Lacrosse is a growing sport within colleges around the country. It has made major leaps within that last few years, including at Brigham Young-University Idaho.
According to BYU-Idaho’s IMLeagues webpage, the school has four competitive men’s lacrosse teams and four competitive women’s teams.
Joshua Miller, who has been playing lacrosse for eight years and is a freshman studying communication, said lacrosse has grown very much.
“It used to be exclusive to the east coast, but it has caught fire out here in the west,” Miller said.
Numbers of students participating have grown in the US from 253,901 to 772,772 since 2001, according to the 2015 participation report from The National Governing Body of Lacrosse.
Miller said lacrosse games are entertaining and encourage many students to come out and support.
“Come to the games,” Miller said. “They are never boring because it is the fastest game on two feet.”
Perceived as a male-dominated sport, it has seen a growth within the female sports community, according to The National Governing Body of Lacrosse.
The rate of women’s lacrosse has grown 38.9 percent since 2014, figuring to be highest the NCAA has seen, according The National Governing Body of Lacrosse.
Brooke Lee, a player of nine years and a senior studying therapeutic recreation, said she thinks BYU-I has made improvements within the school’s lacrosse program.
“We get a handful of experienced new players each spring to come out and play, but what is different and also great is that people that have played bring their friends that want to learn or try lacrosse for the first time,” Lee said. “Some newbies come on their own as well, but that is what is great about the league.”
Lee said her favorite part of lacrosse is that it involves speed, agility, hand-eye coordination and teamwork.
“There are few feelings greater than scoring a goal or mastering a dodge you’ve been working on,” Lee said.
Lee said that even though there are students who have enjoyed the sport prior to attending BYU-I, it is still tough to get bodies out on the field because it is only available in competitive leagues.
“That turns away some experienced players that crave competition they may have been used to, but the program at BYU-I allows those that are brand new to play with seasoned veterans,” Lee said.
He said the best part about intramural sports here is it gives others a chance to learn something new.
“That is sports at BYU-I,” Lee said. “It is not going to be the highest level of competition, but it is going to give players a chance to learn and grow in the sport.”
Miller said his one piece of advice for those new to the sport is to get involved with the game and understand its history.
“Learn to feel the spirit of lacrosse,” Miller said. “This game is one of the oldest sports that is still around. The Native Americans played lacrosse so there is a very cool tradition and spirit about it. If you learn to feel the spirit of lacrosse you will play with sportsmanship, you will keep going when things get hard, and you will have fun and love the game.”