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College Lacrosse Scholarships & Recruiting Information

Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

In this lesson, we explore the world of lacrosse and the possibilities of getting a scholarship playing the sport in college. We also discover a few recruiting tips to give you the best bet to receiving one.

Lacrosse

Lacrosse is an exciting sport with roots deep in our country. First played by the Native Americans who inhabited this country, lacrosse has blossomed in the past quarter-century into a popular high school, college, and even professional sport, especially in the Northeast.

For those high school athletes who excel at the sport, there is potential to use their abilities to help pay for their post-secondary education.

This lesson provides detailed information on lacrosse scholarships and some tips on the recruiting process.

Scholarships

Lacrosse is an exciting and growing sport. More than 600 schools field teams in the sport at any level. Unfortunately, not every school with a team offers scholarships to potential players. Indeed, the amount of scholarships offered varies greatly depending on the division in which teams participate.

College lacrosse
College Lacrosse

Because of this, it is important to know in which division the schools you are contemplating are playing. Here's the breakdown for the number of scholarships each school in each division can offer:

  • NCAA Division I: 12.6 for men; 12 for women.
  • NCAA Division II: 10.8 for men; 9.9 for women.
  • NCAA Division III: 0 scholarships offered.
  • NAIA: 0 scholarships offered.
  • NJCAA: 20 for men; 20 for women.

Now, you might reasonably ask, how can someone receive 0.6 scholarships? That is because lacrosse is an equivalency sport, meaning lacrosse coaches can divide scholarships any way they please. With the average lacrosse team varying greatly depending on division, ranging from 44 players for NCAA Division I men's teams down to 17 players for NJCAA women's teams, it is likely you will only receive a partial scholarship. If this is you, this means you will need to find extra means to pay for the rest of your education.

Looking at the numbers above, you may think the NJCAA is a great idea. Unfortunately, junior colleges are meant for a very specific type of student. They often prepare students who have had difficulty in high school who may not have the grades for a four-year college or university. Most are only two-year programs. So even if it may be easier to gain a scholarship, it is not an option if you want a four-year degree.

Coaches and Clubs

Considering the amount of lacrosse scholarships available and the number of places on teams that offer scholarships, lacrosse scholarships can be highly competitive. At the same time, lacrosse coaches do not have the time or money to follow every player.

This means many lacrosse players who want to gain an athletic scholarship need to make first contact with potential coaches. This can be achieved by simply cold-calling the athletic department although a better route may be going through your high school or club team coaches. They will likely have contacts at the collegiate level, and a recommendation from them will have a better chance at getting you on a coach's radar.

Once coaches know who you are, they will begin tracking your club and high school games. The best way to ensure you have the best chance at an athletic scholarship is getting as many coaches as possible to recognize you and track your play.

Moreover, if you play lacrosse avidly, you likely know that club teams are an important part of the lacrosse scene. Many college coaches recruit from tournaments where these teams play as many coaches know the best players are at these tournaments.

The drawback to these leagues is you often have to pay to play. Additionally, the best teams play in tournaments across the country, and travel expenses quickly rise. Talk to your parents and your family before making commitments to these teams.

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