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Who Plays in the SNYL? 
When is Lacrosse's main season? 
What is the time commitment?
How can I help? 
Can a new player be competitive? 
When are practices? 
When are the games? 
Where are the games? 
What equipment do I need? 
Do you cancel practice and games for weather? 
How should players dress in cold or wet weather? 
How can I get ready for the season?
How do I get more playing time? 
What is SNYL policy on playing other sports during Lacrosse season? 
How do I register? 
What is the cost of registration? 
What is the refund policy? 
Is everyone who registers assigned to a team? / Why was my child wait-listed?
How many players are on each team? 
What if my son/daughter has never played lacrosse before?
How can my son or daughter accelerate their learning and skill proficiency?
How much is equipment going to set me back?
What is all this about getting a new stick all the time?
Are there tournaments?
I've heard that lacrosse is a rough sport; is that true?
What is U.S. Lacrosse? 
Are there try-outs?
Can my son/daughter “play-up” a division?





Who plays in the SNYL?

SNYL programs are open to all youth players living in Swampscott, Nahant and Lynn. SNYL offers Regular Season programs for Boys and Girls grades 1-8. The divisions are:

U9   - 1st/2nd grade: Under 9 years of age as of Jan 1st prior to the upcoming spring season
U11 - 3rd/4th grade: Under 11 years of age as of Jan 1st prior to the upcoming spring season
U13 - 5th/6th grade: Under 13 years of age as of Jan 1st prior to the upcoming spring season
U15 - 7th/8th grade: Under 15 years of age as of Jan 1st prior to the upcoming spring season

**Girls are welcome to play boys' Lacrosse at any level. Girls Lacrosse plays under different rules and with less gear than boys.


When is the Lacrosse season? 

Regular season is in the Spring; March through June. SNYL has also run a summer Chumash league and participates in a winter preseason clinic run by the SHS Boosters. Watch the SNYL website for more program offerings and details. There is also the SNYL Fall "Introduction to Lacrosse" program for developing players (1st - 8th grades) generally runs for four weeks and focuses exclusively on basic skills (catching, throwing, scooping, cradling) to prepare a player for their first lacrosse season. Finally "Select" teams play in the fall going to 2-3 tournaments and practicing once a week.


What is the time commitment? 

Generally, the more advanced the Division of play, the higher the degree of commitment is expected. SNYL encourages players to participate in other sports "out-of-season". The U11 - U15 levels have two practices per week and one game on Sunday. The U9 level has one practice per week and one game on Sunday. Participation in other spring sports is a personal choice but be careful not to place too much stress on young athletes.

Generally, practices run 1.5 - 2 hours and games (including warm-ups) can run 2.5 - 3 hours. For games, your coach will require that you arrive for warm-up and preparation 30-60 minutes ahead of the scheduled face-off. 


How can I help?

SNYL is always looking for volunteers: coaches, assistant coaches and team parents as well as board members. No experience necessary, just your enthusiasm and willingness to help is all that is needed. Please email: 


Can a new player be competitive? 

New players at all levels can become highly competitive with experienced players through dedication and effort. Every season we have many new players who work hard and become key contributors on their teams. What players do outside of practice and game time is most important to skill development. New players in particular will need to work on their stick skills playing Wall Ball and with friends. Many of the fundamentals of Lacrosse come quickly to kids who have played other sports like Football, Soccer, Hockey, Basketball and who participate in conditioning sports like track. Good practice makes good players. 


When are practices? 

Practices start in the evening usually at 5:00 PM, days and times will vary. Typically we will start the first week of March indoors and move outside as soon as possible. Practice schedules and locations are generally set in late February once fields are locked in at the league level and may change during the season due to field availability (grass fields are subject to closure due to poor surface conditions, i.e. water saturation levels). A typical practice is 1.5-2 hours. Or indoor location is the Swampscott Middle School and our outdoor locations are Phillips Park in Swampscott and Lowlands Field in Nahant.

It is very important to BE ON TIME for all team events. Please respect the coaching staff's time and your teammates commitment. Start times are "ready to go times"; not show up and start dressing time. The SNYL maxim is "Ready to play 5 minutes early is "On Time". Please plan this into your schedules for arrival and please pick up your player on time as well. SNYL coaches will wait until the final player is picked up and we ask that you be considerate of our volunteers and respect that they have family commitments as well as their commitments to your players.
 

When are the games? 

Regular league games are on Sunday but it isn't uncommon for a coach to add an extra game or scrimmages with our peer programs at other times. All teams play the same day starting with the U9 at approximately 9:00 and finishing with the U15 at approximately 4:00.


Where are the games? 

