USA Lacrosse to crown WCLA national tournament club champion in Wichita, free to attend

The best women’s club players in college lacrosse have descended upon Wichita to determine a national champion in their sport this week.

Scheels Stryker Sports Complex will host the Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Associates national championship tournament, a USA Lacrosse event that has crowned a champion in Division I and Division II since 2001.

A total of 32 club teams from all over the country, 16 separated in each bracket, will play a total of 62 games over the span of four days, beginning Tuesday and ending Friday with championship matches slated for 8:30 a.m. for Division I and 11 a.m. for Division II.

It is the first time the WCLA championship has been hosted in Kansas, where lacrosse is still looking to grow in popularity. Visit Wichita hopes that might change after locals watch high-level competition in a sport they’re not as familiar with.

Parking and attendance for all tournament games are free.

“We’re so pleased to be moving this special event to a new venue like the Scheels Stryker Sports Complex and being able to bring a fresh vibe to the WCLA national championship,” USA Lacrosse director of events Kristy Nutt said in a statement. “This brand new facility sets the stage for fierce competition and memorable experiences for all of the participating players.”

While there are nearly 130 schools that field an NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse team, WCLA offers a venue for lacrosse players to continue their careers at schools that don’t have NCAA-sponsored programs. There are also a handful of club teams that operate at the “non-varsity level” at schools with NCAA varsity programs.

The WCLA Division I field in Wichita features several club teams from prominent universities, like Arizona State, Boston College, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Pittsburg, Texas A&M, UCLA, Utah, Virginia Tech and Washington. The WCLA features more than 150 teams that compete under the USA Lacrosse umbrella.

Boston College is the two-time defending national champion, but is seeded No. 8 in this year’s field. Florida was awarded the top seed, while Georgia spent the longest as the top-ranked team in the country. The bracket is comprised of teams who earned automatic qualifiers as league champions and teams who earned at-large berths.

A full rundown of the week’s schedule can be found on Tourney Machine.

“The Scheels Stryker Sports Complex is very excited to host the first ever national lacrosse event in Wichita,” said Scheels Stryker Sports Complex general manager Larry Inlow in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming all of the teams, watching them compete and giving them the best possible experience here in Wichita.”