What is the perception of DII in the lacrosse world? The division that always seems to be playing the second fiddle to DI or DIII has had its history of misperception through the lacrosse landscape.
So, what is it? Players that couldn’t make it at a higher level? Bad grades? Troubled athletes? Full rides? Maybe you’ve heard DII teams don’t get any gear, or that DII schools have no facilities.
This is entirely false, and the perception has begun to shift in recent years. The perception now seems to be one of optimism, growth, competition, and opportunity.
The player experience in DII is not far from some of your more traditional DI or DIII counterparts. Many Division II athletes receive some athletic scholarships to attend and play ball at the next level. Most ultra-competitive programs in the division schedule a workload much similar to Division I. The fall includes lifting three times a week with full-time strength coaches, film sessions, leadership training, practice five days a week, and end-of-fall scrimmages against outside competition. In season it can be one or two games a week, along with lifting, film, and study hall, on top of managing a full course load at a competitive college or university.
So, if you’re wondering if DII ball is much more laid back or the commitment level isn’t as much as the other divisions, you are missing the mark.
Players at the Division II level receive player packages, helmets, sticks, gloves, armguards, cleats, etc. Some schools have equipment managers, some programs are outfitted by notable brands such as Warrior, STX, Adidas, Nike, and Epoch. This can vary from team to team, but for the most part you will be taken care of with what you need to be competitive as a Division II lacrosse player. Facilities are very comparable across the board, some better than others, some with more resources than others, and in some cases facilities better than their Division I or III counterparts.
Travel is an essential piece to the player’s experience. Many programs get on planes and fly to some regular-season contests. All teams generally travel by first-class coach bus companies, and with a 17-game regular season schedule, you will have an opportunity to compete week in and week out. Mostly every college that sponsors the sport has a web streaming service to provide play-by-play and commentary for home games. Parents in New York can watch that February midweek game in Alabama in high quality if they choose to. Food and tailgates – ahh who could forget the tailgates – we have those, too, for our players in Division II. We also have supportive and committed families that care about the experience of our athletes.
As Division II continues to grow, and the respect level for the division from the lacrosse world also grows, you see impact athletes from the Division II level playing professional lacrosse regularly and transferring and making impacts in other divisions. The bottom line is you see the division now more than ever. The player’s experience will continue to improve, the competition will continue to rise, and Division II will continue to expand and grow the game yearly. Make sure you are researching the division and taking a look at what DII can offer.
If you want a great chance at finding a DII home, check out this link: Showcases | Halo Lacrosse