Gmtm Logo
SIGN UP
Gmtm Logo

Why College Lacrosse Is The Fastest-Growing Sport In The NCAA

ByAria Modirmassihai

Published on Thu Aug 12 2021

|

2 min read

Why College Lacrosse Is The Fastest-Growing Sport In The NCAA

Despite the pandemic placing countless uncertainties and restrictions on all college sports, one sport, in particular, has managed to maintain a growth rate greater than any other program.

In 2018, the NCAA released a study that revealed the blistering rate at which college lacrosse is growing in popularity. And while the pandemic has slowed down that rate, Lacrosse is still recruiting more new athletes and fans than any other sport. This fast growth rate is present in both men’s and women’s lacrosse, and across all 3 NCAA divisions.

From 2003 to 2018, the number of women’s lacrosse teams in the NCAA has gone from 265 to 505. Nearly a 100

increase in only 15 years. Men’s lacrosse has also enjoyed a spectacular boom increasing by over 60
to 380 teams across the same time period.

This growth is consistent across all 3 divisions. DI lacrosse has seen more growth over the past 15 years than any other sport with fewer than 20 teams. DI men’s and women’s lacrosse has grown by 31

and 49
respectively. DII lacrosse has seen the largest level of growth with a massive 280
growth in women and 140
growth in men’s lacrosse. Truly remarkable numbers. In DIII only men’s Volleyball has outpaced lacrosse in growth. A total of 237 DIII lacrosse programs have been formed in the same 15 year period.

This growth in participation has been coupled with increased investment in lacrosse programs from schools all across the country. Of all the DI schools with lacrosse programs, funding for Lacrosse has increased by an average of 52

. This can be compared to 10
of all DI Baseball programs seeing a decrease in funding. Men’s Soccer has also seen less funding with 7
of programs receiving less from their universities’ budgets. Unlike Soccer and Baseball, the expense of Lacrosse has not increased. This is impressive considering the growth of the sport.

Lacrosse has also seen an increase in both National Television appearances and ratings. In 2019, more than 1 out of every 6 DI men’s lacrosse games was broadcasted live, based on data provided by Kinetiq TV. By comparison, men’s college soccer had only 3

of its games broadcasted during the 2019 season, excluding ACC Network.

It is hard to pinpoint exactly what has caused this rapid expansion of interest in Lacrosse. The sport offers a hybrid between football and soccer and is full of excitement, physicality, and finesse. But it has always had all these things, why it is just starting to grab the attention of the public is unknown.

The future is bright for Lacrosse and it will be interesting to see if the sport can reach the heights of the other major college sports in the US.

Are you an Athlete?

Create a free profile to access the largest network specifically designed to connect athletes to opportunities. Get started.

RELATED ARTICLES
Which College Sports Mascots Are The Most Polarizing?

Which College Sports Mascots Are The Most Polarizing?

They’re one of the most crucial aspects to a college sports viewing experience. The players? Nope. The coaches? Nope. The fans? They’re definitely important, but there’s one other group that...

ByAndrew Pistone | Mon Nov 21 2022
Transfer Portal: Does Every Athlete Who Transfers Find A New College To Play For?

Transfer Portal: Does Every Athlete Who Transfers Find A New College To Play For?

On the 15th of October, 2018 the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) introduced a transfer portal. According to the NCAA, "The Transfer Portal was created as a compliance tool to...

ByScotty Jenkins | Wed Oct 19 2022
College Lacrosse: Quick Guide To Watching The Sport This Season

College Lacrosse: Quick Guide To Watching The Sport This Season

First time watching lacrosse? Kinda complicated, right? Well, basically you're just trying to get the white ball in the goal more often than your opponent before time runs out. With that basic...

ByScotty Jenkins | Wed Oct 05 2022
Where Is The Sport Of Lacrosse Most Popular?

Where Is The Sport Of Lacrosse Most Popular?

Lacrosse has long been known as an east coast sport in the United States, but has seen growth across the country in recent years. Why is it known as an east coast sport and how did it get to be so...

ByScotty Jenkins | Thu Sep 22 2022
College Soccer: What is the difference between NCAA Division-I & NAIA?

College Soccer: What is the difference between NCAA Division-I & NAIA?

Many soccer athletes across the United States aspire to play their sport at the college level, and it is a dream that often starts young. Some of these athletes daydream about playing in front of a...

ByScotty Jenkins | Sat Nov 26 2022