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Youth Scheduling Meetings Set - New times for March 1

01/19/2014, 8:45am CST
By Mark Erickson

9/10 through U9 scheduling sessions on either February 22 or March 1

March 1 - NSC Classroom, Blaine - New Times

League Times
9/10 All 1:00 PM
U15 North 2:15 PM
U13 North 3:30 PM
Times are estimates

National Sports Center location

Classroom is up the stairs from the entrance to the Sports Hall.

U9 is 7-v-7 this Spring

U9 games are 7-v-7 played on a shortened field. Full details are available in the 2014 Minnesota Youth Rules document at right. Also note that U9 does not play double-headers. They play once per date.

Roster Size

An ideal roster size is about 20 for 9/10 through U11 during the spring season, in my opinion. 18 should be a minimum due to the inevitable illness, injury and general absences. I'd cap rosters at 25. I don't have direct experience with U9 short-field 7-v-7, but 15 sounds about right, because absences are probably higher at that age. Give a call if you want to talk about your association's situation.

Saturday vs. Sunday Games

Minnesota has a shortage of certified boys' lacrosse officials available on spring weekends for youth games. MBSLA has a couple of ways to help spread the load of over 1,000 games.

The first is to have bye weekends. Over the 6 open weekends, 9/10, U15, U13 and U9 will take one weekend off. U11 takes two weekends off, including the first weekend for everyone.

The second is to have Sunday afternoon games. All U11 and U9 games will be on Sunday afternoons. The older leagues are encouraged to have Saturday night and Sunday afternoon games in order to get more experienced officials on their games. This especially applies to 9/10 games because many Level 2 officials, including HS seniors, are busy with games on Saturday mornings. If you would like to get information on recruiting boys' youth officials, go to the officials' association website, www.umloa.org.

Eligibility

Players may play one level above the age or grade level they are eligible for, but need to fill out a form and submit to the MBSLA Secretary. Only one grade or year of age below the level is allowed. 8th grader in 9/10, U13 in U15, etc.  

A player can only play on one MBSLA team at a time.  And once a player plays one game at a level, they may not play at a lower level, even if age-eligible. This means a player could be pulled up a level in mid-season (with form submitted), but may not move down.

There is a waiver available for players to play one year of age below their eligibility, but there must be extraordinary circumstances. The Board has discretion to approve or deny any waiver application. 

9th Graders in U15

Age-eligible 9th graders can play in MBSLA U15 without a waiver. However, once any 9th grader plays in a 9/10, JV or Varsity game, they are no longer eligble to play U15.

The YLM had a policy last year that only let brand new U15 teams apply for waivers for age-eligible 9th graders. I don't know what their policy will be this summer, although they recently asked for association input.

Homegrown Lacrosse is running a U15 league this summer that will allow age-eligible 9th graders. It also has a different format than YLM. Check it out at http://www.homegrownlacrosse.org/u15lakes

Evenly Balanced Teams

There doesn't seem to be enough support for a separate A (tryout) divison at either the U15 or U13 levels this spring. I've heard of some interest from about 3 teams at each level, but need 8 to make it work. Therefore, all associations with multiple teams at any level must attempt to evenly balance talent on their U15, U13, U11 and U9 teams.

However, the MBSLA does not have arcane rules to document compliance. It is usually painfully apparent when an association purposefully puts more talented players on one team and less talented on another. I have people email me about it every year.* When it has been proven that an association made no effort to balance talent, then try-out team has had games cancelled. Harsh yes, but it is a deterent. It shouldn't happen.

My rule of thumb on attempting to evenly balance teams is make sure the top 3-6 players are not on the same team and also that the bottom 3-6 players are not on the same team. I have plenty of more ideas about this and am happy to talk to anyone about how their association wants to accomplish the requirement to try to evenly balance talent. My phone number is 612-275-0959.

Also, it is not acceptable to put under 13 year-olds on one team and under 12 year-olds on another.

* Note that I always send an email to the team someone is concerned about. If you get one of these emails, I am not assuming anything and would just like to get your response - especially if it is calm and reasoned. Thank you.

Mark Erickson

Youth Scheduler

Phone: 612-275-0959

What You Need to Know

If your association has access to a turf field, you will need to schedule a date to host in April.

Each team, not association, is asked to host five games for 9/10, U15, and U13; four games for U11; and two or three games for U9. So for each team your association is scheduling, you need to know a date your field is available. Each date needs around 7 hours in a block to host five back-to-back games. Games are scheduled in 1 hour 15 minute slots. You can host on two fields at the same time or schedule a set of three or four games.

Adding or Subtracting Teams

It is easier to add a spring youth team after the scheduling meetings than subtract one. If it is within a week or maybe two after the meeting, subtracting can be done fairly easily, but after that it is not. So be conservative with the number of teams you schedule for at the meeting.

Adding a team can occur whenever, but after the original schedule is set (about two to three weeks after the meetings I'm hoping), I have to put new teams in wherever they will fit. This generally means more travelling.

Tag(s): MBSLA