Information on our Warrior Girls' Program
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At what age can girls start playing lacrosse?
Currently our youngest team is a 8U which means under 8 years old which includes K through 2nd.
How dangerous is girl’s lacrosse?
Like any sport such as soccer or basketball or where there are many players running, cutting and, in the case of lacrosse, shooting a ball, injuries do occur and there is always a risk of collision or other serious and non-serious injuries. However, the rules governing girl’s lacrosse, and our coaching training, are designed with safety in mind and there is no body checking permitted as there is in men’s lacrosse. In addition, players do a dynamic warm-up at the start of every practice to properly warm up the muscles and to get mentally focused.
The injury report for this 2013 season is similar to last season, although due to the program’s growth, we had double the players this year.
Our five girl’s teams: 1-under 9 team, 2-Under 11, 1-Under 13 and 1-Under 15 team, which equals 100 athletes played a combined total of 81 games, 16 scrimmages and approximately 250 practices for a total of approximately 347 lacrosse events. 347 x 100 players = A lot of lacrosse!
During the 2013 season we experienced 0 concussions, 1 bloody nose that did not prevent a return to practice, and a few bumps and bruises. The only injury across all 347 player-events that directly caused a player to miss practice was a sprained ankle caused by stepping on an unseen lacrosse ball at practice.
By far more practices were missed due to colds, flu, school playground and backyard injuries, and growth-related orthopedic issues such as sore knees, which is not uncommon for athletic girls in any running sport.
How competitive is lacrosse?
The Warriors program coaches are certified by, the Positive Coaching Alliance which teaches us to compete with a goal of winning but that winning is not the most important thing. We believe that the experience must be fun, teach valuable life lessons such as hard work, commitment, teamwork, high standards, sportsmanship, punctuality, physical fitness and of course the fundamentals of lacrosse. We take the girls and the game seriously so practices start on time and are organized, but based on what we have seen, learning and playing girls lacrosse is a lot of fun. And winning and losing should never get in the way of having a positive, fun experience.
Who are your coaches?
That depends on the team. In many cases it is a dad/mom who has learned the game. In some cases the head coach is a past women’s lacrosse athlete. Some of our coaches are also local high school lacrosse coaches that brings a lot of knowledge and commitment to our youthEvery Warriors head coach and assistant that is on the game sidelines, must meet the league certification requirements which include US Lacrosse training as well as the Positive Coaching Alliance certification and a personal professional background check. (Parents with no lacrosse experience but who enjoy coaching are encouraged to consider becoming assistant coaches, training is provided.) All Warriors coaches agree to the Warrior’s club standards and expectations and follow a coaching manual and process. Coaches are overseen by the Girls Commissioner with additional supervision and guidance by the club’s Executive Director and board of directors.
I have never seen lacrosse. Is it popular?
Lacrosse is the oldest sport in North American history, having been played by Native Americans, who refer to it as “The Creators Game,” centuries ago. Since the first organized Girls game played in 1890 in Scotland, it has grown rapidly starting from Canada and the East coast of the United States, Maryland originally, and moving West. Today it is the most rapidly-growing youth sport in California. Many multi-sport athletes refer to lacrosse as the only game that is even fun to practice.
How complicated is it to learn lacrosse?
This is a two-part answer: First, the rules and concepts of the game are surprisingly easy to learn. For anyone who is familiar with the basic concepts of soccer, basketball, water polo, or hockey, lacrosse will make sense immediately as the concepts of offense and defense are quite the same including the idea of putting a ball into the goal. Of course there are some field lines that dictate certain position rules. The second part has to do with the stick. Learning to handle a lacrosse stick is a challenge which is part of what makes it so fun. It typically takes a brand new player about 4 weeks to be able to do some basic catching and throwing. By mid-season, most girls are able to run, throw and catch and by season’s end the player’s skill is unrecognizable from when they began. And, of course the more a player practices on their own, the more quickly and more advanced their stick skills get. First year parents commonly become huge lacrosse fans as they learn the rules and concepts very quickly.
How many girls play on the field at a time?
There are 12 players on the field including a goalie. The team sizes are typically between 17 to 24 players. 8U teams do not use a goalie and play on a modified field with smaller goals and just 4 players on the field.
What equipment do they wear? Do they wear a helmet?
Girls wear eye goggles, soccer shoes, and a mouth guard. Some wear gloves but that is a personal preference. Players provide their own gear and a starter stick+ eyewear + mouth-guard package can usually be purchased for about $40. The goalie wears a full set of protective gear similar to a baseball catcher or hockey goalie which is provided by the club. Except for the goalie, girls do not wear helmets. There has been a lot of research around this subject and it has shown, according to US Lacrosse, that the introduction of helmets in the girls game would not have an increased effect on safety and some argue that because it would change the nature of play, it could increase the risk of concussion. In addition, stick checking is not permitted at the 10U age or below and only modified checking is allowed, and carefully officiated, at the 10U and 12U levels.
How long is the season? How many games are played?
The preseason starts around the third week of January and runs through the first organized scrimmages the first weekend of March. Regular season entails between 12 to 15 games plus an end of season tournament the weekend following Mother’s day that includes 2 games. Each game is just under an hour long. The U9 season is about three weeks shorter and plays about 10 to 12 games. Depending on the team, practice is 2 to 3 days per week and games are usually round robin style (three teams meet and each plays each other) on either Saturday or Sundays. Practices typically run from 90 minutes to 120 minutes.
Who do you play? Where? How much travel?
We attempt to balance home vs away games. Our home field is typically Las Lomas High School or Ygnacio Valley High School. Fortunately there are a lot of teams in the East Bay so we play most of those teams including Pleasanton, Danville, Lamorinda and Skyline (Piedmont), Berkeley and Oakland. In addition, we play teams in Marin, South Bay and in San Francisco.
What is the opportunity to play the sport competitively?
There are seven high schools in our coverage area: Clayton, College Park, Alhambra, Acalanes, Las Lomas, Northgate, and Carondelet (which is traditionally among the top high school programs in the West), that have programs with others planning to start programs. Assuming about 35 varsity + Junior varsity players per school that means that there is a need in the high school programs within our territory today of about 240 players. This season the Warriors graduated about 14 girls who will go to these various school programs. The opportunity is tremendous.
There are also competitive travel teams throughout the area for girls who wish to play competitively year around, e.g.www.4corelax.com ,www.Tenacity10.com and www.TripleThreatlax.com.
We would not encourage parents to assume that their daughter will earn a scholarship for lacrosse. However, many parents ask about college lacrosse. There are approximately 350 NCAA Division I, II and III schools that have lacrosse programs, many with scholarships, plus hundreds with club teams. In the Bay Area, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Davis and St. Mary’s all have NCAA Division I lacrosse programs which are competitively nationally. They also have club teams. Because there are fewer girls playing youth lacrosse than other sports, some believe that there is more opportunity in college to play lacrosse than many other sports simply due to the numbers; numerous college programs but a lot fewer high school players than many other sports.