FAQ

Teams (2)

Balanced or Stacked Teams?

Penfield Youth Lacrosse strives to make all teams equal and does not subscribe to the stacking of teams or creation of “A” teams. This philosophy differs from other towns and that is their decision.

In the past, coaches have stack rank each player during the first few weeks of the season and then teams were created. Each set of coaches is given latitude on how they break teams up with the understanding that PYL will never create a stacked team.

Anyone who is interested in learning more is welcomed to discuss the process with the coaches of their child’s age group.

Requests to be on a particular team… Can Johnny play with Bobby?

Please don’t ask for your child to be with a particular coach or to be on the same team as his buddy. These requests will not be accepted.

There are lots of reasonable reasons for the requests:

• Car Pooling
• Neighborhood friend
• The only reason the child is playing is because of player B
• Parents are friends

Coach know the child Penfield Youth Lacrosse (PYL) practices together during the week. With all the coaches working with all the kids. We feel this promotes the Penfield Lacrosse Family and has been very successful in the past. As a result, the only time your child will be separated is on game day.

Thank you for your understanding.

Gereral (14)

Where does PYL play?

The boys practice at Greenwood Park(K-4 Grade) and Bay Trail (5/6 Grade)

The girls start off at Rothfuss Park but Grade 3-6 will move to Bay Trail in June (due to scheduling conflicts).

Directions to Greenwood Park in Penfield:
[Click for GOOGLE MAP]

Greenwood Park is located at the corner of Scribner and Embury roads in Penfield. The park is just north on Scribner from the Bay Trail/Scribner Road schools. From 250: Take 250 to Atlantic Ave. Take Atlantic to Scribner Road and take a right. Go north about 1/2 mile and you will come to Embury. Cross over Embury and the parking lot will be on your left. From 590: Take 590 and exit at Browncroft Blvd. Head East towards Penfield. Browncroft turns into Atlantic Ave. Take a left from Atlantic onto Scribner Road. Go north about 1/2 mile and you will come to Embury. Cross over Embury and the parking lot will be on your left.

Directions to Rothfuss Park in Penfield:
[Click for GOOGLE MAP]

Rothfuss Park is located on Five Mile Line road in Penfield, just around the corner from Greenwood Park. So the good news is that if you go to Greenwood by mistake you are only one minute away from where you should be. The park is just north of Atlantic (see map below). Bay Trail Middle School is located 1760 Scribner Rd.

Pre-School Program

What is it?

The PYL Preschool program is designed to give younger children a chance to participate in a non-competitive, fun environment. The children will participate in drills and games that focus on the basic elements of lacrosse (catching, throwing, picking the ball off the ground, and shooting).

Who coaches it?

The program is staffed with volunteers from our PYL coaches. Most coach older teams (either boys or girls) but we do have some new coaches who are getting their feet wet coaching the littlest of the little. We also try to have the Penfield JV and Varsity players participate. The children seem to react well to a “real” player showing them how to play.

When?

This is a tougher question. We try to have the program start in May but the real start date is determined by the weather. As the participants are really young, we don’t want their first experience to be in the cold or the wet. We want them to WANT to return the next week and the next year.

The program is on Saturday mornings at 9am

Where?

Traditionally we have held the program at Greenwood Park (Emory and Scribner). We have toyed with the idea of moving the program to Scribner to avoid parking issues but no decision has been made.

What do I need?

We do not require the children to bring anything other than a good attitude. If you have a stick that is a great plus but if you don’t own one we do have loaners.

Is Lacrosse the Right Sport for my Child?

Lacrosse is a wonderful traditional sport which combines many elements of the major sports. While lacrosse is a contact sport, much of the physical contact is not allowed by youth programs until players are mature enough physically and emotionally to handle it. Thus your child will be ensured a relatively safe environment in which to learn the basics of the game. The action in lacrosse is constant, and players on the field will get a wonderful workout. The entire gamut of athleticism is used in lacrosse, from coordination to strength to endurance and conditioning.

How often do practices occur?

Both the Girls and the Boys practice 3 nights a week (M, W, F) and usually have games on Saturday.

