I hope this message finds you well. As many teams and leagues are beginning to organize for their spring seasons, MYLA wants to make sure you have everything you need to provide the best lacrosse experience possible for your administrators, coaches, players, parents, and officials. Please see the 2017 MYLA Info Guide attached, along with a number of important announcements below.
1) MYLA Guide - This guide is meant to be a resource for your program during the upcoming season. Inside, you will find information about rules, game and safety procedures, important contacts, and a host of other information designed to answer administrator, coach, and parent questions quickly and easily. Please share this resource! It is our hope that by standardizing the way we play the game in Michigan, we will create a stronger base from which Michigan youth lacrosse can grow.
2) New for 2017 – The two biggest announcements are US Lacrosse’s new Player Segmentation Policy and Athlete Development Model.
Player Segmentation Policy: This policy was enacted to further improve the quality of competition, play, and overall experience for our participants. More details can be found via this link or in the MYLA Guide. In short, the policy recommends organizing teams by a single age year, and gives programs the opportunity to move to even year breakdowns when combining players born in a 24 month span. Now, instead of U11, U13, U15, combined teams should use 10U, 12U, and 14U formats. This is a big breakthrough for Michigan lacrosse. As you may know, U15 lines up with 8th and 9th graders, U13 with 7th and 6th, etc. By moving to the even year breakdown, we will be able to achieve fairer games among programs that traditionally form teams with 7/8, 5/6, 3/4, etc. This policy is to be fully implemented in the fall of 2017, but leagues that can use this format this spring are encouraged to do so.
Athlete Development Model: Gone are the days of watching our youngest players struggle to make it up and down the field. Smaller players, smaller fields. That's the name of the game if we want to keep kids engaged, developing their skills, and getting more touches on the ball. US Lacrosse developed evidence-based guidelines for the best way to compete at each level starting with 3v3 and progressing up to full-field. See better skill development, more enjoyment, and increased retention rates by implementing the ADM into your program.
3) Membership - Do you still need to become a MYLA or US Lacrosse member? You can do so through the following links:
4) Officials - MYLA has partnered with official's organizations across the state (MichLOA, CAOA, WMLOA) in order to improve the quality and availability of officials for youth games. Assignors will only provide US Lacrosse Certified officials for MYLA games. We also recently launched an initiative to bring officials training to your community. Learn more about how nominating only 2+ individuals to receive training can help your program here.
5) US Lacrosse CEP Coach's Certification - Mark your calendars! More US Lacrosse Coaching Education Programs are coming to an area near you. Right now, we have clinics planned on Saturday, January 7th in Walled Lake and on Saturday, February 4th in Plymouth. Registrations will be open soon. Having your program's coaches become Level 1 Certified is an important step in building a Gold-Stick program. Interested in hosting a Level 1 or 2 clinic in your area? All we need is classroom space and a small field area. Please contact me to get the ball rolling.
All of this information is also available on our website at www.miyouthlacrosse.org. Please let me know if you have any questions or if we can do anything to help as you prepare for the season.
Thank you again for all that you do. Together, we can continue working to make the Michigan Youth Lacrosse experience one of the best in the country for our players, coaches, parents, administrators, and officials.