Frequently Asked Questions....
When is lacrosse "our" season? Our Spring Lax for many of the age groups runs from sometime in February (depending on age) to the first or second week of June. Note that most other programs only run from end of March to June. So when comparing costs realize that our kids are indoors (expensive) for up to 2 more months.
How are kids grouped together? Lacrosse normally runs by grades. We have both combined grades of 3/4, 5/6, and 7/8 at the beginner and intermediate levels (referred to as Travel), and advanced players at 3/4 combined and separately for 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades (referred to as "Select").
What Grades will your program admit? Currently for boys and girls K to 8th grade.
What towns can register? - Players from all towns are welcome. If you can committ to attending practices and games you can join.
Is this Travel or Rec and how do you place the kids? Neither…. We schedule games at all levels (except K-2nd Grade). The distinction is that the more advanced players (refer to as "Select" Team) will play against more advanced teams and play 1-2 more tournaments than the other squads (other level referred to as "Travel" Team). Given the additional Select tournament costs, the Select players "may" be assessed an additional cost once the selection process completes (depends on budget for that yearÃ„µ). Across all levels and grades we are an "Instructional Program", and all teams have full travel schedules. We expect a commitment from the players and parents that they will attend all practices and games unless notifying the coaches in advance. Kids who miss practices may not get equal playing time (need to know the plays, and have sufficient competence to play safely). This having been said there may be occasions when players do not play equally in games. This unfortunately is something the coaches try to avoid but need to address on each team. At certain levels, if you do not keep a few good players on the field..the ball does not move and the kids are stuck playing defense the entire game...so time is based on keeping that tricky balance of keeping it fun...while trying to maximize playing time equaly for all. Also, the more competitive teams will concentrate on being competitive and therefore may have increased issues with un-equal playing time.
What are Commitment Requirements - while we encourage that kids play other sports..if they are chosen for a "Select" Team at the 5th to 8th Grade Levels, we require that Lacrosse be their priority sport during the Spring. As Select is only 15-17 kids, we can ill afford some player not showing up due to another sport conflict. Morevover, that player has now denied some other kid who was willing to make the commitment to Select from playing. Should they be unable to make such commitment, we encourage you to register for Travel program...that is skill based and will still develop your childs abilities
When Does the Program Start? February for some levels. Check calendar and with your head coach. Late March we move to practicing and playing outside
When will practices and games be and will they be schedule around other sports (ie..Baseball)? K-2 grade play on Sundays. 3-4th grade will practice 1-2 during the week and have most games on the weekend. 5-8th will practice 2 times during the week and will play most games on the weekend. Actual practice and game times will be determined by the individual coaches. Note - Lacrosse requires skills that most of the boys and girls have not been exposed to and these skills take time to develop and require their full attention. These skills must be continually re-enforced for their safety and the safety of the other players. In 2018, we will try to add a third practice for Girls (and maybe Boys) grades 5th thru 8th. This practice may be on a Monday and be optional...The practice will be soley conditioning and be run by certified strength and conditioning trainers. As the cost is included in your registration cost, and is professionally coached by certified trainers..we would suggest that all try to attend.
Any extra commitment for kids over 5th grade, where competition and skill tends to increase? We expect all players, Travel and Select to attend all practices and games unless other arrangements are made with the coach. Also, we tend to find that kids lack stamina (too much TV and video games). As such, we strongly encourage additional exercise (home drills and exercises are provided to each grade level). If a child wants to they should: 1) go running with a lacrosse stick and 2) pound the ball against a wall. As previously noted, if your child is chosen for Select, this must be their priority Spring sport. In 2018, we adde a third practice for Girls (and maybe Boys) grades 5th thru 8th. This practice may be on a Monday and for most is optional...The practice will be soley conditioning and be run by certified strength and conditioning trainers. As the cost is included in your registration cost, and is professionally coached by certified trainers..we would suggest that all try to attend.
What equipment is required? Boys - Helmet, gloves, shoulder pads, arm pads, mouth guard, athletic supporter, cleats, stick. Recommendations change every year based on competition between the manufacturers. We strongly suggest you talk to the sales people at the stores listed, as they are very sincere...and will make the right choice for your child (some equipment runs large or small and thus there is an element of tailoring to your child). Relative to new boy and girl players we do suggest that THE SITCK HAS SOFT MESH. Girls – stick (soft mesh), goggles, hand gloves
Where can I buy the equipment? Go to the "Links" to the left and we have a hot link to an equipment store that will provide you with a discount. Universal Lacrosse appears to have the biggest selection.
