After receiving public comments at every meeting for the past couple of months, District 204’s board had their first discussion about sanctioning lacrosse as an official school sport.
The IHSA currently lists lacrosse as an “emerging sport,” and will hold the sport’s first official state series in 2018. This means that in order to participate in the series, lacrosse, which is currently treated as a club in the district, needs to be officially sanctioned by the board.
“In general I would say we support the idea of it, we all support the idea of it, it’s just how do we do it?” said Lori Price, a District 204 board member.
There are both financial and logistical barriers that will need to be overcome in order to sanction the sport.
The estimated start-up cost is over $208,000 with an annual program cost estimated to be approximately $128,000. This is a significant amount to the district, which already runs a lean budget and is still owed $10.5 million by the state.
The other big concern is logistics. The district has a limited number of fields available, and there is little to no space left on the calendar to add another sport that would use them. There are even concerns that cutting middle school track could be necessary to open up field time for lacrosse practice.
“I’d like to have everyone get together, if that’s possible,” said Justin Karubas, a District 204 board member. “The people who ar on the track and girls soccer teams, they might have an opinion saying ‘yeah we can make it work,’ or ‘no, I’m going to fight for this.’ You want to hear both sides of the equation.”
No decisions have been made yet, and the district will continue to investigate the issue before making a vote.
Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.
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