Since 2002, the WHSBLA has grown from 19 programs to a predicted nearly 80 programs by the 2017 season. Under direction of the WHSBLA Board, the growth in recent years has been remarkable:
2012 - 4 new programs
2013 - 6 new programs
2014 - 4 new programs
2015 - 6 new programs
2016 - 4 new programs
2017 - already 1 new program confirmed (Rogers (of Puyallup)) with more confirmed soon!
High School Lacrosse in Washington dates back to 1979 with the formation of a high school team at the Lakeside School in Seattle. 1980 saw the first formal contest between Lakeside and Bellevue HS. Ten years later the group had grown to six as programs were established at Bainbridge HS and The Overlake School in 1989.
Under the governance of the Washington Lacrosse Council the league grew to 16 programs by 2001 with programs in place and growing at Curtis HS, Vashon Island, Nathan Hale HS, Mercer Island, Maple Valley (Tahoma) and Seattle Prep. Other programs existed in a conglomerate or club model fashion. In efforts to formalize and legitimize high school lacrosse the Washington High School Boy's Lacrosse Association was created, adopting its bylaws in 2002 with the following Mission Statement:
To organize, develop, and promote boys’ high school lacrosse in Washington, and to honor the game by instilling the values of scholastic achievement, sportsmanship, and individual development.
The adoption of said bylaws and subsequent league policy formalized rules on boundaries for teams, eligibility requirements for players as well as certification requirements for coaches. As a scholastic league the WHSBLABoard (as elected by the league's general membership) seeks to spread the game to every high school in the state of Washington. As such the majority of policies enacted have mirrored that of the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association in efforts to promote a level play field for all programs while continuing to promote the growth and spread of the sport.
Today the WHSBLA provides its member programs an organization of conferences, scheduling of regular season league games, selection process of all-conference recognition, playoff structure and subsequent state championship events. Every program is monitored for compliance to insure fairness, eligible players, certified coaches and game play refereed by certified officials.
The WHSBLA also works in coordination with the local chapter of US Lacrosse to recognize multiple yearly award winners including the selection of USL All-Americans.