top of page

5 years of achievements: evolution and growth of Lacrosse in Spain



Throughout all these years, the dedication, effort and passion of players, referees, coaches and volunteers have turned lacrosse a vibrant and growing sport in our nation.


Since its humble beginnings in 2003 with the founding of the first and only lacrosse club in Spain (Madrid Lacrosse), lacrosse has undergone an exciting journey of growth and transformation in our country. Following the formation of the Spanish Lacrosse Association (AEL) in 2010, the following decade saw the establishment of senior men's and women's leagues as well as the consolidation of senior national teams. In 2019, a new challenge arose thanks to the unprecedented patronage obtained by the Women's National Team that launched a new era of fast growth.


In the last five years, Spain Lacrosse has undergone the largest structural and grassroots growth of all time, a remarkable evolution recognized by the international federations, World Lacrosse and European Lacrosse Federation, and showcased to other nations as a reference in lacrosse grassroots development.



2019: Firm foundations and success in international competitions

In 2019, the Women's Senior National Lacrosse Team qualified for the World Cup in the United States thanks to the support provided by the sponsorship obtained, marking a significant milestone. Additionally, the AEL secured sponsorship and was legally established, with the support of all clubs. The focus was placed on grassroots in order to increase the low youth participation (less than 20 players nationwide). To achieve this, a pilot youth club was created in Madrid, workshops were initiated in schools, and the 1st Spanish Youth Lacrosse League for both girls and boys was launched at the end of the year following the success of the program in its initial phase.


2020: Overcoming challenges and expanding to new regions

Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, the AEL continued its presence in schools. The image was revamped, and a functional and updated website was launched, consolidating the digital presence. Grants from federations, donations from companies and individuals, and the provision of facilities in Madrid were obtained. Lacrosse expanded to two new regions, with the incorporation of four new clubs and over 50 new young players.


2021: Exponential growth and grassroots development

There was an impressive 400% increase in youth participation compared to 2019. The creation of the youth category and a focus on coach training were notable achievements. Grants from federations and donations were obtained once again, enabling the provision of equipment to clubs (new and existing growing ones). Agreements with brands and the implementation of a communication plan strengthened the position of the AEL.



2022: International recognition and early training

The year 2022 stood out for the early formation of the U20 national teams, the praised youth development program recognized by European and international federations, and the international agreements for sports equipment donations. A virtual training center was launched with the support of World Lacrosse, and presence in schools was established in three new regions.


2023: Strategic Alliances and Expansion of Lacrosse

This year, the U20 Women's national team participated for the first time in official international competitions, marking another important milestone. Significant agreements were reached with Luanvi and OlivaNova, laying the foundations for a solid relationship. Focus on refereeing was also strengthened, with numerous high-level referees participating in the Spanish Cup. Our masterclass in COLEF Andalucía has prompted the emergence of two new hubs in Granada and Málaga, which will begin their journey in 2024. Youth development has been impressive, reaching more than 6,500 students in schools. The creation and expansion of youth clubs, as well as the increase in the number of youth players, reflect the solid growth of the sport.


Here are some key figures highlighting the achievements of recent years:


  • 15,500 students in schools experienced lacrosse through our Lacrosse Para Todos (LPT) program in the last 5 years. This would be equivalent to filling the WiZink Center in Madrid.

  • 300 vs 171 players nationwide in 2019 (75.44% increase).

  • 1,000 vs 30 references of playing material in 2019 that have been incorporated into the AEL inventory thanks to the material donated or purchased with grants that has served to incentivize growth.

  • Presence in 6 autonomous communities (8 clubs), with 1 more community expected to have 3 new clubs in 2024.

  • Implementation of 2 youth leagues (male and female).

  • Implementation of 2 U20 national teams (male and female).

  • Development of refereeing*:

12 umpires N1 - female

3 referees N1 - male

2 referees N2 - male

1 referee N3 - male


  • Coaching development*:

15 coaches Level 1 - Blue Level

12 coaches Level 2 - Bronze Level


*Number of referees and coaches trained in these 5 years based on the AEL’s strategic plan.



This summary illustrates the exciting journey of the Spanish Lacrosse Association from 2019 to 2023, a period marked by steady growth, participation in major international competitions and an unwavering commitment to the integral development of the sport. In this journey, we have achieved significant milestones thanks to the hard work and dedication of an exceptional team that has been instrumental in fostering the growth of lacrosse in Spain, whether working on a daily basis, sporadically or as volunteers.


It is with regret that we face the new situation after the end of the patronage that has supported our journey thus far, and we want to express our special gratitude to the team members who will not be able to continue in this new phase. Their contribution has been invaluable, and every step we have taken towards success has been largely possible thanks to their commitment. We sincerely appreciate their time, energy and passion, and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.


With the recent inclusion of lacrosse in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games, a great future lies ahead for our sport that we hope will attract more support from companies and individuals who wish to contribute to the growth and expansion of lacrosse in Spain. In this new chapter, we seek to form new partnerships and have the continued support of the community, knowing that every future achievement will be a reflection of the collective effort and legacy left by those who have been an integral part of our history. 


Join us and get into the Grow the game spirit!



67 views

Comments


bottom of page