Practice time is usually between 6:00 and 7:30 (but practice may stretch to 7:45 on a nice night).

It is not uncommon for coaches to schedule scrimmages during the week. They will take the place of a regular practice.

My child is new to Lacrosse, is it too late to start?

If your child is new to the sport of lacrosse, don’t worry. Typically about half (or more) of our players every spring season are new to lacrosse. Coaches understand and expect new players to join every year. By having all players practice together we are able to avoid ostracize any player by putting them in the “new” group. The older or stronger players are expected to help their teammates get better.

Lacrosse seems to be played year round, what programs are available to my child?

The best athletes play multiple sports. Whether it be soccer, basketball, football, or hockey, your son or daughter is best served by not playing lacrosse year round. Putting the stick down can often make the love of the game that much stronger.

The spring PYL season consists of teams with both newcomers and “veterans”. All players will be taught skills appropriate to their own learning curve and all players will experience game play.

Summer tournament teams may be formed by interested parents, and these usually consist of those players ready for intermediate to advanced game play.

Fall and winter leagues primarily consist of players experienced in game play – since indoor time is so expensive, these seasons have little to no “practice” time.

SHould I be concerned about “burning-out” my child?

Starting a first, second or third grade child in any “technical” sport can lead to several questions. Lacrosse, like golf, requires both fine and gross motor skills along with lots and lots of repetition. In order to pick up basic skills in either sport, it certainly seems like the child needs to perform the same tasks over and over and over. Naturally, this leads parents to question whether the child will “burn out” on the sport before High School. The PYL program, particularly at the 4th grade and below levels, is an extremely low pressure environment. Our #1 goal as coaches is to make sure the kids are having fun. The #2 goal is also to have fun. Beyond that, if they end up liking the sport then we encourage the development of skills. During practices we organize all kinds of “game play” which reinforce things such as stick skills and footwork. In many cases our drills won’t resemble lacrosse at all – the idea is to allow repetition in different ways so boredom (and burnout) do not set in.

PYL also highly encourages children to participate in several sports and not to concentrate solely on lacrosse.

All PYL participants are encouraged to proceed at their own pace. If they really enjoy lacrosse and want to develop skills quickly, they will work at home on their own without being asked. If they simply wish to participate in PYL, as long as they meet the minimum standards of participation they are more than welcome!

If you as a parent have concerns over “burn out” and don’t wish to sign your child up until a later age, at the least we would encourage you to get your child a lacrosse stick and ball and let them play naturally around the house and yard. If they join organized lacrosse at a later date they will at least be familiar with having a stick and ball in hand.

My child wants to quit, what should I do?

Please contact your coach and discuss the issue. We understand that issues arise and sometimes there are reasons to leave PYL. If the decision is made to leave PYL, parent and coach should notify the PYL President. Parents who have paid the registration fee and wishing a refund, please note the following:

• No refunds will be made until all PYL equipment is returned;
• If a participant leaves PYL before the first practice, a 75% refund of the early registration fee will be given, less the costs of US Lacrosse membership (typically $25);
• If a participant leaves PYL after the first practice but before the first game a 50% refund of the early registration fee will be given, less the costs of US Lacrosse membership (typically $25);
• If a participant leaves PYL after the first game, no refund will be given.
• Refunds are processed electronically and may take 2-4 weeks.

General rules of PYL participation?

Spring season PYL has a general guideline/goal for all coaches that each player should be given equal time on the practice and game fields.

Lacrosse is a fast-moving sport and the ball can come at the goalie (or other players) from any angle.

Therefore each child in the PYL program will be required to maintain a “minimum level of interested participation” both during practices and games.

Thus, unlike some other youth sports, this means there is very little room for “doodling around”, “not paying attention”, “not caring” and other forms of disregard on the lacrosse field.

If after repeated attempts your child cannot maintain a sufficient level of interested participation, they will be asked to sit.

Summer tournament play, fall and winter programs may or may not follow the above guidelines.

What skills will be taught/learned?

