Lacrosse and WIAA
Through US Lacrosse, the national governing body for the sport in the United States, we have assembled a group of trusted educators and others with strong academic credentials who know lacrosse in the state and can directly answer your questions to help you make a more educated decision. To get you started, the following is a list of frequently asked lacrosse questions.
Please reach out to your WIAA Lacrosse Ambassadors with questions. They can provide an honest, impartial look at lacrosse, what’s worked and what’s challenging. Our hope is that they can be a resource to help you evaluate the sport and whether it’s right for your students, your school and your district.
WIAA LACROSSE AMBASSADORS
BS, Mech. Eng.
Christian School (Lynnwood)
President, US Lacrosse
Washington State Chapter (Seattle)
Bishop Blanchet High School (Seattle)
Assistant Principal &
High School (Mercer Island)
President & CEO,
US Lacrosse (Baltimore)
WIAA REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY 2011-12
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) oversees athletics and fine arts in Washington state and hosts 83 WIAA state championship events for the following sports and activities: baseball, basketball, bowling, cheerleading, cross country, dance & drill, debate, drama, football, golf, gymnastics, music, softball, swimming & diving, soccer, tennis, track & field, volleyball and wrestling. To learn more visit: Washington Interscholastic Activities Association at www.WIAA.com .
WIAA Representative Assembly members are empowered to pass legislation and to direct the WIAA Executive Board to carry out its policies. A primary function of the Representative Assembly is to adopt rules and regulations that are proposed by the WIAA membership.
For a WIAA amendment to pass, such as the sanctioning of lacrosse as a recognized interscholastic sport in the State of Washington, it needs 60 percent voter approval. The total votes for high school only amendments are 35. For high school and middle school combined amendments, there are 53 total votes.
High School Only Voters
Colin Cushman, Athletic Director, Sehome HS
Curt De Haan, Athletic Director, Lynden Christian HS
Robert Polk, Athletic Director, Everett School District
Nicki Luper, Athletic Director, Oak Harbor HS
Don Dalziel, Athletic Director, Shoreline School District
Matt Blair, Athletic Director, Lakewood HS
Peg Seeling, Athletic Director, LaConner HS (alternate)
Gary Emslie, Athletic Director, Bush School
Greg Hart, Athletic Director, Mt. Si HS
Brent Kawaguchi, Athletic Director, Eastlake HS
Dave Bingham, Athletic Director , Crescent HS
Jim Catalinich, Athletic Director, Stadium HS
Brian Kaelin, Athletic Director, Renton School District
Dave Lutes, Athletic Director, Kent School District
Jeff Chamberlin, Athletic Director, Curtis HS
Tim Thomsen, Athletic Director , Sumner School District
Mark Swofford, Athletic Director, North Mason HS
JoAnne Daughtery, Athletic Director, Kentwood HS (Alternate)
Terry Cavender, Athletic Director, Camas HS
Leta Meyer, Athletic Director, Heritage HS
Howard Kreps, Athletic Director, Columbia HS
John Kilpatrick, Athletic Director, Stevenson HS
Casey Gant, Athletic Director, Prosser HS
Rock Winters, Athletic Director, Zilah HS
Ric Palmer, Athletic Director, Bickleton HS
Don Wilkins, Athletic Director, Walla Walla HS
Ken Murray, Athletic Director, Southridge HS
Kevin Terris, Athletic Director, Tonasket HS
Scott Brown Athletic Director, Cashmere HS
Dan White, Athletic Director, Eastmont HS
Mike Davis, Athletic Director, Pullman HS
Kelly Carr, Athletic Director, Colville HS
Ryan Peplinski, Athletic Director, St. Georges HS
Dick Cullen, Athletic Director, Mead HS
Daryl Hart, Principal, University HS
Tim Coles, Athletic Director, Garfield-Palouse HS
Ray Whitlow, Athletic Director, Tri Cities Preparatory HS
Why Sanction High School Lacrosse?
