Newcomers looking to get a piece of the lacrosse action routinely ask whether or not lacrosse is a spring sport. I am assuming you searched this question to see if lacrosse fits into your schedule. I know for a fact that I asked myself this question once or twice prior to picking up my first lacrosse stick. Potential athletes need to know this information in case of any potential conflicts with other extracurricular activities.
Lacrosse is primarily considered a spring sport at the youth, high school, and collegiate level. However, this does not mean lacrosse is unavailable during the summer, fall, and winter. Club organizations, box lacrosse, and house leagues are all viable options for athletes that are unable to fit lacrosse into their spring schedule.
The intricacies and caveats behind this idea are discussed further below. Keep reading to find out which type of lacrosse outlet suits you and your schedule the best this upcoming year.
Standard Time Table for the Lacrosse Season
The exact starting date of the spring lacrosse season varies from location to location. This starting date is heavily contingent on the cooperation of the weather.
For example, during my sophomore year high school lacrosse tryouts, I remember the weather being particularly harsh. The hefty snowfall and sharp winds actually pushed back tryouts a week. Needless to say, weather is a substantial factor in determining the start of the lacrosse season.
The official opening of the lacrosse season is also dependent on the resources available to the lacrosse program.
For instance, D1 collegiate lacrosse programs will have far more resources available to them than an up and coming high school lacrosse program. Weather may not be of any influence to these upscale collegiate programs if indoor practice facilities are available. Most high school lacrosse programs do not have access to such luxuries and are at the mercy of the weather as a result.
Examples of what a standard lacrosse season time table looks like at the youth, high school, and collegiate levels are provided below:
|Youth Travel Lacrosse Season||Start: March 30th||End: May 24|
|High School Lacrosse Season||Start: March 17||Playoffs Start: May 7|
|Collegiate Lacrosse Season||Start: February 1||Playoffs Start: April 25|
Not all lacrosse programs adhere to the dates listed above. This is just a hypothetical example that can give you a loose idea of how long the lacrosse season lasts at each level.
Notice that youth travel lacrosse spring programs typically have a definitive end date. This is because most youth travel lacrosse programs participate exclusively in tournaments where multiple games are played within the span of one or two days. Youth travel lacrosse programs typically do not engage in any sort of prolonged playoff system.
In contrast, the end date of the spring lacrosse season at the high school and collegiate level is contingent on how far the team ventures into the playoffs. The farther the team goes, the longer their season remains alive. Thus, there is no definitive end date for high school and collegiate lacrosse programs.
Youth Lacrosse Season
At the youth level, lacrosse is mainly considered a spring sport. The rigor of this spring lacrosse season depends entirely on what type of lacrosse program they participate in.
There are a variety of lacrosse outlets to choose from at the youth level. Children are able to choose which sort of lacrosse competition suits their individualized wants and needs.
Camps and Clinics
Youth that are just beginning to grasp the game of lacrosse are more suited toward camps and clinics that teach the fundamentals of the game. These camps and clinics do not exactly fit the technical definition of a lacrosse season. These camps and clinics are more sporadic in nature, usually only spanning a couple of days to help ease these young lacrosse players into the game.
Intermediate youth lacrosse players can step their game up and participate in house leagues. These house leagues are more suited to the definition of a lacrosse season relative to the beginner camps and clinics. House lacrosse leagues typically have a formally scheduled game once per week. The length of the season varies, but typically lasts several weeks.
Travel Lacrosse Organizations
Travel lacrosse programs are the highest form of competition for youth lacrosse players. Children that join travel lacrosse programs are pretty serious about the game of lacrosse. These youth players must venture far from home to participate in competitive lacrosse tournaments. Not to mention the practice schedule is much more rigorous as well.
Regardless of what lacrosse program you choose, they predominantly take place in the spring.
High School Lacrosse Season
All high school lacrosse programs play during the spring season. Many high school lacrosse programs have nearly identical start and end dates to their season. This is done deliberately so that local high school lacrosse teams have the opportunity to play each other.
The rigor of the high school lacrosse season is definitely a step up from the youth level. Rather than only meeting a couple of times per week, it is standard for high school lacrosse programs to meet six times per week for practices and games. This considerable difference in time commitment is something to consider prior to going out for the high school lacrosse team.
College Lacrosse Season
All collegiate lacrosse seasons officially occur during the spring season. This is purposefully scheduled so the most elite collegiate lacrosse programs are able to face off against one another.
This is the most competitive form of lacrosse out there. For this reason, the intensity and duration of the collegiate lacrosse is at a maximum. The season starts so early, in fact, it can be argued that the season starts at the tail end of winter and eases into the spring.
How to Play Lacrosse During the Offseason
Although the official lacrosse season is during the spring, this is not to say there are no opportunities for athletes to play during the offseason. There are a variety of possibilities that athletes can explore during the offseason to keep the competition level high.
Some high schools and colleges offer intramural lacrosse at their school. Intramural lacrosse is essentially just pickup lacrosse that is played with other students. Although this lacrosse gameplay lies on the more informal side of things, this is still a convenient means to get together with your teammates to put in some work in the offseason.
Box lacrosse is another feasible option to participate in some formal lacrosse outside of spring.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term box lacrosse, it essentially is just referring to a different type of lacrosse that is played indoors. The rules vary slightly from field lacrosse given the more confined nature of the playing area.
Since box lacrosse is able to be played indoors, it is a fantastic way to improve your game during the wintertime. This is especially beneficial if you are serious about improving your game since most lacrosse players are getting worse during the wintertime rather than better.
I mentioned house leagues earlier under the youth section of this article. House lacrosse leagues are typically not exclusive to the spring season. There are many recreation centers that offer lacrosse during the summer and the fall as well. In fact, the lacrosse community commonly references these recreational games during the fall season as fall ball. This is another possible alternative to consider when searching for offseason lacrosse outlets.
The most competitive option for lacrosse offseason play is joining a club organization. Club organizations are the cream of the crop when it comes to lacrosse gameplay outside of spring. Travel club teams meet frequently, especially during the summer, in order to cater to those that are serious about improving their game.
Other Potentially Conflicting Spring Sports
There are a number of other popular sports that are typically played during the spring season as well. Here is a list comprised of other sports that are commonly played during the spring season:
- Swimming and Diving
- Track and Field
If you play any of these sports listed above, it is likely that your sport season overlaps with the lacrosse season. Check the exact timetable of your specific youth or high school lacrosse program to know for certain.