These are the questions we are frequently asked about our program.
We are not a NCAA sport. Every year we try to improve the program on and off the field. We feel that we run the program as close to a NCAA program as we can. As lacrosse continues to grow on a national level, the support base for ASU will become stronger. The longer we stay focused on building a premier program at ASU the better chance ASU will have to become a NCAA sport. Varsity lacrosse could eventually be a reality at Arizona State University.
Q: So why would anyone want to play lacrosse at Arizona State?
There are many good reasons to play at ASU. First, this is a great place to get a college education. ASU consistently ranks among the best for a combination of academics and student life. In addition, as one of the largest University in the United States, ASU’s diverse alumni body affords many opportunities for internships and post collegiate work well beyond the scope of most other schools. Finally, the city of Tempe boasts the metropolitan resources of Phoenix, among the top 5 largest metro areas in the country and numerous activities accommodated by 330 sunny days each year. ASU offers attractive tuition even for out of state students compared to most major universities. Second, Sun Devil Lacrosse provides a very competitive lacrosse experience on a national scale. Our student-athletes are expected to dedicate themselves to the team, but they are given the time and latitude to focus on their academics. Players are expected to work as hard in the classroom as they do on the field. The word student appears first in student athlete because the team understands the student part comes first and not the other way around.
Third, this is an exciting time to be part of lacrosse at Arizona State. The Devils are an elite MCLA team, competing for a national championship every year. The opportunity to be part of a new tradition is unmatched by any other college team in the nation.
Q: How does playing in the MCLA at ASU differ from playing NCAA lacrosse at other schools?
Our philosophy here at Arizona State is that we want to do whatever it takes to compete at the highest level possible and represent the University in the best possible way. As such, we look and act like a NCAA program at practice and during games and we require our student-athletes to work hard to achieve team and individual goals. In addition, every one of our players must follow MCLA rules and regulations regarding academic eligibility. However, as a club team, we do not receive much financial support from the University. Although it’s getting better. We have to do extensive fundraising to ensure that we can run the kind of program we do. Fundraising is a big part of what the program does on an everyday basis. Players have to be prepared to fund raise when they come here. Most D1 athletes don’t have to worry about that.
While we expect all of our team members to be 100% committed to the team, we understand that academics come first. However, this is not a team for casual student-athletes. We have a study hall program every semester for the students that need it. Just like our varsity counterparts here at ASU, our student-athletes take great pride in representing their university and themselves in the best possible way. They work very hard toward team and personal goals. Playing lacrosse here is a big commitment and a tremendously valuable experience.
Q: Who does the team play?
Sun Devil Lacrosse is a member of the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA), the largest lacrosse league in the world. The MCLA is made up of approximately 215 teams in 10 conferences that represent virtually every region of the country. ASU is a member of the Southwestern Lacrosse League (SLC) with 12 teams throughout the west. SLC was a new conference for the 09’ season. Other conferences include the Western Collegiate Lacrosse League (WCLL), Pioneer League (Northeast), the SELC (Southeast), the Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference (Midwest/MO area), the Lonestar Alliance (Texas), the UMLL (Upper Midwest), the RMLC (Rocky Mountains), the CCLA (Midwest/MI area) and the PNCLL (Pacific Northwest). Arizona State’s regular season schedule usually includes many of the top MCLA programs from around the country. Teams like Grand Canyon, Colorado, Colorado State, UC Santa Barbara, and of course Arizona, are regularly on the schedule. We want to play the best teams. ASU plays a 4 game SLC South divisional schedule and always draws top opponents for our other home games, especially early in the season due to February and March temperatures in the mid-70’s in Arizona.
In the fall, the team plays a game against the Alumni, scrimmages with Grand Canyon and U of A and an Inter-squad (Maroon/Gold) game.
The schedule highlights one of the benefits of playing top-level MCLA lacrosse. Unlike varsity lacrosse teams that play mostly regional schedules, the top MCLA teams play national schedules that have them traveling to campuses across the country. In the last couple of years, the team has traveled to Utah, Minnesota, South Carolina and Louisiana.
Q: Is there a post-season tournament?
Yes. There are 2 post season tournaments. The SLC tournament is in late April and the MCLA National Tournament is in the middle of May. The winner of the SLC tournament, along with the champions of the 9 other conferences, gets an automatic bid to the MCLA National Tournament. Six other at-large bids are decided on by a MCLA tournament committee. In 2008 the MCLA tournament was held in Dallas with the semi-finals and finals being played in Texas Stadium. That was an experience that the ASU players will remember for the rest of their lives. www.mcla.us. In 2012 and 2013 the MCLA tournament was held in Greenville, SC. In 2014, 2015 and 2016 the tournament was held in Orange County, CA. The tournament will be in Orange County again in 2017. The tournament will move to Salt Lake City, Utah for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Q: Does Sun Devil Lacrosse offer Scholarships or assistance with admissions?
As a MCLA program, the Arizona State Lacrosse team does not provide scholarships or have influence over the admissions process. Student-athletes interested in attending Arizona State should contact the admissions office for application and financial aid information. http://www.asu.edu/admissions. ASU’s academic requirements are on the website. Please make sure you check them as they are known to change after each semester.