The following are answers to common concerns about the recognition of lacrosse among schools and districts. We encourage you to engage in active dialogue with your peers on the effect (positive or negative) of lacrosse within your school and district.
- Sanctioning of Lacrosse Does Not Require Schools or Districts to Take On the Sport
- Lacrosse is a Zero-Sum Opportunity for Schools and Districts
- Other States with Similar Challenges as Washington
- Title IX Opportunity
- Lacrosse in Eastern Washington
- Administration & Risk Management Efficiencies
- Profitable State Championships
- Scheduling Already Works
- Path to Higher Education for Students
- Lacrosse Keeps Students on Campus
- Lacrosse Does Not Compete with Other Spring Sports
- Embracing Student Demand for Lacrosse
- Current Administration and Rules Mirror WIAA Sports
KING TV (NBC / Seattle) story focusing on high school lacrosse and the 2010 WIAA Representative Assembly vote to consider sanctioning the sport in Washington state.
Sanctioning of high school lacrosse in Washington state does not require individual schools or districts to either take-on or fund the sport. Sanctioning of lacrosse, however, acknowledges the right of girls and boys to participate in a recognized school activity for schools and districts electing to recognize lacrosse.
With high school lacrosse currently 100 percent funded by booster organizations (some schools voluntarily provide funding), inclusion of girls or boys lacrosse within an athletic department is a zero-sum opportunity for athletic directors. Lacrosse is an opportunity to add participation, without upsetting the gender-equity balance and with no risk of adding cost.
Minnesota, with similar budgetary, geographical and administrative challenges as Washington state recently chose to sanction lacrosse. The “Minnesota Model” provided for an agreement that, when sanctioned, did not require individual schools or districts to add the sport. The model also kept booster funding in place, ensuring that schools and districts were not required to find new funding or dilute existing funding for the sport.
With girls rosters typically approaching 25 students, lacrosse is an opportunity for administrators to plug-and-play a girls sport into their program to offset a gender equity imbalance. Several Washington state schools have embraced this opportunity.
High school lacrosse is currently played at high school programs in Spokane, Wenatchee, Tri Cities and Selah. Along with eastern Washington schools, lacrosse is also played in Bellingham, Skagit and Island Counties, the Everett area, Kitsap county, Vancouver, Washington along with Seattle, Tacoma and the Eastside. One of the smallest high schools in the state, Providence Classical Christian in Lynnwood, has 37 percent of its enrollment of just 51 students, on the schools’ lacrosse roster.
Single-school club (ASB) and multi-school club lacrosse programs already require administrative and risk management oversight by schools and districts. Formal integration with athletic departments provides for a more efficient oversight structure for administrators and gives administrators more control over these programs.
The Washington Lacrosse High School State Championships have over three-decades of history in Washington state are profitable, well organized and televised. Sanctioning of lacrosse brings a well organized, well respected and profitable spring state championship to the WIAA mix.
Over 157 individual teams already schedule lacrosse practices and games within their school facilities. Times are not optimal, however, the field accessibility is already being accommodated by school and district schedulers. Recognition of lacrosse increases the efficiencies for administrators in their scheduling work.
With more students pursuing high education and tuition funding becoming more scarce for local families, lacrosse is a potential path to higher education. In the past decade over 100 students that have played lacrosse with Washington state high school teams have gone on to play at the NCAA Division I, Division II and Division III levels. Another 100 have played for their college club teams. To view a complete list of former high school lacrosse players in Washington that have gone on to play NCAA lacrosse, please visit LOCAL COLLEGIANS.
Recognition of lacrosse avoids the trend emerging with other spring sports of students seeking off campus activities rather than school-recognized sports. Keeping students on campus fulfills the role of our local high schools as anchors in the community for young people and their families.
Studies from other sanctioning states show that lacrosse provides a new participation opportunity for gils and boys that would not otherwise play a spring sport. The sport is also embraced by fall and winter sport student-athletes looking to broaden their athletic experience. This supports a scholastic trend toward non-specialization.
