Lacrosse is played at schools, clubs, and professional leagues throughout the year. But when does the competitive season officially start at various levels? The answer depends on the specific league and competition structure. Here is an overview of when lacrosse season kicks off across different organizations.
NCAA Lacrosse Season
For NCAA men’s and women’s lacrosse, the regular competitive season starts in early February and runs through mid-May.
The NCAA mandates that teams cannot play any regular season games prior to February 1st each year. Most college teams begin playing regular season matches in the first two weeks of February.
The NCAA tournament for both men’s and women’s lacrosse then takes place in May, concluding with the championship final Memorial Day weekend.
So February through May is considered the standard college lacrosse season as sanctioned by the NCAA.
High School Lacrosse Season
The high school lacrosse season aligns closely with the college calendar, though some small variations exist by state. Most state high school athletics associations mandate that the first lacrosse games take place between late February and early March.
Some exceptions are Florida and Texas, where the lacrosse season may start as early as January since weather permits. Lacrosse hotbeds like Maryland, New York, and Massachusetts kick off high school lacrosse in early March.
The high school season then wraps up with playoffs and state championship tournaments in May through mid-June. So the typical high school lacrosse season runs February/March through May/June.
Youth and Club Lacrosse Season
Youth lacrosse operates outside the high school athletics framework, so teams have more leeway on when to schedule seasons and tournaments.
Many club and youth leagues align their lacrosse seasons with the scholastic calendar. They play matches during the same March-June timeline as high school competition.
But some youth and club teams compete in fall ball leagues from September through November. And others participate in winter leagues from January to March leading up to the spring high school season.
The bottom line for club and youth lacrosse is that play can take place nearly year-round based on individual team and league schedules.
Professional League Lacrosse Season
In the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), the season lasts from June through September. The National Lacrosse League (NLL) plays its games primarily December through June.
So the two professional outdoor and indoor leagues arrange their seasons in fall and winter to avoid overlap with college and high school spring competition.
To summarize, lacrosse can be played competitively throughout much of the calendar year thanks to different governing bodies. But the standard lacrosse season at most levels runs from late winter through early summer, mirroring the typical academic sports schedule.