BALTIMORE – National lacrosse participation increased 8.4 percent in 2009, according to research by US Lacrosse for its annual participation report. There were 568,021 lacrosse players that were members of organized teams across the country in 2009, from the youth level all the way on up through the professional ranks.
Youth participation (under age 15) saw a 12.1 percent increase with more than 30,000 players picking up the sport in 2009. High school participation increased four-percent in 2009 with 227,624 players nationwide. College play also increased at a sizable rate of six-percent, with 557 men’s and women’s NCAA teams competing in 2009.
"We are grateful to see that participation in the sport has been increasing at such a substantial rate and that lacrosse continues to be one of the fastest growing team sports in America," said Steve Stenersen, president and CEO of US Lacrosse. "Since our organization’s inception 12 years ago, US Lacrosse has invested millions of dollars in human and programmatic resources to support the sport’s continued national expansion, and we’re pleased to see these positive results. A key to this growth has been the tireless efforts of volunteers, coaches, officials and parents that enable more young athletes all around the country to participate in this great game."
"Since 2001, the number of people playing lacrosse has increased by over 120 percent," said Joshua Christian, managing director of sport development at US Lacrosse. "At that rate, participation in the sport will double again within the next ten years. With this anticipated trajectory, the infrastructure to support over a million lacrosse players nationwide will also need to continue to grow and evolve. US Lacrosse continues to responsibly foster the growth of the sport with coaches’ and officials’ education and recruitment platforms, grassroots development initiatives, equipment and safety grant programs, educational and training resources and so much more."
The US Lacrosse Participation Survey is produced annually by US Lacrosse. The survey is used to monitor participation at different levels of the sport across the country. The primary sources of data for this report are surveys that are sent to the 62 US Lacrosse regional chapters that were active in 2009. Data is also provided by the US Lacrosse database, National Collegiate Athletic Association, National Federation of State High School Associations, Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association and www.laxpower.com. The survey counts only participation on organized teams and does not include leisure time play of lacrosse.