FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR LACROSSE PROGRAMS
Lacrosse Program FAQs
All players pay the basic registration fee. Since all players in 3rd grade and up are automatically on a "travel team" (see #3 below), each must pay an additional fee to cover the cost of officials, field rental and other expenses.
All players 3 grade and up must have a uniform. If you are a new or returning 3rd grade player, you need to purchase a jersey and shorts unless you have a hand-me-down from an older sibling. If you purchased a uniform last year, you can use your uniform as long as it still fits. Players in the intramural programs receive a reversible, numbered pinnie.
Optimist Lacrosse is organized by grades and generally we try to place all players in the same grade on the same team regardless of experience. First and second grade boys and first and second grade girls play together in our intramural program. Teams consisting of players in 3rd grade are considered "travel" teams, meaning that they play games against teams from neighboring communities. This will involve local travel for about a half of the games. In situations where a team does not have enough players or a team has too many players, we may assign players to a different grade level particularly where it fits the player's level of skill and experience. We have found it necessary to conduct fall tryouts to assist in assigning players to "A" and "B" teams in the girls 7th/8th and 5th/6th grade divisions to make sure our teams are competitive. See question 5 below.
We do not advertise that we will accept players in kindergarten. However, if a parent believes that the player is mature enough we will permit on a case-by-case basis. We find that players who are in the older range in their grade, play other sports or have older siblings participate successfully in the intramural program.
Due to the growth of our girls programs and league requirements to declare the number of teams early, we have instituted changes in the girls travel team program to make sure that every player has a meaningful, competitive lacrosse experience.
a. We will hold tryouts for girls in 5th to 8th grades to select A teams for those PAGLA Divisions. Players not selected for an A team will play on a B team in that division. Tryouts have occurred and players have been notified about their selection.
b. Girls in 3rd and 4th grades will be divided up by the coaches so that the teams are balanced as there are no A or B teams in that division.
c. We will field as many teams as we have players, but rosters will be limited to 20 players in grades 5 - 8 and 15 players in grades 3-4. Once a team reaches 20 or 15 in the case of 3rd and 4th graders, players registering thereafter will be placed on a waiting list and moved to a team once enough additional players have registered to field another team.
Unfortunately, we do not have enough players to run an intramural program in those grades where there are travel teams. Furthermore, we do not see a difference between playing intramural games and games against teams from other programs.
Travel teams typically begin practice in early March and start their league schedule at the end of March and play through the first weekend in June. The intramural programs start the first Sunday in April or last Sunday in March and run through the last Sunday before Memorial Day weekend.
Most girls' travel games are on Saturdays. Practices are held during the week. The schedule will be announced before the season. The day for intramural programs for boys and girls has not been decided. Last year, both the girls program and the boys program were on Sunday. The home field for games and practices is Springton Lake Middle School. This season practices will start on February 10 on the turf at Penncrest.
Boys teams practice and play at Penncrest High School. March practices will be at Indian Lane. Home games are at Penncrest. We try to get as many practices and games on the stadium turf as we can.
We recognize that your child is involved in numerous activities and other sports. Most players have not found lacrosse to be a significant impediment to participation in other activities. School always comes first. For other sports, we ask only that your child's commitment to lacrosse be equal to other sports. Generally this means that a conflict between a game and a practice should be resolved in favor of the game. Conflicts between practices should be resolved by attending on a rotating basis. Please recognize, however, that when your child misses a game or practice, he or she is one step behind the child who attended. Since Boys A-1 and B-1 teams and Girls A teams are in very competitive divisions and have a limited rosters, we expect these players to make lacrosse their number 1 sports commitment.
All Boys teams require a stick and a full complement of equipment: helmet, shoulder pads, gloves, arm pads, mouthpiece, cup, and soccer or football shoes. Equipment is available for anyone participating in the intramural first and second program and requires a $150.00 deposit refundable when the equipment is returned. Some loaner sticks are available. Boys participating in the 3rd grade contact program and who are on travel. Helmets are available to players in third grade and up on a first come-first serve basis. Girls need only a stick and mouthpiece. Protective eyewear is required for all girl travel team players. For more information, see the links in #14 below.
The quality of the stick can make a huge difference in a player's ability to pass and catch. Like most sports, the variation in the cost of equipment is enormous especially when it comes to lacrosse sticks. We have excellent sticks for use in our intramural programs courtesy of the Headstrong Foundation. Most of the manufacturers offer basic introductory sticks at around $25.00 - $35.00. For more information, see the links in #15 below.
If you are playing on a travel team, which includes all players in third grade and up, you must be a resident of the Rose Tree-Media School District unless (a) if you are a girl and obtain a waiver from the youth lacrosse organization in the school district where you reside and the waiver is approved by the league; or (b) if you are a boy and are granted a hardship exception from our league.
We are always looking for enthusiastic individuals who can motivate children in a productive way and treat each player fairly. Since our coaches are usually spread very thin, we can use the help of parents to run drills, pick up equipment, and make phone calls and send emails. Such parents usually can pick up enough after a year to coach defense and run midfields in and out of a game. We will offer opportunities for formal training. Please don't be shy in offering to help.
There are two lacrosse vendors which provide excellent information about lacrosse in general, sticks and equipment for beginning lacrosse players:
Play-IT-Again Sports in Berwyn is owned by Penncrest/Optimist Lacrosse parents and offers a complete line of equipment and stick at affordable prices.