Promoting and developing youth lacrosse in Davis

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Welcome to the Davis Lacrosse Association

The Davis Lacrosse Association is the home of the Davis Lacrosse youth lacrosse program, serving boys and girls from age seven all the way through high school.  We are a non-profit organization focused solely on promoting and developing lacrosse in our community. Our program started in 2004.  We also provide administrative support to the Davis High Blue Devils boys’ lacrosse teams.

What is lacrosse?
Not only is lacrosse the oldest known sport in North America, it is also the fastest growing.  The game was initially played by native Iroquois tribes dating back 500 years or more.  The modern game has been popular in the Eastern US and Canada for many years, but has been spreading rapidly throughout the US at all levels.  Lacrosse is a fast-paced field sport, with elements that are similar to soccer, basketball and especially ice hockey (in fact many ice hockey rules originated with the sport of lacrosse).

How do you play lacrosse?
Lacrosse is played on a field similar in size to a football or soccer field, with goals at each end.  Players use sticks of varied length with a mesh net at one end.  A hard rubber ball is thrown, caught, and carried using the stick. The objective is to outmaneuver the defense and shoot the ball into a 6’ x 6’ goal, defended by a goalie.  Lacrosse is a relatively high scoring sport, with scores often exceeding 10 goals per side during a game.

Is lacrosse a physical game?
It depends! First of all, men’s and women’s rules are different, with minimal contact allowed in the women’s game.  Men’s lacrosse allows more contact, including some forms of body checking.  Youth lacrosse uses modified rules that progress from very limited contact at the U8/U10 ages up to full contact at the high school level.  Contact is generally more that you would see in soccer or basketball, but less than in football or hockey.  Additionally, physical conditioning is an important aspect of lacrosse, as it is a fast-paced full-field sport.

What sorts of skills are needed to play?
While players of all abilities can enjoy the sport of lacrosse, the most successful players will demonstrate skill in: hand-eye coordination, footwork, agility, tenacity and teamwork.  Throwing and catching are basic skills that we emphasize at all levels.  Nothing is more fun to watch than a team that executes crisp passing.  Footwork and agility are important on both offense and defense.  Tenacity is about playing hard and giving your best effort.  Lacrosse is a team sport, requiring everyone to play for the benefit of the team.  Above all else, we want our players to have a fun and positive experience.  We encourage players to play other sports outside of lacrosse season.

When is lacrosse season?
Lacrosse is a spring season sport.  Our practices generally start in late-January or early-February, and games will start in late-February and run through most of May.  We also offer summer and fall camps and tournament teams and clinics.  There are travel teams in the area that play in tournaments throughout the year.  Many players from Davis participate in the sport outside of Davis on competitive travel teams.

Is there travel required?
Yes. We play in a league that includes teams from throughout the Sacramento area, as well as the Bay Area and as far north as Redding.  Generally our season will have from 12-16 games, with approximately half played in Davis.  Most of the other games will be within a one hour drive. We will occasionally play games that require travel beyond one hour.  There is often a season-ending tournament in the Bay Area.

What is the best age to start?
Any age is fine.  We have had players as young as seven, and we have had others that did not start until high school.  It is very common on our youth teams for as many as half of the players to be new to the sport each season.  Teams are based on the players’ age as of August 31 prior to the start of the season.  U8 teams are generally1st and 2nd grade (we have only fielded one full U8 team). U10 teams are generally 3
rd and 4th grade (we may allow U8 players to play up to U10 team if there is no U8 team). U12 teams are generally 5th and 6th grade. U14 is primarily 7th and 8th grade.  Once a player has reached 9th grade, league rules require that they play on a high school team regardless of their age.  Youth players may be allowed play up one level with the permission of the parents, coach and DLA administration.

Are there tryouts?
It is the hope and desire of the Davis Lacrosse Association to provide opportunities for all local youth to play lacrosse. In part this means that the number of players per team will be limited so players that are attending practice and working hard will get play time. Fulfilling this goal requires that the organization have a sufficient number of qualified coaches and a sufficient number of players. It is the policy of Davis Lacrosse Association that whenever there are more players registered for a U12 or U14 team than there are spots available, tryouts will be held to determine if a player will be admitted to a team.

At this time, a player’s admittance for U10 and U8 teams will be determined by the date payment is received for each player’s registration. Once the predetermined number of spots is filled, a player’s registration will be put on a waiting list and will only be admitted if a player already on the team drops.

What equipment is needed?
To try the sport at one of our free clinics (usually May/June and September), we can provide you with everything you need.  For one of our summer camps, we recommend you have your own equipment, but we may have some loaner equipment available.  Spring season players should plan to have all of their own equipment once practice starts. Boys will need: a stick (boys/girls sticks are different!), gloves, arm pads, shoulder pads, mouth guard, helmet and athletic cup.  Rib pads are optional.  Girls need: a stick (specifically a girls stick), mouth guard and eye cage.  Football/soccer shoes work well, but any athletic shoes are fine (except metal cleats).

Boys’ equipment will cost from $100 to $300, with the helmet being the most expensive item.  Do not overspend on a first set – the emphasis should be on comfort and proper fit.  Girls’ equipment will typically cost from $25 to $100.  Most equipment will last several years. There are plenty of opportunites to aquire used equiment in good condition from older players, ebay, etc. 

What is the cost?
The cost of the youth program varies depending on the age group, but will typically be between $300 and $400 for the spring season. This covers all in-season expenses, and no additional game/tournament fees, uniform fees or fundraising are required.  Some optional team apparel will be available for purchase. Additionally, players and camp participants must be members of US Lacrosse, which is $30 per year for youth players and $35 per year for high school players.

Is there financial assistance available?
Yes. We generally are able to give out some partial scholarships for individual player registration costs. Scholarships are given at the discretion of the DLA Board of Directors registration assistance committee, and may require an application for scholarship.  All scholarship information is kept confidential.

Who are your coaches?
Our coaches are generally current/former college players and/or parents of current players.  We have had many UC Davis players act as coaches in the past. All of our coaches are certified by US Lacrosse and the Positive Coaching Alliance, and must also pass a background check.  We emphasize a fun and positive environment, fostering a love for the sport.  While winning is fun, it is not the primary emphasis of our coaching staff.

What is the role of parents?
This sport, and our Association in particular, strongly encourage the active participation of parents in running and supporting our teams.  It gives the parents an opportunity to participate in an activity with their child and it also distributes the tasks required to run the team among the parents, leaving the coaches to do what they do best.

Committee and Director Positions in the Association include: Board of Directors, Scheduler, Field Coordinator, Coaching Committee, Publicity, Webmaster, Registrar, Fundraising, Accounting/Bookkeeping, Risk Management, Equipment Manager, Uniform Coordinator and Spiritwear Coordinator.

At the team level positions include: Team Manager, Scorekeeper, Timekeeper, Spotter, Statistician, Side Line Manager, First Aid, Transportation Coordinator, Team Equipment Manager and Water/Snacks. We would love to have your help!

Where can I see a game?
Youth games are traditionally played at Playfields Park in Davis.  High School games are played at the Davis High School Stadium.  Additionally, UC Davis has both Men’s and Women’s lacrosse teams.  On television, you can see Division I NCAA lacrosse games on CBS and ESPN.  There is also a professional lacrosse league (MLL) that features many of the best lacrosse players in the world throughout the summer months on ESPN2.

If there is anything else I can answer for you please do not hesitate to contact me via email.




James Heard
Davis Lacrosse Association