The Leopard

Lacrosse Culture in Utah

https://www.cplax.org/page/show/888744-us-lacrosse

Evan Madsen, Sports Writer

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According to an annual report conducted by US Lacrosse, lacrosse has continued upward in participation with club organization participants climbing past 825,000. Overall, participation grew 3 percent in 2016 and a staggering 218.1 percent this last decade.
Lacrosse is a major cultural factor to most states on the east coast. In Utah and other west coast states that are slowly adopting lacrosse as a sport, lacrosse doesn’t get the same respect as other popular sports such as football and basketball.
Lacrosse is relatively a new sport to Utah and the west coast. That being said, during these past couple of years, Utah is on the path of being one of the first major outlets for lacrosse in the midwest. The University of Utah will be the third division one lacrosse program established on this side of the Mississippi. For high school, going into the 2019-2020 season lacrosse is going to be the 11th sport sanctioned by the UHSAA (Utah High School Activities Association) for both boys and girls teams.
Men’s lacrosse is University of Utah’s first completely new National College Athletic Association (NCAA) sport since women’s soccer was added back to the athletic department in 1995. With the new addition of men’s lacrosse, Utah will now support 20 different NCAA sports.
A lot of thought and consideration went into deciding if the University of Utah should add lacrosse as another NCAA sport to the mix. Contrary to a decade ago, adding sports at a college level almost always requires an endowment. University of Utah received a 15.6 million endowment gifted from an anonymous lead donor and other benefactors he enlisted. No state or university funds will be used to support the program.
This upcoming 2017-2018 season, most schools participating in the high school club league are now adding women’s teams to prepare them for the 2019-2020 season when all high schools wanting to participate will be sanctioned. Schools like East High, Highland High, and Olympus High are all putting more interest into developing their girl’s programs.
Currently in Utah there are 3,000 to 4,000 students who are involved in high school lacrosse programs. For almost a decade, advocates of the sport have been trying to get lacrosse sanctioned. They say this will not only benefit teens playing the sport now, but also introduce the sport to students that currently have no other means for athletics except through the high school.
Lacrosse has been a tradition throughout North America for hundreds of years. This past decade has been huge for lacrosse, especially in western states. Utah is looking like the next great outlet for the sport, ranging from youth boys and girls teams all the way up to the NCAA.

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Evan Madsen, Sports Writer

Evan Sondergaard Madsen is an eleventh grader at East High School. He plays lacrosse on the varsity lacrosse team. In his spare time he enjoys Table Tennis,...

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Lacrosse Culture in Utah