The game is growing is one of the most used lacrosse phrases around the lacrosse community over the past few years. But it’s used a lot because, well, the game is growing.
This year, institutions from Division I all the way down to the NAIA levels are getting set to begin a new era with the addition of at least one lacrosse team to their list of sports teams. Let’s see who’ll we’ll be welcoming this year.
2017 New College Lacrosse Programs
|Barton College||North Carolina||Women's||NCAA Division II|
|Butler University||Indiana||Women's||NCAA Division I|
|Chowan University||North Carolina||Men's||NCAA Division II|
|Cleveland State University||Ohio||Men's||NCAA Division I|
|Concordia University||Minnesota||Women's||NCAA Division II|
|Concordia University Ann Arbor||Michigan||Men's & Women's||NAIA|
|DeSales University||Pennsylvania||Women's||NCAA Division III|
|Felician University||New Jersey||Men's||NCAA Division II|
|Heidelberg University||Ohio||Men's & Women's||NCAA Division III|
|Keiser University||Florida||Men's & Women's||NAIA|
|Lee University||Tennessee||Women's||NCAA Division II|
|Lyndon State College||Vermont||Women's||NCAA Division III|
|Madonna University||Michigan||Men's & Women's||NAIA|
|Maryville University||Missouri||Men's||NCAA Division II|
|Monmouth College||Illinois||Men's & Women's||NCAA Division II|
|Newbury College||Massachusetts||Women's||NCAA Division III|
|North Central College||Illinois||Men's||NCAA Division III|
|North Central University||Minnesota||Men's||NCAA Division III|
|Northland College||Wisconsin||Men's & Women's||NCAA Division III|
|NYIT||New York||Women's||NCAA Division II|
|Ohio Valley University||West Virginia||Women's||NCAA Division II|
|St. Joseph's College||New York||Men's||NCAA Division III|
|Union College||Kentucky||Men's & Women's||NAIA|
|University of Colorado Colorado Springs||Colorado||Women's||NCAA Division II|
|University of Northwestern||Minnesota||Men's||NCAA Division III|
|Westminster College||Missouri||Men's & Women's||NCAA Division III|
Here are some interesting stats I found:
- 16 out of the 27 schools starting programs are starting men’s teams, with eight of those 16 solely starting men’s teams.
- 19 of the 27 schools starting programs are starting women’s teams, with 11 of those 19 solely starting women’s teams.
- Divisions II and III each have 10 schools starting lacrosse programs in 2017, followed by five from the NAIA and two in Division I.
- In the next two years, five Division I schools will start women’s programs, four of them will begin in 2018. No new men’s programs in the near future as of yet.
- This year in Division I, there will be 71 men’s teams and 112 women’s teams. Division II will have 66 men’s teams and 105 women’s teams. Division III will have 236 men’s teams and 283 women’s teams.
- In total, there are 373 total men’s NCAA teams and 500 total women’s NCAA teams.
The women’s game seems to be fine in terms of numbers, and so is the men’s game in Divisions II and III.
And then we get to the men’s Division I level. 71 teams isn’t bad, don’t get me wrong. But comparing everywhere else, it could be better. The women’s game in Division I is more spread across the country, whereas the men’s game is mainly east of the Mississippi River and Colorado. Pray for Utah soon.
With the parity that has ensued for the past few seasons, especially last season, blue bloods like Syracuse, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, and Virginia are finding out it’s even more difficult to win a National Championship than it was a couple of decades ago. My hope is more parity means more teams popping up, which will mean more conferences and AQs, which will mean more NCAA Tournament teams and games, which will mean a more exciting product on the field and potentially on television or on streams.