Generally, practices run 1.5 - 2 hours and games (including warm-ups) can run 2.5 - 3 hours. For games, your coach will require that you arrive for warm-up and preparation 30-60 minutes ahead of the scheduled face-off.
Q: Can a new player be competitive?
New players at all levels can become highly competitive with experienced players through dedication and effort. Every season we have many new players who work hard and become key contributors on their teams. What players do outside of practice and game time is the most important to skill development. New players in particular will need to work on their stick skills and the best tool for this are the Wall Ball Drills. Many of the fundamentals of Lacrosse come quickly to boys who have played other sports like Football, Soccer, Hockey, Basketball and who participate in conditioning sports like track. The proven key: Good practice makes good players.
Q: When are practices?
For 5/6 and 7/8 Divisions regular season optional throw-arounds (informal practices) start in January; one or two evenings per week. Official teams are organized in February with 2-3 practices in mid-February before the school break.
Following the school break regular practices begin. Practices may start at early as 3:30 PM early in the season and move later with increasing daylight hours. Typically 5/6 teams practice 2 days per week and 7/8 teams 2-3 days a week. All teams may add a few additional practices early in the season at the Coaches' discretion to help orient new players and help returning players "shake off the rust".
Practice schedules and locations are generally set in late February once fields are locked in at the league level and often change during the season due to field availability (grass fields are frequently subject to closure due to poor surface conditions, i.e. water saturation levels). A typical practice is 1.5-2 hours. Prior to daylight savings time, most practices are scheduled shortly after school. Some teams will have practices under lights on turf in the early evenings. Starting in April, an additional scrimmage may be played during the week, usually in lieu of a regular practice.
Flexibility is key
with practice schedules due to changing field conditions in the Spring. Please keep this in mind when registering for Lacrosse and scheduling other activities for your LAX player.
It is very important to BE ON TIME
for all team events. Please respect the coaching staff's time and your teammates commitment. Start times are "ready to go times"; not show up and start dressing time. The Issaquah Lacrosse maxim is "Ready to play 5 minutes early is "On Time". Please plan this into your schedules for arrival and please pick up your player on time as well. Issaquah Lacrosse coaches will wait until the final player is picked up and we ask that you be considerate of our volunteers and respect that they have family commitments as well as their commitments to your players.
Q: When are the games?
Games are generally on Saturdays for the 5/6 and 7/8 and the first regular season game is on the first or second Saturday in March. Games typically start between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM for both home and away. Starting in early April, a week-night game is common, usually replacing one of the practices. Initial team schedules will be provided the first week of regular season games. Issaquah Lacrosse will normally not schedule regular season practices, games or events on Sunday.
Q: Where are the games?
Issaquah Lacrosse youth home fields are Central Park Fields in the Issaquah Highlands, Pacific Cascade Middle School (PCMS) and Issaquah High School. Directions to each field can be found under "IYL>Facilities" on the website. Locations are subject to change and your coach will keep you informed.
Most regular season away games will be in the greater Eastside area (Mercer Island to North Bend, Maple Valley to Bothell), with occasional games in the greater King County area. Some special games or lacrosse events may include games outside of King County locations.
Q: Lightning Division runs on a different schedule, when does play begin?
Lightning Division regular season begins mid-March. Lightning players have a 1.5 hour scrimmage/game on Saturdays with an additional practice on Thursday nights.
3/4 Lightning players are organized to compete with other similar programs on the Eastside regionally. K-2 players compete “in-house”.
Players will be in full gear (see boys equipment list) for practices as well as games.
Q: Who are the coaches?
Issaquah Lacrosse Club is led by Program Director, Brandon Fortier. Coach Fortier has served as the Issaquah HS Varsity Coach since its inception in 2002. All coaches at the youth level are chosen by Coach Fortier and several are Issaquah lacrosse alumni. Coaches are screened by the Washington State Patrol and US Lacrosse trained. The Lightning Division is coached by the Issaquah HS Varsity team.
Lacrosse is an all-weather sport
; we play rain or shine. There are two exceptions
: if there is lightning
in the area (less than 20 seconds between flash & boom) within 15 minutes of event start the game will be delayed until judged safe - please do not leave your player if the game-start is delayed due to lightning until the event begins. A lightning suspension during a game in progress will last at least 20 minutes after the last lightning in the area. All events will be terminated if there is a second lightning suspension. Players should know their parents' cell phone numbers so they can call for pick-up if lightning persists and the event is ended. Snow
is always a possibility in early Spring and we will not practice is the field is completely covered in snow before the start time. If in doubt, come, but parents should wait until the practice begins before leaving. Every effort is made to clear turf fields for scheduled games; it is best to come under non-severe conditions and wait until play begins or is officially canceled before leaving your player.