SNYL's home fields are at Philipps Park in Swampscott. Away game locations are in the north shore area and will be posted on our website. Here is a link to the practice fields: 
http://LeagueAthletics.com/FacilityList.asp?org=swampscottnahantlax

What equipment do I need? 

For boys, players must have a uniform, helmet, mouth-guard, gloves, stick, cleats, a cup, a chest protector/shoulder pads, and elbow pads. Cleats are preferred, but given the condition and type of the fields turf shoes are allowed. Shin guards are optional for Boy's goalies. Coaches will supply a neck protector and a goalie stick if needed.

Girls need a uniform, goggles, stick, and mouth-guard. Goalies wear a helmet, chest protector/arm pads, gloves and full leg pads (Similar to Hockey). This equipment can be supplied by coaches and all of it is mandatory. All equipment is mandatory.


Do you cancel practice and games for weather? 

Lacrosse is an all-weather sport; we play rain or shine. There are two exceptions: if there is lightning in the area within 20 minutes of event start the game will be delayed until judged safe - please do not leave your player if the game-start is delayed due to lightning until the event begins. A lightning suspension during a game in progress will last at least 20 minutes after the last lightning in the area. All events will be terminated if there is a second lightning suspension. Players should know their parents' cell phone numbers so they can call for pick-up if lightning persists and the event is ended. Snow is always a possibility in early Spring and we will not practice is the field is completely covered in snow before the start time. If in doubt, come, but parents should wait until the practice begins before leaving. Every effort is made to clear turf fields for scheduled games; it is best to come under non-severe conditions and wait until play begins or is officially canceled before leaving your player. Practice and games can also be canceled if the town closes the fields. You will be alerted by your coach if that is the case.


How should players dress in cold or wet weather?

When the weather is cold and/or wet players should come prepared. While some players legs stay warm enough in shorts only; others prefer to wear athletic tights or light warm-ups. We recommend long sleeve tight tops and optionally long leg tights to ensure comfort and prevent chilling between game action. Cotton is never the material of choice as it absorbs water readily and once wet, it stays wet and will sap body heat. Sports undergarments made of synthetic fabrics designed for active use are highly recommended. In addition, thin rubber gloves (hospital/surgical type) worn under the lacrosse gloves help keep hands dry and warm. Thin ski liner gloves are also effective. Players should generally wear undershirts appropriate for the weather even in the summer. During warm-ups a loose sports jacket or sweatshirt OVER the pads and jersey may help a player stay comfortable but will need to be removed once a game begins. 


How can I get ready for the season?

There are a number of ways to improve your game and overall conditioning during the "off-season". There are camps and clinics offered locally that can be valuable for continued development of a players skills & knowledge of the game - watch the SNYL website for upcoming camps & clinics. Stay active! SNYL encourages players to stay active with other sports in the off-season. Make sure to have a regular program of running and weight-bearing exercise. Last, but not least: Hit the wall! There is nothing better than starting the season with your stick skills sharp and both hands developed. You will be a markedly better player than you were last season with just 15-20 minutes of systematic wall ball drills 3-4 times each week. You will get more touches on the ball in a 20 minute drill than you will in a 2 hour practice! So - hit the wall and use the recommended Wall Drills every week during the off-season - not just during the regular season! 


How do I get more playing time? 

Everyone plays in SNYL. We have a dual mission that can be best summarized as "Participation and Preparation". Participation means that all players get an opportunity to play and contribute to their respective teams, regardless of their experience or skill. Given the rapid growth of Lacrosse in our area, SNYL will continue to have some first-year Lacrosse players in each Division every year. To accomplish our goal we ensure that all players are placed on teams and in positions where they can make contributions to their teams' success. 

Preparation means that SNYL hopes to "graduate" 15 or more 8th graders to the Swampscott High School program every year, all of whom are ready to step in and take on that next level of intensity and competition. That Preparation requires that players play - and play at an appropriately challenging level where then can develop the key skills and understanding of the game needed to succeed at the next level. SNYL offers the opportunity for all players to develop their skills and "graduate" to the next level throughout their SNYL experience starting at the youngest levels. Our coaches work hard to see that all SNYL players learn to love the sport of Lacrosse as well as learn how to succeed in playing it. SNYL is a 'participation-based" program that strives to develop competitive team spirit. We ask our coaches to establish a playing rotation irrespective of ability and experience for the bulk of each game. That said, when the game is on the line late in the fourth quarter, we typically observe that all players want to "play to win" and coaches may choose to put the kids on the field that are having a great day and have the best chance to deliver the win for the whole team. As a rule coaches will make decisions on playing time based on each player's Aptitude, Attitude and Attendance. Players at different positions play more "game clock time" than others which may not have any relation to "game action". There are also special situations in game-play due to penalties which may have a "flagged" player sit in the penalty area for 30 seconds - 3 minutes: a penalized team plays "man-down" for the duration of the penalty and the other team plays "man-up". "Man-down" and "man-up" teams are a central part of game strategy even at the lower levels. Players are selected for a position on the Man-up and Man-down team based on their effort, spirit, diligence and skill exhibited in practice. Players should ask their coaches what they can do to earn the chance to contribute during Man-up and Man-down situations. 


