High school girls lacrosse is officially being offered as a Peninsula School District club sport, beginning in the spring.
Registration is now open at www.psd401.net and is open to students from Gig Harbor, Peninsula and Henderson Bay high schools.
“We began having discussions a few years ago, looking at what it would take to involve it,” said Dan Gregory, the PSD’s assistant superintendent of secondary education programs. “We sat down with (Gig Harbor Lacrosse and the Peninsula Lacrosse Association) and had some conversations that got much more into details. … This fall, we got together in the last month and put together a program that will allow us to transition the girls program into the district.”
The PSD offers boys and girls water polo at both GHHS and PHS as a club sport, meaning that the district funds the sport, but it’s not officially sanctioned by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. Now, girls lacrosse will join the fold.
“It’s a club sport, but it’ll be fully supported by the high school,” said Gig Harbor High athletic director Bob Werner. “They’ll be 100 percent accountable, and we’ll make sure the kids are eligible per WIAA rules, even though it’s not part of the WIAA. We treat them the exact same.”
For now, it looks like the district will field one team, which will draw from the three area high schools. If enough girls register (around 19 players each from Gig Harbor and Peninsula), it could potentially split into two teams, representing the Tides and Seahawks. But for now, one team appears more likely.
“With the backing of the school district, more girls will probably (play the sport),” said Gig Harbor Lacrosse president Josh Hannan. “Whether it’s next year or sometime down the road, hopefully it can eventually split (into two high school teams). That’s everyone’s goal.”
As for now, the boys programs, which represent Gig Harbor and Peninsula, are on the outside looking in. Part of the decision to bring the girls on board first has to do with getting closer to even with Title IX compliance numbers.
“Getting the girls program starts opening doors for the guys,” Werner said.
From the district’s perspective, it’s another chance to offer more activities for girls to participate in.
“We’re working hard on creating additional opportunities for girls in the district to participate in co-curricular activities,” Gregory said. “This is a natural opportunity for the district to provide that service.”
The first year’s pay-to-play will be $300 per student and will be offered as a spring sport. The district hopes to reduce the pay-to-play cost in future years for girls lacrosse.