Q: How to dress in cold or wet weather?
Players must wear their Issaquah Lacrosse-issued shorts and reversible jerseys to every practice. Players may not wear their game jersey at practice. You should also bring the reversible jersey to all games in case it is needed when the visiting team has similar colors to yours. Game jersey's must be worn to all games.
When the weather is cold and/or wet players should come prepared. While some players legs stay warm enough in shorts only; others prefer to wear athletic tights or light warm-ups. We recommend long sleeve tight tops and optionally long leg tights to ensure comfort and prevent chilling between game action. Cotton is never the material of choice as it absorbs water readily and once wet, it stays wet and will sap body heat. Sports undergarments made of synthetic fabrics designed for active use are highly recommended. In addition, thin rubber gloves (hospital/surgical type) worn under the lacrosse gloves help keep hands dry and warm. Thin ski liner gloves are also effective.
Players should generally wear undershirts appropriate for the weather even in the summer. During warm-ups a loose sports jacket or sweatshirt OVER the pads and jersey may help a player stay comfortable but will need to be removed once a game begins.
IMPORTANT – All undergarments, sweats, etc must be neutral or team colors. This means black, white, gray, purple or gold!
Q: How can I get ready for the season?
There are a number of ways to improve your game and overall conditioning during the "off-season". There are a number of camps and clinics offered locally that can be valuable for continued development of a players skills & knowledge of the game - watch the Issaquah Lacrosse youth website for upcoming camps & clinics.
Issaquah Lacrosse encourages players to stay active with other sports in the off-season. Make sure to have a regular program of running and weight-bearing exercise.
Last, but not least: Hit the wall!
There is nothing better than starting the season with your stick skills sharp and both hands developed. You will be a markedly better player that you were last season with just 15-20 minutes of systematic wall ball drills 3-4 times each week. You will get more touches on the ball in a 20 minute drill than you will in a 2 hour practice! So - hit the wall and use the Wall Drills System
every week during the off-season - not just during the regular season!
Q: How do I get more playing time?
Everyone plays in Issaquah Lacrosse youth.
We have a dual mission that can be best summarized as "Participation and Preparation".
means that all players get opportunity to play and contribute to their respective teams, regardless of their experience or skill. Given the rapid growth of Lacrosse in our area, Issaquah Lacrosse will continue to have some first-year Lacrosse players in each Division every year. To accomplish our mission we ensure that all players are placed on teams and in positions where they can make contributions to their teams' success.
means that Issaquah lacrosse youth hopes to "graduate" 20 or more 8th graders the high school program every year, all of whom are ready to step into and take on that next level of intensity and competition. That Preparation requires that players play - and play at an appropriately challenging level where then can develop the key skills and understanding of the game needed to succeed at the next level.
Issaquah Lacrosse offers the opportunity for all players to develop their skills and "graduate" to the next level throughout their experience starting at the youngest levels. Our coaches work hard to see that all Issaquah Lacrosse players learn to love the sport of Lacrosse as well as learn how to succeed in playing it.
Issaquah Lacrosse youth is a 'participation-based" program
that strives to develop competitive team spirit. We ask our coaches to establish a playing rotation irrespective of ability and experience for the bulk of each game. That said, when the game is on the line late in the fourth quarter, we typically observe that all players want to "play to win" and coaches may choose to put the kids on the field that are having a great day and have the best chance to deliver the win for the whole team.
Players at different positions play more "game clock time" than others which may not have any relation to "game action" (see the IYL Handbook for info on the 4 positions in Lacrosse). There are also special situations in game-play due to penalties which may have a "flagged" player sit in the penalty area for 30 seconds - 3 minutes: a penalized team plays "man-down" for the duration of the penalty and the other team plays "man-up". "Man-down" and "man-up" teams are a central part of game strategy even at the younger levels. Players are selected for a position on the Man-up and Man-down team based on their effort, spirit, diligence and skill exhibited in practice. Players should ask their coaches what they can do to earn the chance to contribute during Man-up and Man-down situations.