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Published Nov. 14, 2012

Lacrosse will be introduced on a trial basis next year in some Hillsborough County high schools and will include payments from players who can afford it.

A deal between the School Board and the Hills-borough County Lacrosse Alliance, known as HALAX, will bring the sport to about eight schools. The list will most likely include Alonso, Steinbrenner, Newsome, Plant, Wharton, Freedom, Robinson and Durant.

Efforts will be made to form teams at Tampa Bay Technical and Jefferson High School as well.

The School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the program.

The vote followed months of discussion about cost, gender equity and the precedent of allowing programs that call for student payment, a practice known as "pay to play."

The agreement calls for HALAX to supply equipment while the district provides custodial services for games, an administrator for the games and utilities.

Each season will have 13 games on weeknights and Saturday mornings.

While the contract did not specify how much it will cost to play, members of HALAX estimated conservatively that it will be $300, with scholarships for those who cannot afford it.