no wonder we hired Hunter Lochmann
Athletic Business Mag article on lacrosse growth and UM
I haven't taken a look but the article mentioned Michigan only winning once this past year after being good at the club level, it just a huge jump in competition level or did we lose a significant amount of talent off the teams that were so good before
Imagine being a high end hockey recruit with the opportunity to play at, say, Wisconsin, Minnesota or Ohio in NCAA D1, or play on the club team at Michigan. Ten times out of ten, the player will go play in D1 because that's where the best competition, exposure and scholarship money is at.
It's important to remember that none of these guys had D1 offers (well, maybe Yealey) so were basically at or below walk on level. This isn't even EMU playing Michigan as a MACrifice, these are walk ons playing the top teams.
Or is Lax the new soccer? They are pushing it but only rich kids actually play? Soccer with expensive hockey gear so that they can keep out the riff raff. I can say for a long time I couldn't have cared less about soccer but now I find myself watching I am not sure if I was wrong before or if it is like my wife nagging on me and I have just given in. I wish that Rugby would be the elitist sport that would catch on all you need is a ball, a field and some ruffians.
I'm in the same boat, wishing rugby would catch on. Not necessarily as an elitist sport, but as a sport anyone can play. Because as you said, all you need is a ball, pitch, boots, and some ruffians. Rugby is starting to pick up in this area (Reno, NV) but no where near as fast as lax is gaining popularity.
but theres a huge difference between hockey and lacrosse that is why lacrosse is going to take-off and probably leave college hockey behind (if it hasn't already). Facilities. They're dirt cheap. Sure pads might be comparable, but they don't go through sticks like they do in hockey and as long as you have a field, you can play lacrosse.
Plus, lacrosse gear can't possibly be more expensive than football gear. It may be a white kid sport at this point, but it's cheap, fun to watch, and it's going to continue to grow. It's going to be the clear-cut #3 college sport in 20-30 years in my opinion
Lacrosse equipment other than the helmet and stick is a fraction of the cost of hockey equipment. You can spend about $250-$350 to get your kid equiped. There are also no ice fees as all lax fields are just soccer or football fields. I agree that it will be #3 in the NCAA in a decade or two.
You can get your kid equipped for hockey in that price range. Just because most people don't doesn't mean you can't. The big differentiating factor is facilities, as you correctly identify. Not just costs, but also availability.
Lacrosse is really not all that more expensive than soccer. Yeah, you need a helmet and some pads, but not tons of pads like football or hockey, and you don't need ice time like you do in hockey - that's what makes that one so expensive.
Lacrosse is only a rich kid sport for now, because it's new. But not only rich kids on the east coast play lacrosse. In areas like Michigan where it's still growing it goes to the upper-middle class and private schools first because those are the schools who can afford to add sports, regardless of what the sport is. But as the sport grows, you'll see most schools will have it, and it will be the spring sport that basketball and football/soccer players play in the spring.
I know a few years ago it ran about $350 a session in suburban Illinois (someplace that actually has somewhat competitive markets, unlike a lot of the country). Three or four times per week is fairly average at high school or midget levels, times 6-7 months, divided by about twenty players. Our non-elite high school club had a six figure budget for two teams, and the coaches probably didn't clear ten thousand all together (JeepinBen played at a school with a bigger hockey presence and their budget might have gotten to $250k).
Long story short, that hundred thousand dollar budget for hockey could have easily been twenty thousand for lacrosse. At the individual level that's a $500 fee compared to a $2500 fee.
I played 4 years of club lax and it cost around 300 or 400 a season. On the other side of things, my hockey career ended after 8th grade because it was around 2500 per season just to be on the team.
We did really bad because we were a team without scholarships playing teams full of scholarship players.
the record might not have been great, and things will definitely improve once they have a chance to recruit D1 caliber athletes, but I think a whole bunch of those losses were actually realtively close. I saw the Rutgers game live, and our guys were right in it til the end. The game was tied for long stretches - michigan seemed to hold its own pretty well despite some apparent weaknesses which will be addressed in the next few recruiting cycles. A little more luck/skill here and there and Team 1 might have picked up another 3-4 wins on the season.
