Learn why Lacrosse is growing in popularity in high schools across the United States and the many benefits. As you might expect, there is more to lacrosse than just the physical benefits of the game. Learn more about how to get the most out of the mental, physical, and social benefits of this sport. Also, address some of the frequently asked questions about this sport and how to find the right prep school. 

high school lacrosse

Before we dive into all the benefits, let’s briefly explore why and where this sport is popular. First, keep in mind this is an international sport and most private schools, in particular boarding schools, have a highly diverse international and domestic mix in their student body.  

For boarding schools to appeal to international students wishing to study abroad in the United States, most boarding schools in the U.S. now offer lacrosse as part of their high school athletic program. 

Beyond countries outside the U.S. where this sport is popular (e.g. United Kingdom, Canada, Australia), can you guess the state where this sport is the most popular? According to a site called Visiting Maryland, “Lacrosse may be the oldest team sport in the world, but it’s also the country’s fastest growing, and Maryland is the cradle of the game. The game’s popul

arity is exploding with teams popping up in every state and more than 30 countries, and Maryland is at the heart of it all.”  

Nevertheless, the sport is also widely popular in California at boarding schools and many non-residential private schools.  In fact, according to Private School Review, there is a long list of top private schools in Orange County, San Diego County and Los Angeles County that offer lacrosse. 

Why is this sport so popular? It is a combination of factors, including the many benefits we note below. Teens enjoy the speed, the great workout and the great camaraderie that comes from playing this sport. Check out all the benefits below. 

If you live in the Southern California area, here are some of the best private schools listed on Private School Review for lacrosse. 

Orange County: Sage Hill School (Newport Coast), St. Mary’s School (Aliso Viejo), St. Anne School (Laguna Niguel), JSerra Catholic High School (San Juan Capsitrano), Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana), Orange Lutheran High School (Orange), Servite High School (Anaheim)

San Diego County: The Bishop’s School (La Jolla), La Jolla Country Day School (La Jolla), Cathedral Catholic (San Diego), Foothills Christian School (El Cajon), Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista), Santa Fe Christian Schools (Solana Beach), Army and Navy Academy (Carlsbad). 

Los Angeles County: Harvard-Westlake School (Studio City), Crespi Carmelite High School (Encino), Peninsula Heritage School (Palos Verdes Peninsula), Sierra Canyon School (Chatsworth), Oaks Christian School (Thousand Oaks), Loyola High School (Los Angeles), Chaminade College Preparatory High School (Canoga Park) 

Boarding Schools with Lacrosse 

If you are looking for a boarding school or would like to narrow your search, there are a number of online school directories to find college prep schools for lacrosse. 

Bear in mind, there are many types of private schools on these websites, including: all boys, all girls, coed, denominational or non denominational, military boarding schools for boys, combination boarding/day schools, and nonresidential private schools. 

  • Niche – all types of listings, plus rankings, and reviews 
  • Great Schools – all types of listings, plus rankings, and reviews
  • Study International – international students
  • Private School Review – nonresidential and boarding 
  • Boarding School Review – boarding schools only 

5 Benefits of Playing Lacrosse in High School 

  1. Increase Speed – It is a fast and fun game. It gets your heart beating fast and ramps up adrenaline. 
  2. Height Doesn’t Matter – No matter how tall or short you are, lacrosse is a sport for everyone. In fact, being short has some real advantages as you dart in and out across the field. 
  3. Expand Training Routine – If you want to improve in other sports, see lacrosse as a chance to get fit for any number of varsity sports. 
  4. Enhance Your Skills – You will gain speed, power, coordination, reaction, and precision by playing and practicing this sport. 
  5. Enjoy Teamwork – Not only will you make new friends, you will improve your social skills, learn how to work within a team, and exercise your leadership skills. 

5 Health Benefits from Playing Lacrosse

  1. Fresh air and sunshine – Everyone needs to breathe deeper and get more natural sunshine. Doctors are flagging low levels of vitamin D due to people spending time on their devices and being indoors. 
  2. Cardiovascular Workout– Get your heart pumping in this action-packed sport. You will witness your progress, not only in this sport, but in other fast moving field sports like soccer and football. 
  3. Lower Stress and Anxiety – Balancing your life in high school is necessary and lacrosse helps you get your mind off stressors. 
  4. Increase Focus and Alertness – Sports participation has been proven to help with alertness, quality of sleep, and focus in the classroom
  5. Be Safe and Have Fun – Protective equipment makes this sport safe if you follow the guidelines. It is fast and fun! 


Commonly Asked Questions About Lacrosse

  • What are the origins of this sport? Wikipedia reports that nearly four centuries ago, early European settlers modified an Indigenous American stickball game dating back to the 1200s into pretty much what the game is today. 
  • How was the name developed? Indigenous Americans gave the sport its present name, “La Crosse” (The Stick), which merged into a singular-word name. 
  • When did the game become established? The game became more formalized with written rules in 1867 after which it became a competitive sport in elite prep schools and colleges, primarily in the northeastern U.S.
  • Is lacrosse a sport for males only? The Ithacan notes that “lacrosse is one of many sports to have both a men’s and women’s team. However, multiple physical and technical differences separate the two, creating different versions of lacrosse.” Some private schools are coed and some are single gender (all boys or all girls), so think about your preferences as you research schools. 
  • Is this a team sport or a varsity sport? While it is defined by Wikipedia as a team sport, it does appear to be a varsity sport at some schools and colleges. Check private schools of interest and contact the admissions office for more information. 
  • Is lacrosse played on a football field? According to experts, this sport is commonly played on high school and/or college football fields. Keep in mind that not all fields are created equal. For example, Maffucci Field in Carlsbad is considered one of the best in San Diego County. 
  • Is lacrosse an interscholastic sport? At private schools, it is generally considered an interscholastic sport. Depending on the region, private schools must comply with specific athletic standards. For example, in California, public schools and private schools follow the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) guidelines.
  • Is lacrosse hard? Try to think of this sport as a new challenge. According to Lacrosse Pack, “it takes time to get familiar with how to play with a lacrosse stick, but you can easily build these stick skills by practicing on your own. Many players transition over from other sports and do extremely well once they’ve fully developed their stick skills.”
  • Can you get lacrosse scholarships for college? Athnet indicates that “the competition for lacrosse scholarships is fierce because the vast majority of the opportunities are at the NCAA Division III level.”  This is an equivalency sport, so check out partial and full scholarship information on college and university websites. Keep in mind, The Ivy League and boarding schools offer financial aid in lieu of athletic scholarships. For private schools, this is part of CIF rules and regulations. 
  • Do you have to try out to play lacrosse at a private school? Check with schools of interest, but some private schools emphasize participation and do not require try-outs. 


As you search for the right private high school, consider the mental, physical and social benefits of lacrosse as you explore this dynamic sport. Private school admission offices will advise and guide you to determine if their school is the right match for your athletic interests.