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Oak Park Lacrosse Club

Oak Park Lacrosse Club

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: How long has The Oak Park Lacrosse Club been around?

A: Oak Park Lacrosse Club ("OPLC") was formed as a California nonprofit organization in 2008 and provides one of the most desirable lacrosse experiences for boys and girls in the area. OPLC forms its teams from and serves boys and girls living in the Oak Park community.

Q: My son/daughter learned about lacrosse at their Elementary School and wants to give it a try. How do I start?

Registration for the Spring Lacrosse season opens every fall. If registration is not yet open or if you would like more information, please email us at [email protected]

Q: Is it safe?

A: The rules of Lacrosse are designed to keep kids safe, however, it is a contact sport for boys. With the exception of U9 division - No body contact or stick checking allowed. Boys U11 - no body checking allowed.

All Boys Lacrosse players wear helmets, pads and gloves. Were permitted, checking and body contact are allowed but highly regulated by coaches and game officials.

Girls lacrosse rules and game are dramatically different than the boys' game and rules, and there is much less contact, and therefore less need for protective gear. The girls game places much emphasis on ball control, passing, catching and stick work, and the rules on body contact are very strict. Statistically speaking, girl's youth Lacrosse sees fewer injuries than girl's youth soccer. 

Q: Is it growing?  Can my child play in High school and College?

A: Lacrosse is the fastest growing youth sport in the country!  On the east coast it is arguably the #1 youth sport for both boys and girls, and here on the west coast it is booming.  Locally, most of our high schools now offer varsity girls and boys Lacrosse, and JV teams are now being added to meet the demand and growth.  At the college level it is taking off as well, with more Div.1 west coast programs being added every year here on the west coast.

Q: When does season start and end?

The primary recreational lacrosse season begins in January (practices), with games running from the end of February to approximately the middle of May. OPLC fields boys and girls teams who participate in lacrosse games hosted by the Southern California Lacrosse Association during this spring session. Apart from the recreational season, many elite/travel lacrosse team opportunities are available through OPLC in the summer, fall and winter.

Q: My daughter schools at Medea Creek Middle School and wants to play lacrosse, but she doesn't like the helmet and shoulder pads. Does she have to wear them?

A: Yes. Boys lacrosse requires more protective gear than girls' lacrosse, and when properly taught, involves more finesse, speed, and stick skills and less emphasis on contact. Girls lacrosse rules and game are dramatically different than the boys' game and rules, and there is much less contact, and therefore less need for protective gear. The girls game places much emphasis on ball control, passing, catching and stick work, and the rules on body contact are very strict. Statistically speaking, girl's youth Lacrosse sees fewer injuries than girl's youth soccer.  Long awaited youth lacrosse guidelines were released by US Lacrosse in late 2011 and many of the rules have now been adopted by the SCLA, including new age divisions (versus school grade divisions--see Q&A below). Some important rule changes are designed to eliminate excessive contact in youth lacrosse. However, like most team youth sports, lacrosse is a contact sport and risk of injury exists.

Q: What gear does my child need to begin?

For boy’s lacrosse, all players must wear/own a proper helmet (not a football helmet), shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves, stick, cleats, and mouth guard. A protective cup is optional but highly recommended. Balls for "wall ball" work at home are also important. Quality of each item varies, like in any sport, and as your player's skills grow, your son's desire for higher quality items will likely emerge. 

For girl’s lacrosse, all players must wear/own eye protection, stick, cleats, and mouth guard. Balls for "wall ball" at home are important. SPECIAL NOTE: Boys and girls sticks are different and cannot be substituted! If you are unsure of what to buy or what the difference is, please write to an OPLC volunteer before purchase.

 

Q: Since I have to purchase all the protective gear, why are registration fees to play for OPLC so high?