What I am saying is I don't think there is room for LAX and rugby. I just wish that Rugby 7 was on TV every night. I watched the whole national tournement this week and loved it. I have never made it past the beginning of a LAX game. I am to old to play any sport so can only judge by how much I would like to drink beer while I watch it. I know if we had known the rules for rugby when I was a kid we would have played that instead of smear the somewhat feminine youngster with the football (don't want to offend anyone).
Lacrosse is very different from region to region. Baltimore is one of the hotbeds (northern suburbs not the city) and it definitely started there as a blue blood sport. The other two traditional hotbeds were always Long Island and Upstate NY. On LI it's always been a mix of private schools and very blue collar public school communities. Jim Brown went to Manhasset HS, a public school, and excelled at lacrosse which he always called his favorite sport. The sports roots are Native American, and it's still an integral part of a lot of Indian culture, especially in Upstate NY. Lacrosse is also Canada's national sport. Obviously it's not as big as hockey there, but it's a very important part of Canadian sports culture, especially in Ontario and British Columbia. Wayne Gretzky was a great lacrosse player, as were many other Canadian NHL stars.
As the sport has exploded in the past decade across the rest of the country, it's definitely in far, far more public schools than private. It's not in the inner cities yet (cost and field space) and its just starting to spread to more rural communities. That will take time. It still has a reputation as an elitist prep school sport. For those of us who played, that's unfortunate and really not true anymore. Theres still some of that, but it's not anywhere near the norm.
I started playing as a kid in NJ when I gave it a try and quickly was hooked. I switched from baseball, which is happening a lot nowadays all over the country. I was drawn to the constant action, the fun and creative aspect of using a stick and definitely the physicality. I still love baseball by the way, but I totally relate to why kids are so easily hooked when they try lacrosse.
I get why some people who try watching don't like it at first. It's new to them They don't understand all the nuances since they didn't grow up with it. They may be turned off by its reputation as a snob sport. That's ok. It's growing fast for a reason. It really is a great sport to both play and watch, and as it continues its growth it has a very real chance in 10-20 yrs of becoming a major college sport. Especially if the pro leagues ever become profitable.
I get why some people who try watching don't like it at first. It's new to them They don't understand all the nuances since they didn't grow up with it.
Probably the #1 barrier to "getting" lacrosse is the idea of backing up a shot. People are conditioned to believe that if you send the ball flying out of bounds, you lose the ball. Once they figure that out, they start to get into it.
Any idea what the origin of that rule is? It seems to be different than any other team sport, other than maybe hockey.
Also hope that college lacrosse gets a boost from expansion in BCS conferences. In the Big Ten, Northwestern would seem like a logical candidate to add men's varsity lacrosse, considering the success of their women's program.
Michigan Men's Lax Team One was at a tremendous disadvantage, despite its success at the club level. Success for U-M's men's program might not come for several years, but the Michigan brand should begin to attract better players.
If the problem with adding men's varsity lacrosse at schools with club lacrosse programs has been the impact of both Title IX and available facilities, then athletic departments considering adding men's lacrosse might have to be creative in adding women's programs.
Boston University, a school without football, but that often competes at the highest level of Division One men's ice hockey and has some good women's programs in non-revenue sports, is adding men's varsity lacrosse in 2013-14, while also adding women's lightweight rowing. BU already has a fairly good women's lacrosse program and its own boathouse on the Charles River, so facilities were not an issue.
As for learning the rules, there are numerous clips on YouTube where rules and strategy, as well as tips on improving LAX skills, are explained.
I'm a diehard baseball guy. Love the sport, worried it's dying with younger kids, etc.
Last night I was tossing a tennis ball against a wall with a lacrosse stick. The sport is fun. A lot of fun. And as much as I loved playing baseball, right now I'd rather take a crack at playing lacrosse than baseball. I agree that it is going to explode on the national landscape.