High school lacrosse in Washington state continues to experience a decade-long annual trend of double digit growth. Growth of the youth segment of the sport is outpacing the high school segment. Embracing these trends presents an opportunity to provide an interscholastic opportunity that reflects current interests of students and families.
Administration of high school lacrosse had modeled itself after WIAA sports. Existing programs, officiating, state championships, risk management and academic standards match their WIAA peers. Like with WIAA sports, many lacrosse administrators and coaches are educators with their local schools.
GROWING DEMAND FOR LACROSSE
Despite a challenging economy, lacrosse participation in Washington state continues a sustained double-digit annual growth trend experienced over the past decade.
In recent years, growth of youth lacrosse throughout the state has outpaced the prep segment, fueling continued demand for new high school teams.
In addition to the Seattle, Tacoma, Everett and Bellevue metro areas, high school lacrosse is played in Spokane, Wenatchee, Tri Cities and Selah in eastern Washington, the Vancouver area in southwestern Washington, Bellingham and Lynden along the Canadian border and throughout Snohomish, Skagit, Island, Kitsap and Pierce counties.
To learn more about demand for lacrosse at the high school level and lacrosse as a path to higher education please read the Cleveland Plain Dealer report Lacrosse is new recruiting tool for private colleges.
To learn more about high school lacrosse and its growth in the United States, please read the following Wall Street Journal report Lacrosse Muscles its Way West. VIEW, DOWNLOAD, SHARE WSJ: Lacrosse Muscles its Way West
INTERSCHOLASTIC ACTIVITIES PARTICIPATION
Interscholastic activities participation in Washington state (2011-12 academic year) with lacrosse included. Over 4,000 students participate in high school lacrosse in Washington state.
Frequently Asked Questions for Educators & Administrators
- Would the sanctioning of lacrosse in Washington obligate a school or district to fund the sport?
- How would adding boys, girls or both lacrosse teams affect the gender equity balance in my school?
- Can I accommodate lacrosse with an already stressed facilities schedule?
- What is the history of high school lacrosse in Washington?
- Are there other state’s that sanction lacrosse with similar challenges as Washington?
- Is Washington state’s lacrosse state championship profitable?
- I’ve heard lacrosse is popular, but is its growth sustainable?
- How is the sport organized in Washington?
- How many states now sanction lacrosse?
- What are the costs of a lacrosse program?
- Are NCAA lacrosse scholarships available?
- I know lacrosse is popular in the Seattle-area, but does anyone care anywhere else?
- I’m an athletic director of a small public high school, why should I consider adding another sport?
- Is there local media interest in lacrosse?
Would the sanctioning of lacrosse in Washington obligate a school or district to fund the sport?
Adoption of lacrosse will not financially obligate schools who don’t offer or plan to offer the sport. Sanctioning of lacrosse only acknowledges existing student body and community interest in the sport.
How would adding boys, girls or both lacrosse teams affect the gender equity balance in my school?
With schools and districts obligated by Title IX to provide equal opportunity for boys and girls, lacrosse presents an opportunity to further balance participation opportunities. Lacrosse averages 20 to 25 students per team.
Can I accommodate lacrosse with an already stressed facilities schedule?
Lacrosse is played on a football/soccer sized field with either natural grass or field turf surfaces. Field access during the spring sports season is in high demand, however scheduling of high school fields already accommodates practices and game scheduling throughout the spring season.
What is the history of high school lacrosse in Washington?
Lacrosse has been played at the high school level in Washington state for over three decades. The boys’ game began in 1979 with Seattle’s Lakeside School fielding a team. In 1980, Bellevue High School formed a team. The girls’ game began play a decade later with Bainbridge and Lakeside fielding teams for the first time in 1989. In 2012, high school lacrosse is played in Spokane, Tri Cities, Wenatchee, Selah, Bellingham, Vancouver, Wash., Skagit and Island Counties, on the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsula, Kent and East Pierce County along with the Everett, Tacoma, Seattle and greater Eastside metropolitan areas.