In short, because OPLC believes in paying for quality coaching resources. OPLC is considered one of the leading youth clubs in the area. We believe we are a group of forward-thinking lacrosse leaders and we try to anticipate where the game of lacrosse is heading, and aim to improve the overall lacrosse experience for our boys and girls. While recognizing that our spring season is recreational, we prepare all our players, from the most advanced to most developmental, to compete at higher levels of lacrosse as they move on to High School and travel lacrosse programs. Further, OPLC promotes responsible growth of the game in Oak Park and through Southern California. What sets the OPLC experience apart from competing clubs is our desire to attract expert coaches into our program. Finding qualified lacrosse coaches is the greatest challenge in youth lacrosse, and the highest barrier to responsible growth of the game. We endeavor to find coaches who have lacrosse pedigrees and who also have the character and integrity to properly coach young players in a positive manner. OPLC is nonprofit club and run by a volunteer board of directors. Sons and daughters of directors pay the same registration fee as everyone else. Player registration fees are established prior to each season through a simple budgeting process, where the anticipated fixed and variable costs are allocated among registered players. Importantly, OPLC limits the number of players on each team to create an optimal learning environment, which indirectly raises the cost per player. Unlike some sports and youth organizations, players, parents and coaches are not required to sell candy or otherwise find team sponsors or other sources of revenue.

 

Q: We live in Westlake Village, but I heard that Oak Park runs a great program and we don't mind driving our son over to practices. We would like to have him play for one of your teams. How do we do that?

Unfortunately, you can't. Unless you live or school in Oak Park, absent a medical condition of some sort, it is very difficult to make a case for your son to play for an OPLC teams. Our league, the Southern California Lacrosse Association ("SCLA") has a simple set of rules designed to ensure that all member clubs have sufficient players to field competitive teams, and to remove the urge for clubs to recruit players based on talent. If you live in an area that does not have a club (i.e., Woodland Hills), your son would be registered directly with the SCLA as an at-large player and he/she would be assigned to a club needing players. The SCLA attempts, in these instances, to assign your player to a club with close proximity to your home. OPLC occasionally picks up at-large players. Subject to some exceptions, once your son or daughter is assigned to a club, you will be with that club until your son heads off to High School.  Team "shopping" is not permitted.  Please contact any OPLC or SCLA board member with any questions or concerns about this.  It can be a sensitive topic, and we want to communicate it as clearly as possible.

 

Q: My child lives in Agoura Hills (or Simi, or...), but schools in Oak Park. What about us? Can we play for OPLC?

Yes! OPLC serves all boys and girls who either live in Oak Park, or who currently school in an OP school (i.e., Medea Creek, Brookside, Red Oak, and Oak Hills). For players who reside outside OP, OPLC will coordinate with your alternative or home club to ensure that they will be able to field competitive teams without your player. Importantly, OPLC will never assess your player's ability before considering any request to play for OPLC. It makes no difference to us whether your son or daughter is a future All American or developmental. We aim to teach all players proper lacrosse, and our program desires to raise each player's skills to their personal best and contribution to the success of the team.

 

Q: My son is in 1st Grade at Oak Hills and he wants to learn lacrosse. Can he play on a team yet?

Absolutely! The U9 Division is now fully integrated in the SCLA program.  To participate, a player must not have turned 9 years old on or prior to August 31, 2017 (for the Spring 2018 season). All players must be fully equipped for protection; however, body checking will be prohibited.

 

Q: How about my 1st/2nd/3rd grade daughter?
Sure thing!  The SCLA has a team/program called "Scoopers", which is designed to teach these youngsters the basics while having a lot of fun.  It is age appropriate, and intended to get girls started on the path of learning basic skills - namely passing and catching. You can link to the SCLA website here.

 

Q: It looks hard to pass and catch.  My daughter/son has never played, how long will it take to get these skills down?

At the outset it's a steep learning curve - sort of like riding a bicycle.  Also, some young athletes are more natural at it than others.  However, the direct benefits from practice are huge and observable.  The more time your child puts into it, the faster they will pick it up.  Our coaches highly encourage home practice - throwing against a wall outside (a backboard at the park, or a cement wall, for instance - Wallball - see above) is the best thing your child can do.  As a parent, you can buy a Lacrosse stick too, jump on the practice bandwagon, and throw with your child, or use a baseball glove if that's more appealing.  But repetition is the name of the game, and if he/she starts learning in the fall, practices will be more fun in January/February!  But remember, all developmental teams have kids at the start of the season who have to learn the basics, so this shouldn't be a concern. So...how long until they can throw and catch?  It shouldn't take more than a few weeks, maybe a month or so, before your child can do a decent job passing and catching.  By the end of the first season, it will feel natural, and over the following years your child will become truly expert.  Kids who have been playing for years are still perfecting passing, catching and shooting and getting better each season with their accuracy and precision.  As they say, there's always room for improvement, and OP Lacrosse has teams and coaches to advance them up the line as they get older, getting them ready to progress into High school Lacrosse.