What is SNYL policy on playing other sports during Lacrosse season? 

SNYL is a strong proponent of multi-sport athletes. Most sports seasons overlap slightly and in all circumstances it requires maturity and planning to manage multiple commitments. Participating in winter sports whose seasons end when Lacrosse is starting can be managed between the player and his coaches. From March 15th to June 15th, SNYL discourages participation in other spring-season sports, especially at the U15 level. Playing two sports during the same season is doubling player commitments and it becomes much more complicated for the athlete and the parents. It can be done, but you will be forced to make choices that can impact your playing time in Lacrosse. Your coach will have the the final say on how this is enforced so it is critical that you communicate with the team coaches.

Specific Sports:

Baseball - It has been done but parents and players report it to be highly challenging. For U15 players it is impractical and discouraged.

Football - For all Divisions Football is a great companion sport with Lacrosse. Football gives players an opportunity to develop speed, strength and endurance in an organized environment and does not overlap seasons.

Basketball - For all Divisions, winter basketball is a sport we encourage players to do with the caveat that you be mature about planning and managing this additional sport. Typically, Basketball will overlap with only a few weeks during the beginning of Lacrosse season. We have found most Basketball coaches to be flexible, as will your Lacrosse coaches - IF you communicate with both.

Hockey - For all Divisions, winter Hockey is a sport we encourage players to do with the caveat that you be mature about planning and managing this additional sport. Typically, Hockey will overlap with only a few weeks during the beginning of Lacrosse season. We have found most Hockey coaches to be flexible, as will your Lacrosse coaches - IF you communicate with both. Hockey tournaments are optional events and we request that you discuss participation in post season Hockey with your Lacrosse coach PRIOR to committing so you do not leave your team short. 

Soccer - For all divisions soccer shouldn't impact your ability to go to games as town soccer games are on Saturdays and Lacrosse games on Sunday.


How do I register? 

All registrations are managed on the new SNYL website. The new on-line registration program is secure and all on-line payments are deposited directly into the Swampscott Nahant Youth Lacrosse merchant account. You can also register or renew your US Lacrosse number during this process which is required of all coaches and players. SNYL purchases its insurance through US Lacrosse.


What is the cost of registration? 

Registration fees for the 2015-16 season are $190 for U11 - U15 players and $125 for U9 players. Fully paid registration is required before a player will be placed on a team. Players that register after the December 31st deadline are placed on a waiting list and charged an additional $50 when they are awarded a spot in the league. If your child ends up as an alternate the cost is $110-$150. The third child is free, with the lowest fee of the three being waved.


What is the refund policy? 

Registration fees for the Regular Season (Spring) are refundable less the merchant account fees and a small administrative charge ($5) if SNYL is notified by email or letter before January 1st. One half (50%) of the registration fee is refundable for requests made by email or letter after January 1st and before March 1st of the current regular season. No refunds will be issued for requests made on or after March 1st of the current season. SNYL's refund policy is based upon our obligations for field reservations, equipment purchases and administrative costs such as insurance which are in turn based upon registration numbers. If a player is removed from an SNYL program due to falsified information given during the registration process which affects the player's eligibility, an additional $100 administrative charge will be deducted after the refund is calculated.

Is everyone who registers assigned to a team? 

In an effort to be fair and provide the best experience possible for your child(ren) SNYLwill have wait-lists and alternate positions for Spring 2016. Open registration is from October 15th until December 31st. Late registration is from January 1st to January 15th and adds $50 to your registration fee. However, each age group and team size has minimum and maximum numbers assigned to it, so being wait-listed, especially early on in the process does NOT mean that your child will not get on a team. 

When we reach the maximum number you will automatically become wait-listed. Once our wait-list and those already registered meets a minimum number, we will create two teams and raise the cap up until the new maximum and so on. The counters you see just let you know how many open positions there are at that moment.

If at the end, we do not have sufficient numbers for another team, your child(ren) will be offered an alternate position. Alternates pay a reduced fee and come to all practices. When a full time player cannot make a game (and as you know almost every week we have missing players), alternates are offered a spot or spots on a rotating basis. If you have any questions about the process/policy please email:  Wait-list Status / Alternate Status.


