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Changes & Growth in Women’s Lacrosse

Women’s lacrosse has experienced significant growth and development over the past decade. The sport has seen an increase in participation at all levels, from youth to professional, as well as improvements in equipment, rule changes, and opportunities for women to compete and excel.

One of the most significant changes in women’s lacrosse over the past decade has been the adoption of new rules aimed at increasing player safety and making the game more dynamic. In 2017, the NCAA introduced several changes to the sport, including the implementation of a shot clock and changes to the draw, which have made the game faster and more exciting to watch. Additionally, changes to the stick specifications and headgear requirements have helped to reduce the risk of injury and ensure that players are properly protected.

Professional Opportunities

The growth of women’s lacrosse can also be seen in the expansion of professional opportunities for players. In 2018, the United Women’s Lacrosse League (UWLX) merged with the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL) to form the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL). This merger has allowed for increased exposure and opportunities for female athletes to play at the professional level.

Another important development in the world of women’s lacrosse over the past decade has been the increase in global participation. The sport has grown significantly in Europe, with the establishment of the European Lacrosse Federation and the inclusion of lacrosse in the European Games in 2019. In addition, lacrosse has been included in the World Games since 2017, allowing for increased exposure and opportunities for athletes from around the world to compete at the highest level.

College Programs

The growth of women’s lacrosse over the past decade can also be seen in the success of college programs. The University of Maryland has dominated the sport, winning five national championships since 2010. Other programs such as Northwestern, North Carolina, and Syracuse have also been successful, with each winning at least one national championship over the past decade.

Off the field, women’s lacrosse has also seen significant progress in terms of diversity and inclusion. In 2019, the NCAA adopted a policy requiring all championship events to have a diversity and inclusion component, including the use of inclusive language and accommodations for athletes with disabilities.

Overall, the past decade has been a period of growth and progress for women’s lacrosse. The sport has seen significant improvements in equipment, rules, and opportunities for players at all levels, as well as increased global participation and success at the college level. With continued investment and support, the future of women’s lacrosse looks bright.


  1. “NCAA announces rule changes in women’s lacrosse for 2017 season,” NCAA, November 22, 2016,
  2. “UWLX and WPLL Merge to Form Premier Lacrosse League,” Inside Lacrosse, December 18, 2018,

Women's Lacrosse