Below is a list of travel summer lacrosse programs available to your son for 2015. We always get asked "which team should my son play for?" so here is a brief guide/explanation.
Please decide as a family if this is best for your boy. These are the ones we know about and the tryout dates and web sites. We do not endorse one specific club since coaches and philosophies may change year to year. We are familiar with most of the clubs and engaged in dialogue as to what their program offers. There may be others that start up after the publishing of this document, which we have no idea about, so this is not your one and only resource. If you want to hit the tournaments in the summer, you need to plan NOW…..Tryouts are just around the corner and clubs like to know how many kids they have and need in order to plan expenses for the upcoming summer. (Some tryouts start mid August so if you are interested go to their websites and check the dates now) There is a possibility of jumping on a team later in the year but if the roster is full, they shut down registration and you have to wait until next year. This also may have an impact if you want to do a few tournaments with the Wildcats at the conclusion of the season so please let your Wildcats coach know what you are available for when the time comes. Some of the teams may be doing some fall tournaments as well.
Playing Summer Travel/Club Lacrosse requires you to do some homework.
It is up to you to confirm the dates and times on the web sites as they may change over the next month or so.
The programs are more expensive than our spring league. You need to decide for yourselves if this is something that will benefit your son. We have found that the kids do not burn out or grow tired of lacrosse if they play all summer. If anything, they will learn from new coaches and players and enjoy playing an extra 10-16 games in the summer.
Higher level players desiring to play in high school and beyond often play summer lacrosse to continue work on and improve their lacrosse skills.
Here are a few questions you may want to have in mind when looking through the various websites to determine which team tryouts you will attend:
When are tryouts?
Are there tryout fees?
Where are tryouts, and eventually practices, located and who will be coaching my son? Make sure your potential coaches know how to coach youth players. Just because a player was an All-American in college does not mean he is fit to coach youth players.
What is the total cost?
Are there extra uniform or equipment fees?
How many practices do they hold? Value can be determined here. If you are looking for mainly games, fine, but if you are looking for an environment where the boys learn you may want to search a team that practices an equal number of times as the games they play or at least close to it.
Are teams grade based (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th grade teams [which may be designated by High School graduation year such as 2019]) or age group based (U-11, U-13 and U-15)? Age group based means older “group age” players and younger players may be on the same team.
What is the team “level” of play – AA, A, A/B. Summer travel teams typically play at the higher levels of play, although some specific tournaments and clubs may offer B and C divisions.
What level will the team play this summer? Once you get past June, most tournaments are filled with just travel teams. If you end up in top tournaments in MD, PA, NJ, NY, you may see some of the top club teams and top players in the country. The Coach’s evaluation of your team and proper placement can be a factor in your son’s enjoyment. They should have a plan and as a parent, you should be realisticas to where you son belongs as well.
How many players are on a team? Generally they will need more than a typical Avon Grove team b/c there are multiple games per day in the summer and players get tired but too many can lessen your son’s experience.
How many tournaments do they offer?
Are they overnight two day tournaments (additional hotel expenses) or single day tournaments?
Are there any additional services provided by the organization? Skills sessions geared to specific positions?
Keep in mind that these teams are gaining in popularity and becoming more competitive given the growth of lacrosse.
You may need to try out for more than one team, if it is your first time due a team’s popularity or the carryover of players from the previous year.
By following the suggestions above, you can save a lot of time and aggravation in the future. Most times the negative feedback you hear about a club is because the parent was not informed about costs, competition levels, honest about their own son’s talent level, not enough coaching, and the list goes on.
It is true that some clubs are more competitive than others, and some clubs have better coaches at particular age levels. Sometimes it is best to get an opinion from a parent of a player for a particular club. Usually a recommendation from a knowledgeable parent goes a long way.
Below you will see a list of some of the more popular clubs close to us. We do not endorse one over the other because each player has a different need and each program has their own particular strengths and weaknesses and you are the one who is ultimately responsible, so . . . do your homework.
If you are serious about making a team, plan to attend both try out dates if 2 are offered, even though the team may only require you to attend 1 try out. Trying out for 2-3 teams can be good experience for players to get the nervousness out of their system.
Check each web site for times, locations, try out fees, waivers etc...