Costs? Boys - All equipment (exclusive of cleats) could run as much as $200 at retail (a little more than the cost of a good baseball bat and glove). We have negotiated deals in the past that has resulted in all equipment being sold as a package at a discount to this amount. Girls – less equipment results in a cost of $50-$75
Both Girls and Boys – In addition to equipment the kids will pay $35 for insurance and around $320 (depending on age and program) for registration fee (includes cost of goals, balls, other team equipment, shirts and shorts, field maintenance, refs..etc.). K-2 boys and girls pay less.
What is our program philosophy? Our priority is that kids have fun, learn the correct playing techniques, respect coaches/refs, and fellow teammates, and that everyone plays. We are an "Instructional Program". We also have different teams arranged by grades and levels which may or may not require more of a commitment and a more aggressive approach to being competitive.
What has been the split between Boys and Girls and what is your commitment to grow each? Currently about 30% of registrants are Girls. Our commitment is to have both be 50/50. Until such time, we will allocate more funds to the smaller gender. Accordingly, we spend more on the Girls. An example of this is that it is hard to find any girls coaches that have played the sport. Our remedy is that we advertise and pay for experienced coaches. We may have the only paid girls coaches in NJ...However, we believe that over time the superiority of our coaches and staffing will bring the girls numbers up to that of the boys.
Is the Program a Non-For-Profit? - Yes. Generally, we apply any excess monies at the end of each year to adding additional services and benefits to the kids. So if you pay more, you should get more.
What additional benefits are you offering in 2017 ? - 1) we actively solicit Kindergarten kids, 2) more games at all levels, 3) Possibly 1-2 days indoors or on astro turf outside (at $300-$500 per hour this is a huge cost/benefit differentiator to our program). This will be divided over the programs, with focus on 5th grade and older; 4) consistency in coaching, teaching techniques, advanced scheduling), 5) arranging for on-field photography, 6) Summer camps for all kids at K and older; 7) private lessons, camps, clinics, and leagues in Summer, Fall, and Winter; 8) Starting in 2018, we will try to add a third practice for Girls (and maybe Boys) grades 5th thru 8th. This practice may be on a Monday and be optional...The practice will be soley conditioning and be run by certified strength and conditioning trainers. As the cost is included in your registration cost, and is professionally coached by certified trainers..we would suggest that all try to attend; 9) we will add at least two more coaches to the Girl's program; and 10) for an additional cost of only $40, all 5th to 8th graders can register for two indoor strength and conditioning sessions that will include a review of their nutrition...click on registration tab to join
Why is the program setup as a club and not run through a town sports foundation? Currently we feel that we would not only have more flexibility in being independent, but that we could invite other town players and help expand Lax not only on a town basis but region. In the long run this will serve all well. We are also all lacrosse vets running a lacrosse program...done the way lacrosse should be done.
Is Bigger Better?
Unfortunately, when it comes to running a sports program, and trying to offer more for less..it absolutely is. Consider other programs that are smaller......As they may have only one combo team, say 5/6, they are forced to mix beginners with advanced players. In such case neither is well served, and does not get proper attention or playing time. Being smaller they have less purchasing power..... so indoor time, apparel, equipment...etc are all more expensive. Also if run by a sports foundation, your money could be going to support other sports. If run as a for profit, you are financing a coaches livelihood. We are the perfect combination of being large and a non-for-profit. You can see this by the fact that we are the only program that for the same cost can offer some indoor pr outdoor astro turf time, pay for expensive defibulaors on the field, and now offer weekly outdoor conditioning sessions with certified paid trainers. At 5/6 and 7/8 we have two combo grade teams, Travel, and then an individual Select grade team. This allows your child to "maximize" their development by playing with like skilled players. Finally, having more financial resources has permitted us to provide 100% grants to families that have financial difficulty due to divorces, lost loved ones, spouse going to Middle East, and natural catastrophe losses (ie in past made program free to those who suffered at hands of hurricane Sandy). We can also afford to run appreciation events for our coaches and an end of the year "free" picnic for the entire program and their families. Indeed, "Size" for us represents more for less, better development for your child and the ability to be community based and offer more heart.