PYL strives to teach the basics of the game to all players, with improvement in skills and understanding as age and time increase.

The basics of the game include:

• Handling the stick – catching, throwing, cradling
• Positions – Attack, Midfield, Defense, Goalie
• Rules of the game (Youth rules)
• Physical conditioning and coordination
• Understanding of team concept
• Respect for the game and all participants

Our practice plans are structured and follow a set progression for players to pick up the above skill sets. A fair amount of discipline will be required from each player before, during and after practice.
With new players typically “spraying” balls over the field, we will insist that players hustle and pay attention to their surroundings at all times.

PYL stance on playing time in games?

PYL Coaches will ask boys and girls to make 2 of the 3 practices in a week in order to play in that week’s game. This has always been the “guideline” and should not be treated as a hard and fast rule by PYL coaches. Each child should be viewed on his or her own in terms of lacrosse effort vs. other things going on in life.

If the kids are making an effort during limited practices and in games, playing time should not really come into question. Those who put in effort will play. If a boy is busting his hump at practice and can only make one practice during the week, it should not affect playing time in games. This would be the case for most multi-sport athletes who need to juggle two sets of practice and game schedules.

If however we have players who are not making an effort on or off the field, or if the coaches feel it is unsafe to have a child out there, playing time in games will be at the coach’s discretion.

This becomes particularly critical at the boys 5/6 age group. If your child cannot put in a “best effort” to actively participate on the field of play they WILL be asked to sit and in some cases they will NOT be allowed to play in a game.

Who is eligible to play?

Residents of Penfield can participate in the Penfield Youth Lacrosse programs. ALL PARTICIPANTS must be signed up to play in the specific session – this is required for insurance purposes.

Residents from outside of the Penfield area may be accepted on a limited basis. Please contact us if you are not from Penfield and are interested in participating.

Can my child “Play-up” a level?

The are always going to be exceptions where a child is so

    significantly

better than other children his age that “Playing-up” makes sense for everyone involved. This is the exception. PYL discourages playing up. No child is allowed to “play-up” without both the Coaches and the Board approving it. All children must register at their proper grade level. No exceptions.

Some children mature faster and others just pick up the required skills quicker. This is most evident at the Grade 1/2 level where passing and catching often elude the majority of the players. Parents of a player who has mastered these fundamental skills can often feel frustrated. It is important to remember that one of the most important lessons a child can learn is “to make their teammates better”. In addition, being a leader on the field and/or “the best player” is something that should not be overlooked. More often than not, the child who is the superstar at 8 years old is often not the best player at 12 years old. My advice, is to enjoy being the parent of the best player and help them understand that they need to make every teammate better. They will learn a lot more by doing that than by moving up.

As players progress and move up subsequent levels, the size, speed, and intensity increase. There is a significant difference in the skills of the players from 1/2 to 3/4 but the largest leap comes when moving to 5/6. The field nearly doubles in size and more physical contact is allowed. The size difference between a 9 or 10 year old 4th grader and a 6th grader (who may be entering puberty) can be significant. More than one child has given up the game of lacrosse after receiving their first big hit. We don’t want a child to lose their love of lacrosse because they are put in such a position.

Where does my registration fees go?

PYL’s financial goals is break even at the end of the season. We are not trying to make money from registration fees.

Registration fees are used to cover the following:

Every child in PYL is registered with US Lacrosse (Insurance)
Uniforms (each participant keeps lacrosse uniform at the end of the season)
Referee Costs (5/6 requires accredited referees)
Consumables:
Balls (we go through a lot of lacrosse balls)
Lacrosse Nets
Medical Kits
End of the Season Tournament fees (Fairport Classic)
US Lacrosse Coach Registration
League Fees
Year End Party
Trophies/Medals
Replacement Rental Equipment (we are constantly updating rental equipment)
Goalie Equipment (we supply goalie equipment for each team)
Web Fees (Someone has to pay for this website)

The cost of running an organization is constantly going up and the Board members are always on the lookout for ways to save money without endangering any participants.

Equipment (11)

Do you have recommendations on equipment for a new girls player?

