What’s the Deal with Girls Lacrosse at Latin?

Stephanie Racker There have been a lot of questions and misconceptions regarding Girls Lacrosse (or lack thereof) here at Latin. Why has a team not been started? Why is there a boys team but still no girls team? Is it up to Latin to create a team or is it the responsibility of students interested in the sport? For starters, Boys Lacrosse is not, in fact, a team—it is a club. Come next year, Boys Lacrosse will officially be recognized as a team sport, but up until that point, Boys Lacrosse is still simply a club sport. Similar to what sailing, figure skating, and ultimate frisbee are going through, a club sport must wait roughly three years until it is officially recognized as a “team” by Latin. Until then, the school offers minimal funding for the club sport, which means students (specifically their parents) must get involved in contributing funds to help run the club. According to the Assistant Athletic Director Ms. Presberg, one of the key reasons the Boys Lacrosse club was able to get started was due to the ample support from the parents of the club’s members. Whether it was organizing games or acquiring the necessary permits to play, amongst other things, the Boys Lacrosse club’s parents were active in making sure their kids were able to run the club successfully. At the outset, the process of officially becoming a club is not that complicated. Students can create a club with a level of parental involvement, the approval of the Upper School Athletics department, a willing faculty sponsor, and approval from the Upper School principal. However, it becomes tricky when looking more closely at what is involved. One of the biggest issues when trying to create a club is the number of participants. There needs to be a decent number of participants and the number of participants also needs to stay relatively consistent if the club ever wants to reach “team” level. Often times, those who sign up saying they are interested in participating also play a sport with Latin during the fall, winter, and/or spring season. In other words, if a potential club member already plays a spring sport, it would be difficult for him or her to also  participate in a separate spring club sport. In fact, when starting off, boys lacrosse actually held their practices after the normal Spring sports practices, so their members would not have to choose between playing lacrosse or a Spring sport. Their games would consequently be held during the weekend. That said, having two practices in one night every five days with games on the weekend can be quite grueling, which could affect how many students would want to participate in the club sport. Logistics pose another challenge when starting a club sport. Since Latin does not directly provide any assistance to the club, clubs must largely organize practices and games by themselves. That is not to say that Latin simply leaves club sports to fend for themselves, but since these clubs are not officially teams, they must act on their own in terms of scheduling and the requirements needed to compete with other high school teams. What many people tend forget is that Latin is quite a small school in comparison to the average high school in Chicago and its suburbs. This means that Latin can not easily create as many teams as students wish . Even if a few individuals are interested in a certain sport, Latin’s size prevents it from having the resources to satisfy the desires of just a few. Although it might feel frustrating that there is a Boys Lacrosse club and not a girls, it comes down to the fact that the boys—and their families—took the steps to actually create a club. Unless enough girls take action and follow through with starting a Girl’s Lacrosse club team, there will not be a girls lacrosse club.]]>