“Grow the game” 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 actually 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 (h/t The Growth Blog).
2018 New College Lacrosse Programs
|Anderson University||Indiana||Men's and Women's||NCAA Division III|
|Arizona State University||Arizona||Women's||NCAA Division I|
|Averett University||Virginia||Men's and Women's||NCAA Division III|
|Central Christian College||Kansas||Men's||NAIA|
|Chatham University||Pennsylvania||Men's and Women's||NCAA Division III|
|College of Idaho||Idaho||Men's||NAIA|
|Earlham College||Indiana||Men's and Women's||NCAA Division III|
|East Carolina University||North Carolina||Women's||NCAA Division I|
|Embry-Riddle University||Florida||Men's and Women's||NCAA Division II|
|Felician University||New Jersey||Men's||NCAA Division II|
|Grove City College||Pennsylvania||Men's||NCAA Division III|
|Juniata College||Pennsylvania||Women's||NCAA Division III|
|Marian University||Wisconsin||Men's||NCAA Division III|
|Mars Hill University||North Carolina||Women's||NCAA Division II|
|Mercer County Community College||New Jersey||Men's||NJCAA|
|Newberry College||South Carolina||Men's||NCAA Division II|
|Palm Beach Atlantic University||Florida||Men's and Women's||NCAA Division II|
|Southern Wesleyan University||South Carolina||Women's||NCAA Division II|
|St. Ambrose University||Iowa||Women's||NAIA|
|University of Hartford||Connecticut||Women's||NCAA Division I|
|University of Montevallo||Alabama||Men's||NCAA Division II|
|William Peace University||North Carolina||Men's and Women's||NCAA Division III|
|Wilmington University||Delaware||Men's||NCAA Division II|
|Wofford College||South Carolina||Women's||NCAA Division I|
Here are some interesting stats I found:
- 18 of the 27 schools fielding programs are starting men’s teams, with 11 of those 16 solely starting men’s teams.
- 16 of the 27 schools fielding programs are starting women’s teams, with nine of those 16 solely starting women’s teams.
- Seven schools are fielding both men’s and women’s teams.
- Divisions II and III have eight new programs each in 2018. Six are from the NAIA, four in Division I (all women), and one in the NJCAA (JuCo level).
- In the next two years, four Division I schools will start lacrosse programs. Two are men’s teams (St. Bonaventure and Utah), and two are women’s teams (Akron and Kent State).
- This year in Division I, there will be 71 men’s teams (no change from last year) and 115 women’s teams (St. Mary’s reclassified to club level this year). Division II will have 72 men’s teams and 110 women’s teams. Division III will have 241 men’s teams and 288 women’s teams.
- In total, there are 384 total men’s NCAA teams and 513 total women’s NCAA teams.
Another year that brings a little over 25 new schools to college lacrosse, which is good. The smaller schools are growing rapidly, and there’s some that have desired to start programs, but have had to put their plans on hold (Quincy University in Division II).
As for men’s Division I, it’s the first year since 2008 that no teams were added. It’s the first time since 2012 that the number of teams has stayed the same (Michigan added the sport, Presbyterian dropped it). There’s two more teams coming soon, with St. Bonaventure and Utah being the lucky schools.
Having Utah adding the sport could possibly lead to bigger things for the sport if the team becomes successful. Fundraising will be a big part for starting new teams, especially with FBS schools. UConn could possibly be one of the next schools to follow suit.