The problem with buy equipment for the little girls is finding the balance between quality equipment and price. There is absolutely NO reason to buy a $130+ stick for a 8-11 year old. “It is the magician not the wand.” Below are some options that combine good quality and a good price.

Goggles: A proper fitting goggle is key to being a success in lacrosse. Often times little girls will show up with a grown-ups goggles. Nothing makes a girl quit lacrosse faster than ill fitting equipment. So for goggle I recommend:

STX 4Sight Youth Goggles. These are lightweight and provide excellent protection while maximizing vision. This goggle can be found locally (All Nations Lacrosse) for $34 (before discounts).

Stick: A good quality stick can last for a very long time. You don’t need to spend a fortune to find a stick that will be perfect for a new player. Good sticks can be found locally for less than $40.

Equipment Rentals – Boys

Note: This policy went into place in the Spring of 2011

Returning Boys in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade are eligible to borrow/rent equipment from PYL. Returning players who are in the 4th, 5th or 6th grade MUST provide their own equipment.

 

ALL New Boys Players, regardless of grade level, are eligible to rent/borrow equipment. We want to encourage new players to join our program and the Board feels that by removing the burden of purchasing equipment more older boys will try the sport.

Why this change?

The PYL Board feels that by the time a returning player reaches 4th grade they have reached a level of commitment where owning their own equipment makes sense. Owning your own equipment allows a player to participate in non-PYL activities such as Lacrosse camps, clinics, and other select teams. In addition, while we strive to fit your son with the right sized equipment, owning your own equipment allows you to get the best fit possible. Properly fitted equipment is more flexible and allow the player more range of motion. More comfortable equipment should help them play better (or remove an excuse).

In addition, by not allowing 4th graders to borrow equipment, we will be able to provide the newest and youngest players a larger selection of equipment. The hope is that we will be able to better fit the younger boys with their equipment and make their experience more enjoyable.

Equipment Rentals – Girls

PYL does not rent/borrow equipment to families for the girls program.

The decision was made many years ago to stop loaning/borrow/renting equipment to the girls based on a number of factors:

  • Girls were not renting equipment. We offered goggles and sticks to the girls and had very few families take us up on the offer. So the investment the club made in equipment went to waste.
  • The amount of equipment that is required (Goggles, stick, mouthpiece) is minimal and packages exist that reduce the cost considerably.
  • Parents have told us they felt uncomfortable with kids sharing goggles that were worn by others.

If equipment costs are an issue please contact PYL and I am sure that some equipment can be acquired.

My son/daughter’s equipment doesn’t fit correctly?

The best way to handle poor fitting equipment is to approach coaches before the next practice and ask for their help adjusting equipment. If the equipment is the wrong size or is broken/damaged please contact the PYL Equipment Coordinator as listed on the About Us section of the website.

What if I miss equipment handouts?

If you miss equipment handout then YOU must make arrangements with PYL to pick up the Equipment Coordinator or another member of the PYL staff ( please refer to the About us section of website for email addresses). This pickup will be done around the PYL representatives schedule (not yours).

Please do your best to make the handout.

When is Equipment Handout?

We try to handout equipment as close to the season as possible. Equipment handout is normally on a Saturday morning at the Penfield Community Center from 10-12. Usually the end of March.

The date will be posted on the PYL website, PYL’s Facebook page, and will be communicated via Email.

Coaches are on-site to meet the kids and to ensure that it is sized properly.

What is Hard Mesh and Why do I want it?

This is a Boy’s only FAQ entry. The girl’s sticks are all traditional and don’t vary much as the rules are very stringent on how lacrosse sticks can be strung.

The boys have a great deal more leeway on how sticks are strung.

We often have discussion with parents about gear and the one that confuses parents the most is mesh. Mesh os the netting in the stick and there are several types and many more styles. We like to tell parents it isn’t the wand its the magician. A good player will play well with whatever is in his hand.

That being said, we do feel that certain level player will benefit from different types of mesh.

