We welcome you and your son to our boys lacrosse league. FLA consists of multiple club teams from Central Florida, the boys are in 1st through 8th grade. We have 2 seasons of game play each year, spring and fall. Our mission is to coach our boys to play lacrosse properly and safely and to prepare them to play in high school and beyond.
From our collective experience in FLA, we have the opinion that in our league’s games, there are 4 major components that impact the “success” of a game. Coaches, players, referees and parents all play a role. Success here is defined as:
Coaches emphasizing the proper strategies, rules and techniques of the game in a positive manner and setting a good example to the players.
Players using good sportsmanship and respecting the rules of the game, their opponents and the referees.
Referees maintaining control and flow of the game by instructing the players, spectators and coaches to follow the rules of the game by enforcing the written rules by throwing flags or giving verbal warnings.
Finally, parents contributing to the game environment through positive reinforcement to the coaches, players and referees.
If you have been to any youth sports games, you may have encountered games that have gotten totally out of hand. Injuries can occur quickly in a game that has a negative atmosphere from any number of reasons. FLA has been very detailed in our expectations of the coaches, players and referees. Here are our expectations of you, the parent at our games:
Support every player on the field by using positive statements like, “Nice shot”, “Great save”, “Great lift”, “Awesome pass”, “Incredible teamwork”, “Great assist”, “Good teamwork”, “Great defense”, etc.
Respect all the coaches by not “coaching” on the sidelines. At any moment, there are coaches calling out to their players, referees blowing whistles, giving warnings or throwing flags and players talking to each other on the field. At the youth level, players are more tentative when “talking” to their teammates on the field. Yet, this skill is critical to their future success in the game. If multiple parents are yelling out “Pass the ball”, “Pass to Fred”, “Hit that kid”, “Take down that D-pole”, etc. then our boys can’t focus on what their teammates, coaches and referees are saying. Because you have chosen to have your son play for a particular club, please let your son’s coach be his only coach during a game.
Respect the referees. FLA has asked our refs to partner with us to instruct our boys to play properly and safely on the field. Officiating is extremely difficult given lacrosse’s fast pace and technical rules. Refs make or don’t make calls based on their “view” of the play. You or the coaches may see things differently, but the refs should be the ONLY ones in the game making calls. Yelling at the refs or yelling out your own calls is incredibly distracting and very wrong. It shows the boys on the field VERY poor sportsmanship. In addition, Rule 2 section 6 states that officials are in charge of everybody on the lacrosse field, including the spectators. Our refs have the ability to eject an out of control parent from the field and the FLA board supports a referee's decision to do so.
Educate yourself on the rules of the game. This summer many new rules have been adopted that eliminate heavy contact and unnecessary roughness in the game. Here are a few suggestions on how you can learn more about the rules that FLA uses:
Go to our website www.floridalax.com On the home page there is a top bar, click on Rules and Regulations, there will be drop menu. Any topic will give you more details. Go to www.uslacrosse.com You pay for an annual membership for your son’s insurance, but there are multiple tools for you, all at no charge. You can download the US Lacrosse youth boys guidelines and rules, do an online coaching course, etc. Go to www.nfhs.org, there is an article written on 8/14/2013 that discusses many of the new rules. All of these tools can give you and your son great discussion topics. Rules can sometimes only tell you what NOT to do. You can help your son think of ways to be effective on the field AND help maintain safety in the game.
Boys and girls lacrosse is exploding in popularity in the US, especially in Florida and other more “football dominant” states. At it’s core, lacrosse is a game of tremendous finesse, speed and athleticism. “The ball moves faster than your feet” is a common statement from lacrosse coaches. The new rules eliminate most gratuitous contact at the Senior level and there is NO BODY CHECKING WHATSOEVER at the Junior level and below. The teams that can move the ball effectively by passing, catching and shooting will be the most successful. Educate yourself, support your club, coaches and referees. Together we can successfully elevate the level of play in Central Florida.
Your FLA Board