High school lacrosse: UHSAA, lacrosse proponents debate sanctioning the sport in Utah
“Ultimately,” Elder said, “sanctioning will be a good thing.”
Cuff, too, is open the conversation.
“We’re not opposed to listening,” he said. “We don’t hear from four or five separate groups that are thinking four or five different ways, which is why our board has wanted to be approached by established associations that have been running the sport.”
To make that happen, however, the ULA is looking for approximately half of the 132 member schools that offer sports to sponsor club lacrosse teams. That goal, which was mentioned by the UHSAA board after the first proposal, is in line with the UHSAA 50-percent rule. That rule states that a classification needs half its schools to participate in a sport before offering a state tournament for that class.
Elder said the ULA is working to involve between 50 and 60 schools, which is a minimum of 11 more boys programs and 20 more girls programs.
“We think that number would raise the eyebrows of the decision-makers,” he said. “If we pushed to get smaller schools involved, we could get there in the next couple of years.”
He added that while the number of girls programs is on the rise, it has not grown as quickly as boys lacrosse.
“The big question is, if the boys get there (to 50 teams) and the girls aren’t quite at 50 percent, will the (UHSAA) board still see enough involvement to vote lacrosse in?”
Sarah Thomas earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MBA at Westminster College. She has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008.