Traditional 

A lot has changed from the days of the traditional pockets (nylon string woven into four leathers). The introduction of mesh pockets has nearly eliminated the traditional pocket from uses from all but die-hard old schoolers. The traditional pocket provided excellent ball control and nearly unlimited adjustability. The negative was that the traditional pocket requires a great deal of maintenance and didn’t handle weather well. Summary: They are cool to have but a PAIN to own. Unless you like tweaking your stick ALL the time avoid this style.

Mesh 101

Soft Mesh
Is the type of mesh found on the $29 sticks at Dicks Sporting Goods. Soft mesh catches the ball well. It will have a slight tendency to lose its shape a little quicker than most pocket styles due to it having so much give. It can be a little more difficult to keep the throw consistent and the release will be slower than most other types of stringing methods. The advantages of soft mesh is that it will not stretch as much as hard mesh, meaning there will be less maintenance involved. Soft mesh is not recommended for wet conditions.

Pro: Cheap, Lots of give make catching easier
Con: Cheap, Not very good in the wet, inconsistent for shooting and passing

Hard Mesh


Hard mesh is great in bad weather and will stay consistent throughout much of the life of the pocket. You get great snap out of hard mesh so you can really “feel” the ball come out of the head. It has a very quick release because there is a lot of pressure moving towards the middle of the pocket.

Pro: Long Life, Once broken in it is very consistent, Forms a very nice pocket
Cons: Takes a while to break-in (think breaking in a baseball glove)

Marc Mesh (and other variants that use wax)


Marc Mesh is an alternative to hard or soft mesh. It became popular with Canadian Box lacrosse players. It is a much softer mesh than traditional hard mesh but retains its shape much better than Soft Mesh. It is a very good choice for a player who realized that they need a stick restrung in the middle of the season or right before a game. Marc Mesh needs only about 1 hour to “break-in” so it is a great emergency choice. http://www.bluecollarlax.com and is sold locally (and much cheaper) at Play It Again Sports in Webster.

Pro: Consistent, Quick break-in period, Nice feel
Con: Expensive, Has a “different feel” that a player needs to get used to

Where should I buy equipment?

PYL doesn’t have a preferred vendor or local shop.

We have done business with many of the local shops and while each varies in their Selection, Customer Service, and Price, all will be willing to help you find the best equipment for your child. I would hope that we will support our local stores as they are a vital part of our community. They also provide you a chance to touch and feel equipment before you buy. We love our local merchants and suggest that you visit our local stores.

Internet retailers allow you to shop from the comfort of home and often offer a much larger selection of equipment. Prices can also be much cheaper. There are many, many internet retailers but I have included a couple that I have done business with and feel comfortable with.

Here are is a list of internet-only stores and local brick and mortar shops:

Local Stores

All Nations Lacrosse
1425 Jefferson Road (Saginaw Plaza)
Rochester, NY, 14623
Mon – Sat:
10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sun:
11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Description:
All Nations Lacrosse is a new lacrosse company opening December 2010 with locations in Rochester, Buffalo, and Salamanca. We will be selling all of your favorite lacrosse brands including STX, Debeer, Harrow, Reebok and many more. Our knowledgeable staff can help fill your lacrosse needs including equipment fitting and custom stringing. We will also be carrying most Section V team hoodies, sweat pants, tees, and shorts.
http://www.allnationslacrosse.com/

Metro Sports
9 West Main Street
Webster, NY 14580
(585) 872 – 3843
http://www.metrosportbrokers.com/

Lacrosse Unlimited
3400 Monroe Ave
Rochester, NY 14618
585-248-8080
http://www.lacrosseunlimited.com/

Dicks Sporting Goods
1062 Ridge Road
Webster, NY 14580
http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/

Internet Stores

Lacrosse Monkey
http://www.Lacrossemonkey.com

Commonwealth Lacrosse
http://www.comlax.com/

Great Atlantic Lacrosse Company
http://www.lacrosse.com/

How to buy a lacrosse stick?

