This might sound redundant, but fifty high school lacrosse teams finished last year ranked in the POWERADE FAB 50 rankings. But during the course of the season more than 100 teams either received votes or entered the rankings.
Media members from around the country voted for the boys FAB 50 in 2011. In 2012 both the boys and girls FAB 50 will be voted by the media.
How these teams are identified and considered for ranking involves several factors.
Play a strong schedule
Teams that start the year in the POWERADE FAB 50 do so based on many factors, one of which is strength of schedule. Teams that play a demanding schedule -- which could include matches against other ranked teams or participation in national or region tournaments -- get the edge because if they win those games they should be rewarded with a high national ranking. If they lose those games, then the results largely dictate where they rank.
While lacrosse is rapidly expanding, the hotbed areas still boast the most talent and depth. Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania are still considered the power states due to the depth of talent each of those areas provide. Teams from these areas tend to play tough out-of-conference schedules and also offer some of the strongest league schedules in the nation.
Not a hotbed? Not a problem
A majority of ranked teams fit this category. Teams from California, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Washington all entered the FAB 50 last season. If a team is dominating its state, it will be considered for rankings. Teams with extended and dominant in-state successes can earn a ranking by setting standards in those states (multiple state title streaks, record victory streaks, etc., etc.).
Defeat a POWERADE FAB 50 team
Beating a ranked team -- especially a winning team with a good track record -- makes a statement. Rack up a few wins over FAB 50 teams and your team could be making a case for No. 1.
Win the easy ones
Every team has a few opponents that might be easy to overlook. Nothing undoes a potential FAB 50 ranking faster than losing to an unranked team. For FAB 50 teams, winning the games they’re expected to win makes moving up in the rankings easier.
Root for your rivals
If an opponent you defeated beats highly ranked teams during the season, it strengthens the case for your team’s ranking.
Dominate your state
Teams from the FAB 50 will come from having a high rank in their state. If a team cannot play out-of-state teams, dominate teams in your state to work your way up the State Rankings. Some states carry more weight than others, but keep winning and you’ll be hard to ignore.
ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com Senior Editor Doug Huff has compiled weekly national football rankings for 24 years and has developed a rankings philosophy that helped shape the lacrosse rankings.