Men’s Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports at the college level. In fact, it’s growing so fast that it makes the usual lag in statistics a potential problem. So many teams are being added each year that even a one year lag could present a very different picture of college lacrosse. A state could come close to doubling the number of college Lacrosse teams in just a couple of years.
And unfortunately, my data is at least two years old so we’re definitely talking about a “historic” situation. I suppose you could make the argument of why even bother looking at the number of teams since the data is dated.
However, I think there’s still something to learn from the data with a few assumptions. New programs in states with the largest number of existing men’s Lacrosse programs might be expected to be more competitive because of the existing teams. Teams created in states where there are few to none will probably attract a lower talent level since they’ll be facing an unknown situation in terms of competition.
And while the number of teams in a specific state may dramatically increase over a year, it’s not the case for all states.
Something else to keep in mind is why Lacrosse is expanding so rapidly. Take a look at the colleges adding teams. Among NCAA institutions, more D3 schools are adding teams than the other two divisions combined. Visit US Lacrosse for a list of new Lacrosse programs. Players shouldn’t be expecting scholarships–D3 colleges are looking for paying students.
So back to my “old” men’s Lacrosse data from 2011. New York has almost double the number of college? programs compared to the next closest state, Pennsylvania. New York’s numbers include 17 junior college programs as well as 13 D1 program.
A total of 18 states didn’t have any Lacrosse programs sanctioned by the NCAA, NAIA, or NJCAA in 2011. According to the NCAA only one state, Louisiana, has added a team by 2013. And none of this accounts for colleges that participate in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association which includes a majority of the states without an NCAA or NAIA program.
The data in the following table are from the Office of Postsecondary Education.
Men’s College Lacrosse Teams by State
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