Like tires on a car, the lacrosse stick is the most important piece of equipment for your son or daughter. Stick design hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years. The use of stronger but lighter plastics has allowed manufacturers to be more creative in their designs but the rule of lacrosse dictate the size and shape of the heads (boys and girls). What does that mean? Simple, used lacrosse sticks rock. Whether the stick is brand new or 10 years old the most important thing is for your child to feel comfortable with his/her weapon of choice. The lacrosse stick is an extension of the player and it is critical that they are comfortable with it.

Sticks vary greatly in price. Entry level sticks can cost as little as $29 and can easily go for more than $175. Which should you buy? I always say buy the best stick that you can afford. I am NOT a big fan of the $29 boys sticks you can get at the big box stores (I think the cheaper girls kits (stick, goggles, and bag) are great for girls interestingly enough). The inexpensive boys sticks tend to be cheaply made and I guarantee your son will be asking you to replace it after a year or two. First time lacrosse parents with a child who is not 100% sure this is the sport for them? Buy a used stick. The older kids tend to upgrade sticks all the time so check Play It Again Sports (Webster) or Craigslist. As long as the head is straight (they can become bent – especially by FOGOs) then you should be in business.

Girls sticks are interesting in that they tend to be less cosmetic and more functional. The rules of girls lacrosse are very strict on the design of lacrosse sticks (4 leathers, and no more than 2 shooting strings), so the variation between sticks tends to be less. Where there may be 15 different boys sticks there may only be 4 different girls sticks (not counting colors) at your local store. The price range for girls sticks mirrors the boys ($30 – $175+) but there tends to be few choices in the middle price range. The beginners sticks tend of have higher side walls and are flatter which makes catching and passing easier for younger players. The more expensive sticks are aimed at the advanced player and tend to have lower sidewalls and have a curve in the head.

 

 

Reproduced from the Dick’s Sporting Good Website (http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/info/index.jsp?categoryId=222943)

 

How To Buy A Lacrosse Stick

The lacrosse stick is an essential piece of equipment for the lacrosse player, and the type of stick you buy depends on a number of factors, including your position, skill level, and gender.

 

Types of sticks

Lacrosse sticks come in a variety of lengths and styles according to position and type of game played, with cost and durability as additional factors.

Men’s/Boy’s

  • Men’s sticks generally have an aluminum handle
  • All manufacturers now make more technically advanced sticks made of aluminum, graphite or even titanium
  • These styles are generally more lightweight and durable than wood sticks, but more expensive
  • Men use either a traditional or meshpocket depending on their position and playing style

Women’s/Girl’s

  • Women’s sticks have either a wood or aluminum handle
  • Wood sticks, like wooden baseball bats, are prone to damage and breaking
  • These sticks utilize a traditional pocket
  • The head on a women’s stick is 1 inch above the center stop
  • The head has an overall length of 10-12 inches
  • Women’s stick pockets are shallower than men’s. The pockets must have 4 or 5 leather thongs and no more than 2 shooting strings.

Little Kids’ (Younger than 1st grade)

  • Plastic sticks are primarily used by younger players just learning the sport
  • These are lighter, easier to break in and more durable than the models for more advanced players
  • They usually utilize a mesh netting
  • The plastic stick’s pointed mouth makes it easier for younger players to pick up the ball and throw it accurately

 

Anatomy of a lacrosse stick

Handles (Shafts)

  • The type of handle you buy is very much a matter of preference
  • Some players like heavy, thick handles for defensive purposes
  • Attacking players generally prefer lighter, rounder handles for better faking and maneuverability
  • Some players prefer square shaped handles for a better feel on which way the head is facing

Pocket types (Boys have a choice and Girls DON’T)

Lacrosse sticks come with either a traditional woven pocket for more experienced players or a mesh pocket for novices. They also can be bought strung or unstrung.

