BALTIMORE — A record total of 746,859 players competed on organized lacrosse teams in 2013, as reported in the annual US Lacrosse Participation Report released today. The growth rate from last year (722,205) was 3.4 percent and youth participation topped 400,000 for the first time ever.
The 403,770 youth participants represent over half of the total playing population and youth participation grew 3.6 percent over 2012. Roughly two-thirds of the youth participants are boys (265,428) and more players came from New York (55,298) than any other state.
Lacrosse continues to be the fastest-growing sport at the high school level, and a total of 290,046 players competed in 2013. According to data from the NFHS, from 2008 to 2013, a total of 621 schools added boys’ teams and 588 schools added girls’ teams. Those figures represent a 34 percent increase in the number of boys’ programs and a 36 percent increase in the number of girls’ programs, easily outdistancing other sports in terms of percentage growth. The second-fastest growing sports are water polo (13 percent for boys) and ice hockey (14 percent for girls).
Lacrosse is also the fastest-growing NCAA sport, and more than 35,000 players competed on varsity, club or junior college teams in 2013. A staggering 60 new varsity programs were added in 2013, including eight new NCAA Division I programs.
US Lacrosse has produced the Participation Report annually since 2001, and over that time span the number of players has grown 194 percent, from 253,901 to 746,859. This survey counts only play on organized teams, and does not count leisure-time play of the sport.
The primary source of data for this report is provided by the 67 US Lacrosse regional chapters. Each chapter reports detailed participation at the youth level, and significant data is also obtained from US Lacrosse membership records, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Federation of State High School Associations and LaxPower.com.