Where will practices and games be? We have use several fields in Holmdel, Colts Neck, Tinton Falls and Middletown. Away games will be mostly in Monmouth county.
Any hard and fast rules for Parents?
1)Please refer to the web site 24 hours before all prescheduled events to confirm that there are no changes OR some coaches may prefer to use email as a means to communicate to the individual teams.
2) In the event of rain (inclement weather) refer to web site up to when you leave the house for a practice or game. OR some coaches may prefer to use email as a means to communicate to the individual teams.
3) Please use the web site before calling and e-mailing. Over time we will make the site more robust so as to respond to nearly every question you may have. OR some coaches may prefer to use email as a means to communicate to the individual teams.
4) We will encourage good behavior and respect amongst the kids (no foul language, no talking back to refs or coaches, no hitting/fighting). As fun and learning are our priorities, we would ask that all parents remain calm, and accept what might otherwise be considered heartbreaking losses… there are lessons in such events, and we would prefer to have the kids learn these then simply notching wins. For now learning the game, bonding, respecting one another and being happy for others when they score and you are on the bench (even if you are possibly the best player) are better lessons.
5) Be conscious that Lax probably requires the most endurance of any sport (more than soccer, given that play does not stop at mid-field, resulting in kids running full speed from the defense zone to the offense zone). As such, sleep, proper eating, hydration all become factors.
Is there a difference between a girl’s and boy’s stick? Yes. The difference is in the pocket. A boy’s stick has a deep-set pocket while the girl’s stick has little to no pocket and requires more skill to keep the ball in the stick. (Highly recommended to have girls to use a girls stick from day 1, if they use the deeper pocketed boys stick it will make it harder for them to transition later.
How do I know if my son will like lacrosse? While there is no guarantee, lacrosse is an easy transition for kids. Kids that have player other sports such as basketball, soccer, hockey, and football players pick up the sport very quickly.
What if my child does not like the sport...will you refund costs? We permit a nearly full refund through the first 2 weeks from when you register. We can not refund the cost of the insurance $35 (does not come to us), and generally about $15 of the Registration cost, as this goes to the internet provider..we will refund all other registration costs. We of course can not promise that we will buy your equipment and at what cost...but you can inquire at the time. Note that refunds take several weeks as the internet provider is slow remitting cash to us from registration...until we have it...we can not send it to you.
Payment after registration is final. There are no refunds. That said , we will consider special circumstances (seems to always be special circumstances), within two weeks of when you register. We are a non-for-profit, and we do not look to hold on to profits, but rather spend it on the kids. This is another reason why if we pay any refund it needs to be in the first two weeks before we incur additional costs. Refunds, if at all, are at the Boards discretion, but will be net of costs such as internet service and all practices, tournaments and games (while possibly displeased with such, we incurred costs that we have no other source to refund you from), and other admin costs where we do not see the monies from. Do not be surprised as to how much the indoor time alone represents. Indoor time is the most expensive part of the program. If you have a problem or complaint you should not wait. If it is so great that you seek a refund, you should either take action early or provide us the opportunity to correct it early. But to not let us correct it and then seek refund is not acceptable and such request for a refund will not be considered. The more severe the complaint, the earlier we would expect you to share it with us. The lesser the complaint and consequently longer time you take to make such...the less expectation you should have for a refund. In the absence of not getting a refund, we encourage all comments and complaints, so that we can make the program better. We appreciate your understanding in this matter, and that as a non-for-profit that it is hard to make such refunds. Take some comfort in knowing that we will take action on your complaint and that your money went to a good cause.
If I leave the Mavericks for another program can I come back ?
If you left on good terms, we will welcome you back with open arms. However, coming back mid season, where Select players have already been chosen could result in you being assigned to the Travel team, regardless of your ability. Note however, that our Travel is often better than many programs Select squads, and that advanced players, because they will dominate in a Travel Program can develop just as well with proper coaching...which we provide. Regardless, be careful in your choice of other programs, and be sure to ask questions. Be sure to inquire what the program costs, what get for your money, are they properly insured, do the have defibrillators on the field, how many teams at each grade so that your child is with like talent, did all their coaches play lacrosse, are they a for-profit where money is going to the coach and not services to your child (note that some programs are run by towns but the head of the program makes their livelihood from the program and lacrosse..... None of our coaches solely make their livelihood from lacrosse), and is indoor time included as well as nutrition reviews and strength and conditioning weekly sessions.