 

Q: What helmet is best for boy’s lacrosse?

Helmet selection is a personal preference. If you are unsure on which helmet to purchase, please contact our head of Boys Lacrosse at [email protected]

 

Q: My son/daughter has a loaner stick from a neighbor, some strings are broken, but it seems to still work. This is ok?

The loaner stick is ok. But, the strings are not! When strings look worn, it’s time to have the head re-strung. Restringing a lacrosse head is a mixture of art and science. Factory strung heads are almost always poorly strung. Improperly strung heads are the usual culprit for players who think they "can't pass or catch". Our coaches inspect strings all the time and if your son's or daughter's strings are not in order, you should have the head restrung. There are excellent trained young stringers in the youth program, who have properly strung 100's of heads. Your son or daughter will learn who these kids are.  Our local Adrenaline Lacrosse shop also offers an excellent stringing service for boys and girls heads.

 

Q: My son/daughter is by far the best player on his/her team, and he should be on the field the whole game and if the team is smart, get him/her the ball. Why isn't that happening?

Proper lacrosse is a team sport and the word "together" will be uttered 100's of times through a typical youth season. Weak programs often rely on one or two highly athletic and sometimes oversized players to plow ahead and run the ball up and down the field in an attempt to score. This is not Lacrosse.  OPLC coaches instill age appropriate "team concepts" in all players, with more complicated offensive and defensive sets, rides and clears in the older divisions. OPLC does not "play to win" in the spring recreational season. That said, playtime during games is earned. Unexcused missed practices are not okay. Player attitudes that poison a squad are not okay, regardless of how terrific you think your player is. The SCLA imposes a minimum play time for all clubs--one second for each half of a regulation game (unless injured, absent or arriving to the field late). Historically, players for OPLC exceed this minimum play time by a large margin, because our program is designed to instruct all players and leave no player as a liability on the field. There is no proverbial "right field" to hide on a lacrosse playfield. It is fair to note that it is critical for all players, no matter their skill level, that they undertake a strict and consistent home "wall ball" routine to develop proper stick skills. Players that take their wall ball routine seriously, develop much faster than players who fail to do so.

 

Q: My son is in the 6th grade at Medea Creek Middle School but he is a beginner.  What team division should I register for?

Team placement is no longer based on current school grade for boy’s lacrosse teams.  Following a new structure imposed on all local clubs by the SCLA, team placement is based on a player’s age.  The following chart will help you place your son in the proper division.   All players must present to the OPLC Board proof of age (i.e., birth certificate).

         For the Spring 2018 Season:

               U15--A player must not have turned 15 on or prior to August 31, 2017 (High School boys ok if no HS experience)

               U13--A player must not have turned 13 on or prior to August 31, 2017

               U11--A player must not have turned 11 on or prior to August 31, 2017

               U9--A player must not have turned 9 on or prior to August 31, 2017


For Spring 2018 all girls teams will continue to be formed based on current academic grade. Elementary School = Grades 1st - 5th  and
Middle Schools = Grades 6th - 8th.

Requirements:

In order to qualify for placement on an OPLC team, player must either reside in Oak Park or be currently enrolled in the Oak Park Unified School District. Non-residents of Oak Park attending public school in Oak Park must obtain permission from OPLC and their home club before such players will be placed on an OPLC team. To obtain a waiver, please contact us at [email protected] There are no guarantees that such wavier/release will be granted by any jurisdiction.

 

REFUNDS:

Partial refunds will be considered on a case by case basis before December 31, 2017 for unexpected circumstances (i.e., moving out of the area or confirmed medical need), less a $25 non-refundable administrative fee. If a player must withdraw after December 31, 2017, refunds are not available.

Player fees cover team expenses, including field rentals (games and practices), coach stipends, referees fees, field equipment and practice balls, uniforms, secondary medical insurance, SCLA fees, basic picture package, and other administration costs. Players must provide their own equipment.

Refund requests must be submitted in writing to Kevin Herold at [email protected] 

In the event your player is not able to be placed on a team due to space constraints, you will be issued a full refund not later than February 28, 2018.


For Spring 2016 all girls teams will continue to be formed based on current academic grade.
For Spring 2016 all girls teams will continue to be formed based on current academic grade.

Contact Us

Oak Park Lacrosse Club

638 Lindero Canyon Road #257 
Oak Park, California 91377

Email Us: [email protected]
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