It’s official: lacrosse has arrived. And no matter what happens in 2020, it’s guaranteed to be a historic season for the sport in Long Beach.
That’s because this year, history is happening on every corner of the field. It’s the first year that the Moore League has officially added boys’ and girls’ lacrosse, as has the CIF Southern Section, which will host its first-ever lacrosse championships this Spring. A few local high schools have offered the sport as a club the last few seasons, but it will be officially recognized and sanctioned this year for the first time.
As the season opens, Moore League secretary Lisa Ulmer is in the process of buying trophies for the boys’ and girls’ championships.
To put into context how rare it is for the league to add a brand new sport in both genders–the last time it happened was in 1982-83, when soccer joined.
“It’s not easy to add a sport because there’s not a lot of space,” said Ulmer. “While Millikan is under construction, for example, they’re having some practices at a park and all their games are away. That’s the reality. Schools are finding space for track and field, baseball, softball, and lacrosse right now. It was a lot of effort from some really dedicated parents to make this happen.”
In order to become an official league sport, four schools were needed. The driving interest came from Wilson, Poly, and Millikan according to Ulmer. While Cabrillo has added lacrosse, she said they weren’t ready to join the league yet, which prompted a strange marriage between the LBUSD schools and Ellen Ochoa Prep Academy in Pico Rivera. As the league’s fourth school, Ochoa allows the Moore League to automatically qualify teams for the CIF-SS playoffs, also in their first year.