Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association
The Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) is a national organization of non-NCAA, men's college lacrosse programs. The MCLA oversees game play and conducts national championships for over 200 teams in ten conferences throughout the United States and Canada. The MCLA provides a governing structure much like the NCAA, with eligibility rules, All-Americans and a national tournament to decide national champions in both Divisions I and II.
The MCLA exists to provide a quality college lacrosse experience where varsity NCAA lacrosse does not exist, including at an increasing number of National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) schools. Because the NAIA does not sponsor lacrosse currently, many NAIA schools are using the MCLA as a means of organizing their varsity lacrosse programs. On an individual scale, the MCLA provides rules and a structure that promotes "virtual varsity" lacrosse, or an experience paralleling that of NCAA programs. While the MCLA provides a high level of athletic competition, it is one of the few governing bodies that does not have a national GPA requirement for its athletes. On a national scale, the MCLA provides the infrastructure to support a level playing field through eligibility rules and enforcement and the use of NCAA rules of play. The MCLA, an organization governing a mere 70 teams in 1997, has seen a rapid growth in affiliation as national interest in the sport of lacrosse continues to increase. As of the 2014 season, participation has increased to 210 teams.