  • Traditional pockets
    • These consist of nylon laces woven around 4 adjustable strips of leather
    • The leather strips can be adjusted to fit any type of shot. They do need to be replaced after repeated use.
    • A stiffer pocket is more accurate but gives less control while running and moving
  • Mesh pockets
    • They are made of a nylon webbing woven into the side of the pocket and require little or no adjustment
    • Mesh pockets are looser and give less accuracy on passes and shots, but make it easier to control the ball when running
    • These require less maintenance than traditional pockets
    • The mesh netting does not control or absorb the ball as well as leather netting
    • Goal keepers tend to prefer mesh netting because it reduces rebounds
  • Pocket depth
    • Pocket depth is mostly a matter of preference and playing style
    • Generally, a deeper pocket provides more feel and ball control, while a shallower pocket gives you a quicker release but sacrifices ball control
    • Ball-control players who do a lot of short passing should use a fairly deep pocket
    • Fast-break players who tend to pass the ball over longer areas should use a shallower pocket
    • Overhand shooters should have an average depth pocket (a ball width or less)
    • Sidearm and underhand shooters should have depths of a ball or more
  • Shooting strings
    • Shooting strings, positioned horizontally near the top of the stick’s head, affect the ball’s balance and direction
    • Overhand passers usually put in 3 or 4 shooting strings to make a smooth path for the ball to run out of the pocket. Heavy skate laces are best used for this.
    • The shooting strings determine whether your shot will have “whip,”which occurs when the ball is released smoothly and gradually. Experienced players prefer a whippy release.

Proper stick length according to position

The length of your stick depends almost entirely on the position you play.

  • Attackers should buy a stick that is close to the minimum length of 30 inches to allow for more control and maneuverability
  • Midfielders should buy a slightly longer medium-length stick to allow them to play both offense and defense
  • Defenders should use the longest stick they are comfortable with, usually around 60 inches, for greater reach
  • Goaltender sticks are generally 42 inches long
  • Younger players should make sure they choose a stick that fits them comfortably, regardless of position. It is more important to be able to handle the stick and ball comfortably.
  • Women’s sticks range only from 36 to 44 inches. The exact length depends on the position–longer (43-44 inches) for defenders, shorter (36 inches) for attackers.

Boys and Girls should play with sticks that are the right size for them. Your coach will help you cut your sticks to the right size. There are no minimum size for the youngest kids. By the time a player is playing 5/6 they should be using a full size shaft (attack).

When will I get my PYL spring season uniform?

Uniforms are handed out sometime before the first RALL game, which is usually the last weekend in April or the first weekend in May. We do our best to get the right sizes to the right kids.

We do not take requests for certain numbers.

The uniforms are yours to keep!

Can my child wear soccer cleats?

The short answer is yes. You child can wear whatever they want. Especially for the younger kids, there is little difference in performance. The kids are small and we would rather see you invest in a good stick than spend money on cleats.

The longer answer is soccer cleats ARE different. Lacrosse cleats have a front cleat (single cleat under the toe) which is illegal in soccer (conversely, Soccer cleats ARE legal in lacrosse). Lacrosse (or American Football Cleats) tend offer more support around the ankle but that support comes at the price of weight. Soccer cleats tend to be much lighter.

The advice I give everyone is that if you don’t own any and are going to buy new then I would go lacrosse cleats (or football cleats). If you have soccer cleats or play soccer 9 months a year and lacrosse 3, then buy soccer cleats.

Either way you are better off with some form of cleats rather than sneakers.

Rules (5)

Where can I learn the rules of the game?

How do you learn the rules? The easiest way is to ask lots of questions. Ask the coach. Ask the other parents. Ask the ref (after the game). Lacrosse people love to help others learn the game.

US Lacrosse publishes the Rules for Boys and Girls Lacrosse at their website. Combined with reading, your best bet is to watch the sport. Rochester is blessed to be one of the “hotbeds” of youth, high school, college and professional lacrosse.

So get to the games – we are fortunate to have outstanding local college lacrosse action in our area, and our local professional team – the indoor box lacrosse Rochester Knighthawks – could use your support!

What rules does Penfield Youth Lacrosse follow?

Penfield Youth Lacrosse generally follows Youth Lacrosse Rules as set forth and published by US Lacrosse. The US Lacrosse rules and guidelines may not follow the same age groupings we use in Penfield or that are generally accepted and used throughout Rochester youth lacrosse, however the groupings are typically off by only one grade or one year. Rules differ for the boys and girls game.

