Multi-sport athlete conflict policy:
Hopefully, many of our players also participate in other sports besides lacrosse. Below is our general policy toward what is a very individual situation.
Evanston Youth Lacrosse encourages the multi-sport athlete. We believe that young, especially pre-High School athletes should NOT specialize in any one sport too soon in life, and that experiencing sports in a seasonal fashion leads to a better, healthier, all around athlete and therefore a better lacrosse player. We also believe that each major sport has it's "primary season" which should be honored. The primary season for Lacrosse is spring.
Accommodating other Spring Sports
Our support of the multi-sport athlete includes a desire to accommodate other spring sports - baseball being the most prominent among them (boys soccer is a fall sport, hockey a fall/winter sport). "Accommodate" means that we understand and expect a kid to miss a lacrosse practice for a baseball game, and to miss a baseball practice for a lacrosse game. We MAY also consider coach/team consensus to change weekly practice nights to accommodate situations where there are widespread conflicts.
When baseball practices/games conflict with lacrosse practices/games, we hope the family will do their best to give lacrosse at least equal time and weigh the following:
1. Relative importance of individual games (playoffs, etc);
2. Early spring weather is more conducive to lacrosse (running alot, rarely standing around).
U-15 Senior (8th Grade) A-team
The general policy above applies to all levels up to and including the Senior B team. The Senior A team is a "try-out and see if you make it" team, i.e the best and most committed 8th (and possibly 7th) graders in our program "make" the A team. Given that, the kids on the A team are expected to commit to lacrosse as their primary spring sport through the end of the regular spring lacrosse season. A Senior A candidate who is NOT committed to lacrosse as his primary spring sport should declare this prior to the beginning of the spring season to allow for coaches to properly evaluate truly committed Senior A candidates.
Spring Lacrosse conflicts with non-spring sports:
We feel strongly that where spring lacrosse conflicts with non-spring sports that lacrosse should have seasonal priority in games AND practices.
Consistent with this, it should be noted that while lacrosse programs can be found in ALL seasons (summer leagues and camps, "fall ball", winter indoor), its primary season is spring and coaches will not expect out-of-season lacrosse to have priority when in conflict with other in-season sports. Evanston Youth Lacrosse pledges NOT to offer any program where participants are expected to make a multi-seasonal commitment to lacrosse over other sports. We find this practice abhorrent to the promotion of the well-rounded young athlete.
A specific note about Youth Hockey:
EYHA and EYLA have established what we hope will be a close and long lasting association. The almost brotherly relationship between hockey and lacrosse has a long history. In Canada and the Northeastern US, where hockey and lacrosse both have long been quite popular among youth athletes, you will find that it is typical for hockey to "take a break" after the end of it's lengthy winter season and it's players to play lacrosse for the relatively short spring>early summer lacrosse season.
Bob Nauert, former President of the EYHA was a member of the original Evanston Youth Lacrosse Association Board. He then assured us that Spring is a tertiary season for hockey, and that EYHA specifically encourages kids to consider playing spring lacrosse. Further he has assured the EYLA that EYHA specifically endorses a "lacrosse has priority in the spring" policy where kids choose to try to play both.
Of course all of this is merely "policy", and parents and kids are free to handle their individual conflicts as they choose - with the understanding that practice attendance can impact playing time in games - and an invitation to the Senior A team.
(Former) President Evanston Youth Lacrosse Association (Founding President 2008-September 2011)