Are there other state’s that sanction lacrosse with similar challenges as Washington?
With significant involvement by Eastside Catholic School athletic director Scott Garvis, lacrosse was successfully sanctioned by the Minnesota State High School League (MSHL) in 2008. The MSHSL overcame similar challenges as Washington state with sanctioning the sport. Among them:
- Financing: Team booster clubs fund most of the costs of individual school teams in Minnesota, not schools and districts.
- Geography : Location of Minnesota schools playing lacrosse has similar geographical challenges to Washington. The bulk of schools are located in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area with pockets of schools in outlying areas: Rochester to the south and Duluth to the north.
- Competition for Spring Sports: Minnesota data shows that lacrosse presented a new participation opportunity in the spring for students, rather than competing for students playing other spring sports.
- Scheduling: Like Washington, lacrosse practices and scheduling were already being scheduled at Minnesota schools. Sanctioning provided a more efficient working relationship between coaches and administrators creating greater ease in scheduling.
- Institutional Oversight: In Minnesota sanctioning helped curb a trend of students seeking off-campus sports participation opportunities, and provided greater institutional oversight over individual school students choosing to play the sport.
- State Championships: Like Washington, the state lacrosse championship in Minnesota turns a profit. The 2011 Minnesota state lacrosse championship has been profitable for each of the three years the sport has been sanctioned. In 2011, the lacrosse state championship was among the 12 of 33 state activity championships to turn a profit.
- No Obligation to Fund: The sport of lacrosse in Minnesota signed a letter of agreement with the MSHL, schools and districts agreeing to not seek funding from any school or district that took on the sport.
Is Washington state’s lacrosse state championship profitable?
The Washington state chapter of US Lacrosse along with the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association and Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association serve as local organizing committees for the state high school lacrosse championships. The state championships, which were fully sponsored and televised in 2011 are both profitable.
I’ve heard lacrosse is popular, but is its growth sustainable?
Lacrosse is the fastest growing high school sport in the United States with 25 state activities associations now sanctioning the sport. In Washington state, high school lacrosse has grown annually at a double-digit pace throughout the past decade. Demand for lacrosse at the youth level outpaces the high school level presenting a challenge and an opportunity for schools and districts.
- Lacrosse is played by the largest and smallest public and private high schools in the state.
- Students attending 200 WIAA member schools play lacrosse in Washington
- 4,000 Washington high school students will play lacrosse in 2012
- 160 individual boys and girls varsity, JV and underclass teams will play in 2012
How many states now sanction lacrosse?
Lacrosse is no longer just an east coast sport as 21 state activities associations now sanction the sport. Among the most recent states to sanction the lacrosse is California which has a public school system that continues to be among the most fiscally challenged in the country. By population, Washington would rank 12th among the 21 states that sanction lacrosse.
*California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri (girls only), New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia
* – Individual sections within the state can choose whether or not to sponsor the sport.
How is the sport organized in Washington?
High schools lacrosse is governed by the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association and the Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Associations. Washington state high school teams are organized with three models. In all cases, booster club support funds each team’s capital and operating costs.
- High School Athletic Department Administration
- High School Club (ASB)
- Multi-School Club (organized for schools without a critical mass to field a single team, similar to small schools partnering to form one football team).
What are the costs of a lacrosse program?
The cost structure of high school lacrosse is similar to baseball and soccer. High School lacrosse in Washington state is funded by “booster organizations” among high school communities embracing lacrosse. These organizations are funded through fundraising and student participation fees. Schools that elect to bring high school lacrosse under athletic department administration have a net-zero budget scenario. In other words, the programs are (and will continue to be) funded in full by booster organizations.
- Girl’s Costs: The cost for outfitting a girl’s lacrosse player is similar to soccer – approximately $100 (stick, goggles and protective mouth guard, shoes).
- Boy’s Costs: Boy’s costs are equivalent to baseball - approximately $200 ( stick, helmet, gloves, shoulder pads, shoes). With both genders, certain lacrosse equipment is highly personal (shoes, stick, goggles, mouth guard) and funded by the individual and not the team budget.