PYL plays games in the Rochester Area Lacrosse League (RALL) and will also abide by the rules set forth by the league. Please visit the RALL League Rules page for specific rules followed during league play. PYL’s stance on on the rules is very simple. PYL teams play by the letter of the law. For example, Boys 1/2 and 3/4 there is no body contact and checks are limited to poke checks. This is how we teach the game and how we expect other teams (within RALL) to play.

Before playing in any non-RALL game, team coaches and/or officials should check to see what rules are in force for the contest(s). This includes tournament play, however the Fairport Classic Tournament will abide by the RALL League Rules.

Are the boys and girls games the same?

Strangely to some, men’s lacrosse and women’s lacrosse differ quite a bit. And while they share many similarities, it can be quite confusing to go from watching the boys game to the girls game and back.

The equipment is different, the rules and amount of contact are different, the positions are different, even the fields are different.

Also US Lacrosse publishes the Rules for Boys and Girls Lacrosse at their website.

Both games are the fastest on two feet however!

The play in some games can get very rough, why is that?

Lacrosse at Boys 5/6 and above is a very physical game. The boys are bigger and faster and game is moving at a much quicker pace. While there is a no body contact rule in place, there are collisions and hits. The referees doing the 5/6 games are certified (learn more at GVLOA) and should be able to keep the game under control.

The lower levels (1/2 and 3/4) should not be “overly physical” with the rules stating no body checking and stick checks limited to pokes. With that said, these are still young boys with long metal poles. It is the requirement of the coaches and referees to keep the game under-control. If a game is getting out of hand, the coaches from both teams should immediately call timeout. During the timeout the coaches should discuss the situation with the referee and if he/she is unable to or unwilling to gain control the Penfield team should not retake the field.

The safety of the children is the number one concern of the coaches. Now with that said, collisions will take place and the occasional slap check with be made. Lacrosse is a contact sport and, unfortunately, injuries will occur. We try to minimize this as much as possible.

Why can calls be so inconsistent during games?

The scary truth is that the refs are human. There are many things going on during a game and the referee is going to miss calls. Remember your focus is on your son/daughter while the ref may be watching the ball-carrier, ensure the teams are on-sides, watching a substitution occur, or all of the above. So while they may have missed the obvious push to your child, please understand they make more right calls than wrong ones.

Also because the rules are not absolutes there is a great deal of room for referees to interpret a rule. “Was an advantage gained?” is a mantra referees use when deciding (in a split second) that a foul occurred. If a player holds another player or commits push but the other team/player is not affected by it then they may choose to let it go. The next game, the next referee may feel that it warrants a call. Referees have a great deal of latitude. After the game, most referees have no issue explaining why a call was made. Note: I say explaining why, not justifying.

Also please remember that at the Grade 1/2 level coaches are ref’ing the games.

At Grade 3/4, Varsity HS players are ref’ing. These players are handpicked by PYL because of their knowledge and maturity. They know the rules and how the game should be played. Please don’t forget that they are 15-18 year kids themselves.

It is only at Grade 5/6 that certified refs are used.

Coaches (2)

I want to help, how do I get started?

Fantastic! PYL is run by volunteers and we always need help. We are always looking for coaches and assistants. Take a look at our Coaches page which details what is expected from our PYL coaches and then Contact us and let us know you are interested or just bring your stick to your son or daughter’s practice. Coaches love the extra help and even if you can’t help every practice the extra help is ALWAYS appreciated.

Even helping out with shagging balls can be a HUGE help to a coach. No experience needed!

Who will be coaching my child?

As we get closer to the start of the Spring Season we will update the Boys Coaches List and the Girls Coaches List with names and contact information for the coaches for each team. The number of coaches and the number of teams varies with the number of children registered. All coaches for PYL are volunteers and have varying levels of lacrosse experience. New coaches are teamed up with more seasoned coaches. All coaches are there to help your child enjoy the game of lacrosse.

We can always use additional coaches – no experience necessary! See the Coaches Page for more information.

If you have questions on the specific background and/or training of any of our coaches, please ask!