Lacrosse a high school sport starting in 2010
During its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday in Bloomington, the Board of Directors of the Illinois High School Association approved a measure to make lacrosse a fully sanctioned sport for the 2010-11 school year.
Both boys and girls lacrosse with have regular season, postseason and state finals contested during the spring semester. Currently, 17 other states have lacrosse as a sanctioned high school sport.
The addition of lacrosse will bring the total number of boys and girls sports contesting state championships to 15 apiece, while the overall number of IHSA sports and activities will grow to 43.
"The addition of boys and girls lacrosse helps support the Board's mission to provide quality interscholastic opportunities for students,” said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman.
The Board did create a contingency that 65 boys lacrosse teams and 40 girls lacrosse teams must be registered to participate in the state series by the February 1, 2011 spring sport deadline in order for either sport to crown a state champion in 2010-11. According to the IHSA emerging sports list, there are currently 65 schools fielding boys lacrosse teams in the state and 40 fielding girls lacrosse teams.
Even if the contingency prevents the inaugural state series from occurring during the 2010-11 school term, Tuesday' decision was a step in the right direction for the sport of lacrosse in Illinois.
“The Board felt it was important to put contingencies in place, even if it has the possibility of delaying the start of a state series until beyond 2010-11," Hickman said. "Regardless, we feel like the IHSA’s endorsement of the sport will help bring more legitimacy to club and intramural programs around the state."