Q: What is a typical schedule for a Sun Devil Lacrosse Student-Athlete?
Playing lacrosse at ASU is a year-round commitment. In the fall we will practice 3 mornings per week for 7 weeks starting in mid-September. There will be study hall for those that need it. All freshman will be in study hall their first semester in school. We will workout in the weight room 3 days a week. When the fall season ends the players will have plenty of time to prepare for their final exams. In the Spring, we start with a run test one week before practice starts. We practice 6 days a week for 2 and 1⁄2 hours. Practice time gets cut back to 2 hours once we reach the mid point of the season. We will play anywhere from 13-15 games in the regular season. We’ll watch films once a week and there will be study hall for those that need it. We will also be in the weight room twice a week.
There are also other events such as team functions and fundraisers that everyone must attend.
Q: What is the practice schedule and how should I setup classes / work to accommodate lacrosse?
Time management skills are essential to your success at ASU if you plan to play lacrosse. This sounds easy but it isn’t. As a college student-athlete you really have to mature and be responsible. In the fall we practice 3 days a week for 7 weeks early mornings. Scheduling classes beginning at 9am will not interfere with the practice schedule. Upper class men should discuss scheduling issues with the head coach as some majors have limited class selections.
In the spring, we practice from 4:30 – 7pm. Completing classes by 3:30pm is recommended to allow players to see a trainer if you need to or go out on the practice field for extra work. Conflicts should be discussed with the head coach as soon as the class schedule come out in the fall.
It is very tough to have a job during the season. If you think that is something that you need to do, it is strongly suggested you work as much as you can in the fall.
Q: How do I join the team?
There are a two ways to join this team. The first way is to be recruited. The second way is to walk-on. You can be recruited by send a film from one of your High School games. Or the coaching staff can see you play at a recruiting event. If the coaching staff likes what they see, they will eventually let you know that they’re committed to you (recruit) and want to know if you are committed to ASU. Ideally the team will carry 40-45 players. We will have a meeting for walk-ons during the 2nd week of Sept. Walk-ons will have at least 3 practices to show the coaching staff what they can do. We are looking for athletes that arrive in shape with solid lacrosse skills, the potential to contribute to the team for 4 years, and a winning attitude – accepting nothing less than perfection. You can try to walk-on to the team at any point in your 4 years at ASU. If you’re a junior and want to tryout that’s not a problem. With the team becoming increasingly competitive we are looking for players who will make a four year commitment.
Prior to practicing, you will need to complete some paperwork (available at orientation meetings and from team personnel). This includes being a member of US Lacrosse which the team will handle, if you are not already a member.
You will need to provide all of your own equipment for the tryouts. You will eventually receive a team issue helmet, gloves, arm pads and practice uniform. We are sponsored by Under Armour, Cascade and Adidas. You can use any head you want. We wear the Cascade R helmets.
Q: How much will it cost to play?
We estimate the cost per player will be approximately $5,000. We collect $3000 of this amount as dues charged to the players. The balance will come from fund raising activities and the solicitation of donations. All players are expected to participate in fund raising and donations. Fund raising includes the sale of ads for our media guide, website and the sale of merchandise, personal donations and a couple other fund raisers to help us reach our financial goals. ASU Men’s Lacrosse Club is an IRS 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and contributions (excluding dues) are tax deductible. Dues are the lifeblood of this team, but we have a philosophy here that money issues should never keep anyone from playing. If you and your family have a real problem affording dues, please contact Coach MacRobbie and we will try to work something out.
Q: Do you recruit?
Yes. Our coaches get out to as many high school games, recruiting camps, and tournaments as possible. We also maintain contact with high school coaches around the country. We don’t make every recruiting camp out there largely due to our financial resources. We try to make as many as we can. We want student-athletes who are: 1. academically qualified to attend ASU, 2. athletically able to contribute at the college level, 3. Have a great passion for the game, and 3. Want to be a Sun Devil. This is probably the most important. We want players that want to be here and who really love the University.
Q: What do I have to do to be eligible to play?
SLC follows the same rules as the MCLA. Every player must be enrolled in at least 12 credits for the spring semester, has not played 4 years of collegiate lacrosse, and has never been paid to play lacrosse. Once, you go under 12 credits you’re ineligible and must notify the coach. Our players have four years of eligibility in either MCLA or NCAA lacrosse. Transfer students do not need to sit out a year before they are eligible to play. Eligibility can be a very complicated issue. You should contact Coach MacRobbie at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your eligibility, especially if you are a transfer student.
Q: Does ASU support the program financially?
The University supports the program in many ways. First, ASU allows us to be on campus. They don’t have to if they don’t want to. This is something we can’t take for granted. Second, in 2008, we played 2 of our games at the Women’s Soccer Stadium. This was the first time that has ever happened. Third, we are allowed to use the ASU logos. Once again, the University doesn’t have to allow us to do that. Fourth, ASU helps out on the financial side. This hasn’t always happened but it’s happening now and that’s a very big step in the right direction for this program. Fifth, ASU provides us trainers and a team doctor that help keep our athletes healthy. So, as you can see the University is involved in the program in many ways and we hope to have more of their support as the years go on.