What is lacrosse?

Not only is lacrosse the oldest known sport in North America, it is also the fastest growing. The game was initially played by native Iroquois tribes dating back 500 years or more. The modern game has been popular in the Eastern US and Canada for many years, but has been spreading rapidly throughout the US at all levels. Lacrosse is a fast-paced field sport, with elements that are similar to soccer, basketball and especially ice hockey (in fact many ice hockey rules originated with the sport of lacrosse).

How do you play lacrosse?

Lacrosse is played on a field similar in size to a football or soccer field, with goals at each end. Players use sticks with a mesh net at one end. A hard rubber ball is thrown, caught, and carried using the stick. The objective is to outmaneuver the defense and shoot the ball into a 6’ x 6’ goal, defended by a goalie. Lacrosse is a relatively high scoring sport, with scores often exceeding 10 goals per side during a game.

Is lacrosse a physical game?

It depends! First of all, men’s and women’s rules are different, with minimal contact allowed in the women’s game. Men’s lacrosse allows more contact, including some forms of body checking. Youth lacrosse uses modified rules that progress from very limited contact at the U9/U11 ages up to full contact at the high school level. Contact is generally more than you would see in soccer or basketball, but less than in football or hockey. Additionally, physical conditioning is an important aspect of lacrosse, as it is a fast-paced full-field sport.

What sorts of skills are needed to play?

While players of all abilities can enjoy the sport of lacrosse, the most successful players will demonstrate skill in: hand-eye coordination, footwork, agility, tenacity and teamwork. Throwing and catching are basic skills that we emphasize at all levels. Nothing is more fun to watch than a team that executes crisp passing. Footwork and agility are important on both offense and defense. Tenacity is about playing hard and giving your best effort. Lacrosse is a team sport, requiring everyone to play for the benefit of the team. Above all else, we want our players to have a fun and positive experience. We encourage players to play other sports outside of lacrosse season.

When is lacrosse season?

Lacrosse is a spring season sport. Our practices generally start in late-January or early-February, and games will start in early-March and run through most of May. We also offer fall league for girls that starts in late-August or early-September and runs into late-October or early-Novmeber. There are travel teams in the area that play in tournaments throughout the year.

Is there travel required?

Yes. We play in a league that includes teams from throughout San Diego County, as well as Riverside or Orange Counties. Generally our season will have 8-plus games, with approximately half played in Scripps Ranch. Most other games will be within a one hour drive. We will occasionally play games that require travel beyond one hour. There is also a season-ending tournament in the area.

What is the best age to start?

Any age is fine. We have had players as young as seven, and we have had others that did not start until 8th grade. It is very common on some of our teams for as many as half of the players to be new to the sport each season. Teams are based on the players’ age as of August 31 prior to the start of the season. 8U teams are generally 1st and 2nd grade. 10U teams are 3rd and 4th grade. 12U teams are generally 5th and 6th grade. 14U teams are generally 7th and 8th grade. Players may be allowed play up one level with the permission of the parents, coach and SRLax board.

Are there tryouts?

It is the hope and desire of Scripps Ranch Lacrosse to provide opportunities for all local youth to play lacrosse. Often times Scripps Ranch Lacrosse will field more than one team per age group. In this circumstance, we will hold assessments to place players on appropriate skill-level teams. Teams will be placed in competitive-appropriate divisions.

What equipment is needed?

To try the sport at one of our clinics (usually November/December), we can provide loaner equipment on a first come/first serve basis. Spring season players should plan to have all of their own equipment once practice starts. Boys will need: a stick (boys/girls sticks are different!), gloves, arm pads, shoulder pads, mouth guard, helmet and athletic cup. Rib pads are optional. Girls need: a stick (specifically a girls stick), mouth guard and eye cage. Football/soccer shoes work well, but any athletic shoes are fine (except metal cleats). 

Boys’ equipment will cost from $250 to $500, with the helmet being the most expensive item. Do not overspend on a first set– the emphasis should be on comfort and proper fit. Girls’ equipment will typically cost from $100 to $250. Most equipment will last several years.

What is the cost?

The cost of our youth programs vary by age group. Typically 8U and 10U is $300, while 12U and 14U is more than $400 for the spring season. Additionally, players must be members of US Lacrosse, which is $35 per year for youth players.

Who are your coaches?

Our coaches are generally current/former college players and/or parents of current players.

What is the role of parents?

This sport and Scripps Ranch Lacrosse in particular, strongly encourage the active participation of parents in running and supporting our teams. It gives the parents an opportunity to participate in an activity with their child and it also distributes the tasks required to run the team among the parents, leaving the coaches to do what they do best.

Committee and Director Positions in the Association include: Board of Directors, Scheduler, Field Coordinator, Coaching Committee, Publicity, Webmaster, Registrar, Fundraising, Accounting/Bookkeeping, Risk Management, Equipment Manager and Uniform Coordinator. 

At the team level positions include: Team Manager, Scorekeeper, Timekeeper, Spotter, Statistician, Side Line Manager, First Aid, Transportation Coordinator, Team Equipment Manager and Water/Snacks. We would love to have your help!

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