To view sample annual operating budgets for lacrosse teams, please visit BUDGETS.
Does lacrosse open doors to college?
Washington state has produced an average of 20 collegiate-caliber lacrosse players annually over the past decade. In the last 10 years, 100 student-athlete graduates of Washington state high schools have gone on to play collegiate lacrosse for NCAA Division I, II and III schools. Another 100 have played for their college club teams. To view a full list of local players that have gone on to play at the NCAA level and beyond, please visit LOCAL COLLEGIANS.
Are NCAA lacrosse scholarships available?
Collegiate lacrosse is a viable opportunity for state graduates to earn NCAA scholarships. In 2011, over 2,200 college lacrosse scholarships were available at 57 men’s and 83 women’s programs at the NCAA Division I level and 32 men’s and 37 women’s programs at the NCAA Division II level. Proportionally, there are more collegiate lacrosse opportunities available than there are for soccer and many other sports. Please see Cleveland Plain Dealer: Lacrosse is New Recruiting Tool for Private Colleges.
I’m an athletic director of a small public high school, why should I consider adding another sport?
Lacrosse provides a spring sport environment similar to football for local schools at a fraction of the cost. The sport also provides participation opportunities for students that may not otherwise play a spring sport. One of the smallest schools in Washington to embrace lacrosse is Providence Classical Christian School in Lynnwood, Wash. Providence, with an enrollment of just 189, balances sport with the overall student experience, while consistently finishing among the top schools in state competitions.
Is there local media interest in lacrosse?
Lacrosse appeared on television in over 70 individual segments in 2011 including dedicated Comcast On Demand coverage of several regular season games and the boys and girls state championships. Community, online and traditional newspapers throughout Washington state published over 900 stories on lacrosse throughout the year including daily results, feature stories and awards. 2011 US Lacrosse Washington State Media Report. View Media Report
SAMPLE BUDGETS – HIGH SCHOOL LACROSSE
The following budgets are actual annual budgets for public high school lacrosse programs in Washington state. Both are reflective of high school programs with three individual teams. Select a link below to view.
To learn more about individual equipment cost for girls and boys lacrosse visit WIAA FAQ.
NEW INTER-SCHOLASTIC ACTIVITY
The decision-making rubric is designed to support high school athletic directors and administrators in evaluating the opportunity of a new inter-scholastic activity.
This tool will help provide objective, fact-supported guidance for decisions, based on the individual circumstances of schools and districts.
The following are ten evaluation categories along with discussion topics and scoring models identified by the Minnesota State High School League and its districts in evaluating and ultimately sanctioning high school lacrosse.
VIEW, DOWNLOAD, SHARE New Inter-Scholastic Activity – Decision Rubric
- GENDER EQUITY: Title IX Considerations
- STRAIN ON FACILITIES: Burden on Availability of Existing Facilities
- STRAIN ON EXISTING PROGRAMS: Monetary and Participant Reduction from Current Programs
- STRAIN ON ADMINISTRATION: Additional Administration Supervision Time
- START UP EXPENSES: One-Time Capital Outlays
- AVAILABILITY OF COMPETITION: Difficulty in Filling a Competitive Schedule
- MAINTENANCE EXPENSES: Annual Expenses
- STUDENT BODY INTEREST: Potential to Attract and Sustain Student Participation
- COMMUNITY SUPPORT: Overall Financial Support and Attendance
- POTENTIAL TO FIELD COMPETITIVE TEAMS: Potential to Achieve Desired Levels of Success
About Decision-Making Rubrics
Rubrics are “descriptive scoring schemes” used to analyze and judge the quality of programs and performances. For athletic directors and administrators, rubrics can be employed to examine and evaluate a wide range of activities including student-facing and administrative programs.
Rubrics are effective tools to help assess programs and service levels more easily and objectively, providing one score for a whole program or performance based on overall impression. In team or collaborative environments found in academics and athletics, rubric evaluations are likely to be reasonably objective and consistent, helping athletic directors and administrators identify schemes for evaluation ahead of time, reduce subjectivity and focus on essential criteria.
