boys at 43.1%. Besides, NCCA reported that men's lacrosse programs have grown by 24% over the last 20 years.
The sport's popularity keeps growing every day. The National Federation of State High School Association reports affirms that lacrosse is girls' most popular sport. The findings add that countrywide lacrosse participation among girls and boys rose by more than 7,700 athletes in 2017.
There are several contributing factors to this new phenomenon in United States high schools. Among them are:
Lacrosse's rising demand among the youth has boosted its popularity over the years. United States Lacrosse estimates that youth participation in the sport in Illinois grew by 69% between 2009 to 2014. Wall Street Journal approximates football is considerably becoming unpopular among the children as they opt for lacrosse.
It has contributed to the growing fan base and new sports participants. As more children join the sport, they enter the programs, then later high school lacrosse teams. After graduation from high school, they extend their love for the game to college and eventually become fans after college.
Lacrosse encourages the participation of students, regardless of gender or age. Boys and girls alike have equal opportunities to hold the lacrosse stick and participate in the competition. The sport has gained popularity across 25 countries, ensuring steady support for the competition worldwide. For the record, there is a Lacrosse Women's World Cup. It has motivated the students to join lacrosse programs in high schools.
Lacrosse extends the opportunity to receive scholarships at universities. The athletics teens are more assured of the scholarship because lacrosse sports scholarship competition is not as steep as the rest of the sports. It has contributed to parents backing their children to participate in the high school level game. .
Additionally, lacrosse ranks highest among the sports, with the highest graduation rate at 88% for men and 94% for women.
Lacrosse is known to be a high-energy sporting activity. A game with little energy will bore the fans, and its popularity will dwindle over time. Lacrosse is more appealing to the spectators compared to other sports.
Lacrosse allows all the plays a chance to participate in the sport regardless of their experience. This fact has made the game popular among parents as their children will have an opportunity to engage in a sporting activity in high school. Many goals are scored in a single match, which motivates fans to love the game even more.
Registration of lacrosse to the relevant association has further escalated its popularity. In Utah, lacrosse was sanctioned by UHSAA. It meant that registered programs could receive funding from the schools' district. In Illinois State, lacrosse has been endorsed by IHSA. Sanctioning of lacrosse means more confidence for players and parents of the students participating in lacrosse. It is to the motivation of players and directors of the lacrosse programs.
Live television coverage of lacrosse competitions has increased its fan base. This has escalated its popularity. Many kids watching the game from home develop an interest in the sport, and upon joining high school, they reach out for a lacrosse stick for a throw or a pass. The trend keeps growing as parents encourage their children to participate.
Lacrosse is not prone to injuries. Head injuries have been rampant among football players. This trend has affected football negatively, and parents have become cautious of their children attending the sport for fear of getting injured. Lacrosse offers a better alternative with equal hype and physical fitness qualities. This has led to many high school students joining the sport. Some are heeding their parents' advice while others are participating in the love of the games.
Lacrosse is indiscriminative of body size. This leaves students with a smaller body physique with nowhere to exercise their talent and maintain their health and physically fit. On the other hand, Lacrosse allows participation for both prominent and small-bodied students. This translates to students having a chance to practice, and one can work for a shot on a collegial scholarship.
What was a major exceptional sport for prep schools in New York and Maryland has spread to public schools, Middle America, and inner cities. The popularity of the game can only keep growing. Its reputation is heading towards the mainstream as NCAA lacrosse championships keep forming a loyal fan base and creating many professional leagues.
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About the Author
Amelia Johnson is a writer/editor with an endless passion for bringing valuable and trustworthy information to the community. She founded stayhealthyways.com, a blog dedicated to sharing quality articles related to health, nutrition, fitness, and beauty. As a typical introvert, Amelia is a perfectionist in work. During times of leisure, she reads, listens to music, chats with some close friends, and walks with her pet.