The graphs below were constructed using data from the 1982-2012 NCAA Sports Sponsorship and Participation Report.  You can also view or download tables with complete data [PDF file] by gender, division, and year.

Since the early to mid 90s, the number of schools sponsoring women's lacrosse has grown sharply and has surpassed the number for men.  For men's lacrosse, the bulk of the growth has occurred in Division III, while for women's lacrosse, all three divisions (but especially Division III) have enjoyed very positive growth rates.

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The graph that follows is quite similar to the first one above, but it shows the percentage of NCAA member institutions that have varsity lacrosse teams.  Keep in mind that the NCAA's figures do not include the hundreds of MCLA and NCLL (men's), WCLA (women's), or NAIA or NJCAA (men's and women's) collegiate teams around the country.

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The numbers of both male and female student-athletes have grown rapidly since the early to mid 90s.  The divisional trends noted for participation parallel those for team sponsorship.  As you may have already guessed, the larger of number of women's lacrosse teams and the lower number of actual participants reflect the smaller average squad sizes for women's teams, a topic addressed below.

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Women's teams have a smaller average squad size than do men's team's.  That's hardly surprising given the differing substitution patterns and degree of specialization in the two sports.  Following a 10-year period of increase, average squad size for men's teams has leveled off in all three divisions over the last five years.  The stability is also true for women's squad sizes (except for modest increases in Division II) despite the more rapid growth rate for women's teams.

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