This tool was prepared by Scott Garvis, Eastside Catholic athletic director and former athletic director of the Burnside School District in Minnesota.
Twenty-one U.S. state high school activities associations with membership in the National Federation of State High School Associations have elected to sanction lacrosse as a recognized sport.
California Interscholastic Federation
Boys and girls lacrosse are among 19 sanctioned sports and activities in the State of California. Each section within the state federation has the option of sanctioning the sport.
4658 Duckhorn Dr
Sacramento, CA 95834
Phone: (916) 239-4477
Fax: (916) 239-4478
14855 E Second Ave
Aurora, CO 80011-8900
Phone: (303) 344-5050
Fax: (303) 367-4101
30 Realty Dr
Cheshire, CT 06410-1655
Phone: (203) 250-1111
Fax: (203) 250-1345
35 Commerce Way, Ste 1
Dover, DE 19904
Phone: (302) 857-3365
Fax: (302) 739-1769
1801 NW 80th Blvd
Gainesville, FL 32606-9176
Phone: (352) 372-9551
Fax: (352) 373-1528
151 S Bethel St
Thomaston, GA 30286-4187
Phone: (706) 647-7473
Fax: (706) 647-2638
2715 McGraw Dr
Bloomington, IL 61704
Phone: (309) 663-6377
Fax: (309) 663-7479
PO Box 2468
50 Industrial Drive
Augusta, ME 04338-2468
Phone: (207) 622-0217
Fax: (207) 622-1513
Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association
Boys lacrosse and girls lacrosse are among 23 sanctioned sports and activities in the State of Maryland.
200 W Baltimore St
Baltimore, MD 21201-1595
Phone: (410) 767-0376
Fax: (410) 333-3111
Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association
Boys and girls lacrosse are among 16 sanctioned sports and activities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
33 Forge Pkwy
Franklin, MA 02038-3135
Phone: (508) 541-7997
Fax: (508) 541-9888
1661 Ramblewood Dr
East Lansing, MI 48823-7392
Phone: (517) 332-5046
Fax: (517) 332-4071
2100 Freeway Blvd
Brooklyn Center, MN 55430-1735
Phone: (763) 560-2262
Fax: (763) 569-0499
1 N Keene St
Columbia, MO 65201-6645
Phone: (573) 875-4880
Fax: (573) 875-1450
New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association
Boys and girls lacrosse are among 21 sanctioned sports and activities in the State of New Hampshire.
251 Clinton St
Concord, NH 03301-8432
Phone: (603) 228-8671
Fax: (602) 225-7978
New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association
Boys and girls lacrosse are among 22 sanctioned sports and activities in the State of New Jersey.
P O Box 487
Robbinsville, NJ 08691-1104
Phone: (609) 259-2776
Fax: (609) 259-3047
New York State Public High School Athletic Association
Boys and girls lacrosse are among 36 sanctioned sports in the State of New York.
8 Airport Park Boulevard
Latham, NY 12110
Phone: (518) 690-0771
Fax: (518) 690-07751161 Route 130
PO Box 3216
222 Finley Golf Course Rd
Chapel Hill, NC 27515-3216
Phone: (919) 240-7401
Fax: (919) 240-7399
P O Box 2008
550 Gettysburg Road
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-0708
Phone: (717) 697-0374
Fax: (717) 697-7721
South Carolina High School League
Boys and girls lacrosse are among 17 sanctioned sports and activities in the State of South Carolina.
121 Westpark Blvd
P O Box 211575 (29221-6575)
Columbia, SC 29210-6575
Phone: (803) 798-0120
Fax: (803) 731-9679
Two Prospect St, Ste 3
Montpelier, VT 05602
Phone: (802) 229-0547
Fax: (802) 229-4801
1642 State Farm Blvd
Charlottesville, VA 22911-8609
Phone: (434) 977-8475
Fax: (434) 977-5943