More than 680,000 players participated in lacrosse on organized teams in 2011, according to the
2011 US Lacrosse Participation Survey
, released today. The figure resulted from an increase of roughly 60,000 players from 2010, the largest one-year increase in the total number of players since US Lacrosse began tracking national data in 2001.
More than half of the total players compete at the youth level (age 15 and below), but every segment of the game is showing continued growth patterns. Lacrosse has been one of the nation’s fastest-growing team sports for more than a decade, and that trend continued in 2011.
At the youth level, the US Lacrosse survey reveals more than 360,000 players on organized teams in 2011, an increase of 10.9 percent over the previous year. The number of high school players topped 275,000 in 2011, an increase of 7.8 percent. The number of collegiate players (varsity and club) grew 4.6 percent to more than 33,000. Major League Lacrosse, one of two professional lacrosse leagues, has added expansion franchises in Charlotte, N.C., and Columbus, Ohio, for the 2012 season, and thousands of players continue to participate on the field at the post-collegiate level.
Beyond the sheer participation numbers, lacrosse continues to grow in terms of exposure. Led by the ESPN family of networks, nearly 100 collegiate and professional lacrosse games will be broadcast nationally this year, with scores more streamed on the web. CBS Sports Network and NBC Sports also will air games in 2012.
The sport also is highlighted through print and Internet vehicles, led by Lacrosse Magazine, which is read each month by the more than 400,000 members of US Lacrosse.
The US Lacrosse Participation Survey is produced annually to monitor participation at different levels of the sport across the country. This survey counts only participation on organized teams and does not include leisure-time play of lacrosse.
The primary source of data for this report is provided by the 64 US Lacrosse regional chapters. Each chapter reports participation data at the youth, high school and post-collegiate levels. Significant data also is obtained from US Lacrosse membership records, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Federation of State High School Associations and www.laxpower.com.
About US Lacrosse
US Lacrosse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is the national governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse. US Lacrosse has 400,000 members in 64 regional chapters around the country. Through responsive and effective leadership, US Lacrosse strives to provide programs and services to inspire participation while protecting the integrity of the game.