How many players are on each team? 

Approximately 13 - 23 players but numbers vary since we are a young league that is still growing rapidly. We want to include as many players as possible and sometimes that means a few less or a few more players on a team.

U9: Max= 16 Min= 13
U11: Max= 18 Min=14
U13: Max= 23 Min=18
U15: Max= 23 Min=18


What if my son/daughter has never played lacrosse before?

Lacrosse is a fairly simple game to learn, although the girls game is arguably a little more complex. The basic skills though, cradling, scooping, passing, catching and shooting can all be picked up relatively quickly. The nice thing is any player can practice alone any time although there are usually plenty of kids who also want to throw around. All a player needs is a net or a wall to practice on his/her own. The important thing is a good attitude and keep practicing!


How can my son or daughter accelerate their learning and skill proficiency?

We recommend the following in no particular order except for the first one: Play wall ball every day or as often as they can. Call friends to shoot and pass. Go to clinics, summer camps, play on a summer team, come early to practice or stay late for tips from the coaches, watch games at all levels, watch college lacrosse on TV or YouTube. Stay focused, be positive and never quit.


How much is equipment going to set me back?

We provide a list of all the protective gear, sticks and heads needed for girls (mouth guard, eye protection, and a girls regulation stick) and for boys (mouth guard, helmet, boys regulation stick, shoulder pads, arm guards, cleats and gloves). Aside from a mouth guard, all equipment can be bought used if needed, although for boys we recommend buying your helmets new as well. Play It Again Sports and Craig's List are great sources for used equipment. The kids of course prefer new gear and equipment manufacturers are always coming out with something new. Packages that include all that boys need usually run around $190. You can find new gear online or locally at Comlax, Dick's, Modell's and others. Be prepared to replace equipment as shafts and heads can break and bend, and new replacements can cost in the $40 - $150 range. Just call or email your player’s coach with any questions about selecting appropriate equipment. 


What is all this about getting a new stick all the time?

Lacrosse sticks are for play and, for the boys especially, get heavy use with checking, face-off bends etc. Plastic heads can crack or split over time. First, MAKE SURE KIDS DON’T PLAY WITH STICKS WHEN THE TEMPERATURE IS BELOW 40 F AS THE PLASTIC WILL BECOME BRITTLE and may break. Enforcement can be difficult as you will notice that for many children the stick becomes an extension of their arms in all types of weather. With proper use a stick and head should last at least one season, although we can’t make any promises. It may make sense to keep a backup stick in your player’s gear bag. The market offers many different lacrosse shafts and heads, some for specific purposes.  Sometimes the kids just want the newest and coolest stick. Ask us for recommendations if needed but remember a fancy high end stick will not mask any players deficiencies. A wise old lacrosse player once said - it's not the wand it's the wizard!


Are there tournaments?

There may be one or two tournaments during the season if the coaches feel they have a team that is interested and can compete. Every season ends with the lacrosse jamboree in Devens, MA. Since we don't have standings or playoffs the jamboree serves as one last chance to play and is a celebration of the season. Your team will play three games in one day against other towns from across the state. The kids love it and it's great fun! It is also a great place to find great deals on equipment. If Select teams are formed, they may go to additional tournaments.


I've heard that lacrosse is a rough sport; is that true?

At the youth level, the physical aspects of boys’ lacrosse (stick and body checking) are watched carefully. At the U-15 level and below for boy’s lacrosse no “take out checks” (i.e. knocking a player to the ground) are permitted. Of course boys wear padded gloves, helmets, etc. for a reason and the play can be physical which is one of the reasons middle school boys like it. However, the emphasis is always on skills, teamwork and attitude. Girls’ play lacrosse with no physical contact and abide by strict rules for checking. 


What is U.S. Lacrosse?

The national governing body of men's and women's lacrosse. All players will become members of U.S. Lacrosse upon registering for the SNYL programs. Their website is www.uslacrosse.org

 

Are there try-outs?

There are no try-outs for Classic teams. Every child is accepted in our program and receives equal playing time, coaching, and attention regardless of their athletic ability, skill, and experience. However, occasionally a Select team will be formed and that is by invitation/tryouts only. Generally these will be higher skill level kids. During the spring they play additional games.  Fall lacrosse plays in highly competitive tournaments that would not be appropriate for most of our players and is also by invitation only.


Can my son/daughter “play-up” a division?

The most common answer is no. Although you may feel your child needs more of a challenge it is to the coaches and the board to asses the child's emotional and physical ability to handle play at a higher level. Their decisions are final. Typically we have had 1-2 requests a year. Each one is handled separately.