For beginner players looking to try out lacrosse, an important question to think about is whether lacrosse can fit into your schedule. For athletes who are already playing football or soccer, you want to make sure different sports can be spread across the year without conflicts.
From the youth to the collegiate level, lacrosse is considered a spring sport. In major tournaments like the NCAA D1 lacrosse, both women’s and men’s lacrosse take place from early March to the end of May. That said, there are local tournaments, summer camps and box lacrosse available during other times of the year.
Continue reading to find out why lacrosse is a spring sport and how you could prepare yourself the best way possible for the upcoming spring season.
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Why is lacrosse played in spring?
The boring answer as to why lacrosse is a spring sport is because it has always been a spring sport. Over the years of experimenting with different schedules and timelines, spring appears to be the best time to play lacrosse. Considering many athletes play other popular sports like football and soccer during the fall, lacrosse found its own spotlight in the spring.
Another aspect has to do with the weather. Taking into account the average temperature and precipitation and grass/turf condition, the spring season poses some challenges but it also creates more excitement as the result of the uncertain weather conditions.
Overall, spring is prime time for most lacrosse programs in the US and Canada.
Time table for the spring lacrosse season
Depending on each local area, the starting date of the spring season varies. By far, the weather condition plays the biggest role in determining the start of a season.
Places that suffer brutal snowfall and gushing winds in early March tend to delay tryouts for another week or two, so the latest start of a spring season could be either the end of March or early April.
That said, out of all the levels of competition, collegiate lacrosse has the most predictable season schedule, because each tournament dictates how much resources and capital go to support the success of the programs. Tournaments like NCAA D1 are well-funded which means even with bad weather conditions or unexpected events like COVID-19, they have more means to ensure a smooth operation.
See below for typical timelines for youth, high school and collegiate levels:
|Youth Lacrosse Season
|Start: Mid-Late March
|End: Late May
|High School Lacrosse Season
|Start: Mid March
|Playoffs: Early May
|College Lacrosse Season
|Start: Early February
|Playoffs: Late April
In addition to regular-season matches, high school and collegiate lacrosse run longer due to playoffs. Hence, depending on how far the team goes, there’s no definitive end date for the spring season.
Benefits of playing lacrosse in spring
If you are playing another sport in the fall, lacrosse is a perfect off-season sport that you should consider. A regular lacrosse season not only maintains your body at a competitive level but also strengthens your soft skills.
In this section let’s walk through the upsides of playing lacrosse along with other sports. In fact, many great soccer and football college players also found playing lacrosse very beneficial to their sporting careers.
- Lacrosse improves your agility, endurance and coordination. Lacrosse is very challenging that requires a mix of physical capabilities. Most importantly, a lot of the skills are transferable. For example, dodging is a common movement in both lacrosse and football. Endurance is a critical skill in soccer as well. Not to mention, lacrosse allows you to work on your hands and feet.
- What’s the one thing all the sports share in common? All the sports are team-based. Playing lacrosse hones your communication skill. Lacrosse is a fast game, so players must constantly communicate with each other to create space for shooting and passing opportunities. Over time, players learn how to effectively communicate and create rapport with teammates.
- Great for long term athleticism. Lacrosse is one of the best sports as a full-body workout and exercise. And it’s also fun and exciting to play which allows players to reap the benefit of the sport both physically and mentally. Additionally, because lacrosse requires great eye-hand coordination, you also develop great flexibility and agility with your hands.
- You can start playing lacrosse at any age. Yeah seriously even if you are already in college. It’s never too late to pick up a stick and start throwing. This is why I love lacrosse. It has a low barrier to entry and the rewards are disproportional. If you are a college athlete and want to maintain a good physique during off-season, consider lacrosse. Buy a stick, a pair of gloves and give it a try.
How should you prepare for the spring season?
Now we know lacrosse is a spring sport and why playing lacrosse can benefit your sporting career in the long term. Which then begs the question, how do you prepare yourself for the tryout? After all, a solid preparation during pre-season determines how well you play during the season.
Head to my training page where I wrote many training tutorials and guides on the most fundamental stick skills you need to master. First thing that every beginner needs to focus on is wall ball. Find a wall or put a rebounder in your backyard and start throwing the ball against it.
In terms of timeline, if you never played lacrosse before, the first priority is to get comfortable with a stick. It could take 3-4 weeks to get a hang of it, so definitely start early rather than later. In the meantime, don’t forget about conditioning. 3 miles a day with a mix of jogging and sprinting is good enough.