Unsanctioned: Lacrosse and Rugby

Autumn Thatcher, Sports Editor

Utah High School Activities Association still does not recognize lacrosse and rugby as sanctioned sports. They have been around as clubs since 1823 and 1869. The UHSAA is still considering whether or not to sanction these club sports.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the biggest concern with lacrosse getting sanctioned is the expenses. Like football, lacrosse requires padding and other equipment that would come directly from the school’s money. Midfielder on Bingham High’s varsity boys lacrosse team, Kaden Barnes said, “No, they [Bingham High] don’t provide us with anything, and lacrosse is very expensive.”

Another aspect that could greatly influence the UHSAA’s decision on sanctioning lacrosse could come from the club’s numbers. Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the Utah, with more than 3,000 girls and boys playing at a club level. “It’s the fastest growing sport right now!” Barnes said.

Many members of the club feel that it is time to officially sanction lacrosse, including attacker and midfielder Jordan Judd, varsity player on Bingham’s girls lacrosse team. “We work hard and support and represent our school just like any other sport and I believe that deserves recognition,” said Judd.

Like lacrosse, rugby is also recognized as a club sport that is unsanctioned. Members and teammates that play rugby face the challenge of expenses that aren’t paid for by schools. Without this funding, the players don’t receive any assistance with organization, funding, and recognition.

According to Deseret News, rugby has become increasingly popular over the last thirty years. Over 30 boys leagues have formed, and only 7 girls programs. Rob Cuff, from UHSAA, says it would be difficult for rugby to form a sport if there was not an equal amount of girls and boys programs.

UHSAA makes the final decision on whether or not these two sports will ever become sanctioned. However, both lacrosse and rugby players wish to see it happen in the near future.